On May 14th, PinkGuayoyo turned one. One week later on the 21st I quietly celebrated this birthday by stepping into a briefing for Latina Bloggers at the White House (I know! Like, inside the White House. For a briefing!) Never in my life did I imagine that I would have the honor of being invited into the White House and much less because of this blog or my writing.
As I walked down the shiny black and white checkered floors I could only think of my Mom and my Dad, Abraham and Ariel, my Sister, Farzana and how proud I know they were. The journey this blog has taken me on couldn’t have been possible without their love and support.
See, when I started blogging four years ago I had no idea the amazing adventure I was jumping into. I didn’t know it would reawaken my love and passion for writing, I had no idea that I would start taking creative writing classes, start working on a novel and go to writing conferences.
I never thought “crashing” the Día E linky would introduce me to a community of amazing women, some of which I had the pleasure of sharing the unbelievable experience of the LATISM Latina Blogger Retreat.
The retreat, led by the energetic Ana Roca was inspiring and moving and in two days I was able to regain focus and the clarity of where I want my energy to go. Como buena Latina, I laughed and cried a lot (specially with Eliana Tardio) because emotions were moved and friendships were strengthened. The conversations at the Retreat were enriching and open, and I feel I learned a lot during the two short days of my stay in D.C.
One of the many highlights was our visit to the White House, where we were briefed by Julie Rodriguez (Associate Director, Office of Public Engagement), Cecilia Muñoz (Assistant to the President and Director of Domestic Policy), Alejandra Ceja (Chief of Staff, office of the Under Secretary, Department of Education), Lisa Pino (Deputy Administrator, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Department of Agriculture), Marissa Duswalt (Associate Director for Policy and Events; Let’s move! initiative) and Jon Carson (Director, Office of Public Engagement). It was good to hear my fellow blogueras raise their voices and ask about the number of students in a classroom, inclusion, special needs education, health, and immigration among other topics.
So here I am a few days later still processing this magnificent opportunity.
I can say that after a year — I am feeling more comfortable in my voice, I have gained confidence, I have spoken out in situations where I would have normally kept quiet. Thank you for teaching me to trust my voice and reminding me of how important it is to know my worth.
Thank you for reading y aqui seguimos (juntando los dichos de mi amiga Ginorita y mi Papá) Pa’ lante y con fé y Pa’ atras ni pa’ coger impulso.
And since we are now inspired by the White House…let’s dance con una cancioncita del playlist de Michelle Obama.
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What’s a Guayoyo?
= n. In Venezuela a slightly watered down black coffee. Commonly served after meals and a great companion to conversations.