Awareness starts within ourselves, I can’t ever imaging doing the work I do, in a million years. Every time a client walk into my office I secretly do a little prayer, hoping that somehow I can be able to make them feel better after the 45 minutes session, sometimes longer. Monday to Friday I work with victims of hate crimes, domestic violence and discrimination. I also help many LGBT immigrants coming from around the world looking for a place where they can be themselves, without being persecuted.
Before I continue, I must confess that I’m an actress and I grew up trying my mami’s clothes and shoes, dancing and modeling in front of the mirror, dreaming about winning Miss Universe or being a backup dancer of a super star. Being a Client Advocate (my professional title) was never my goal in life. I do learn kindness, to love and help others from my parents and grandparents. That was something that I always had clear, I wanted to honor them and keep their legacy to treat everyone with respect and dignity. My papi (father) die when I was 9. I miss him more in the happy moments, than when I’m sad, because in the happy moments is when I would love see his face smiling back to me and squeezing my nose and rubbing his scruffy beard against my chicks. He was very strong and can carry me and my brother at the same time in each arm.
Life will take you to new places, scary and sometimes dangerous places or to the most amazing beautiful dreamy locations. Life will introduce you to people, good and not so good. I left my country and came here to reunite with my family, I left my friends, my language and my culture. English will never be as good as Spanish, my first language (I hope you guys can understand me) But, I was able to be myself here in US, I found respect, love, security, new friends and now you, each of you reading :) my silly thoughts.
Awareness is important for me because I have many things in common with the clients that I see in my office. I’m aware that I’m a survivor and not a victim anymore. I’m aware that I have to be kind and gentle with myself. We all have the power to be there for someone else, to open our arms and offer that hug or just to be there and listen without judging. Because many of us know how important that hug is and also how painful is to be judge by society just for being different. My action and commitment is to show the world my humanity, I can still smile and even make a contribution for a better world. We all have that power, even in those sad days or nights. Sometimes I go to bed sad and depressed. Do you know that this year more than 20 Transgender woman were killed and 19 Trans youth committed suicide, I wish I could have the chance to tell them: Sure!! Tonight is a crappy night! It sucks!! I’m with you, I feel you, I’ve been there. Hold on!! let see together wassup tomorrow. I’m also scared, but, you are not the only one and good things are happening, let’s witness change together.
Awareness means to know what my triggers are and not fighting nor forcing myself to be happy all the time. Is ok to be sad, it makes sense, I have been through a lot, and I survive!! Yay!! So when I’m Happy and surrounded by nice cool people, I turn into a sponge (not sponge Bob), I absorb all that good energy, those hugs, smiles and love. I celebrate every good day and let others know how happy and grateful I am.
Tomorrow I’m back to work and I just going to be myself. I’m carrying all my life experience, my childhood dreams, my weaknesses, my strengths and the responsibility of doing what it feel right.