June 30, 2014

Wow, that was really brave! I’m so proud of you!

May 24, 2014
Integrating Tragedy into Personal Narrative

A personal reflection of self-support and community responsibility in processing tragic shooting in Santa Barbara. 

I’m supposed to be doing my finals right now, but words can’t even express how hurt I am by a tragedy in my old stompin’ grounds. There was a mass shooting in Santa Barbara. 7 people were killed, and the photos circulating the news websites show crime scenes right in front of IV Deli Mart, where I used to go regularly for sweet potato fries and gyros as part of my weekend decompression. 

As a first generation college student, it’s always been a struggle for me to focus on “grades” when there is so much hurt in the world, and for me, Santa Barbara was the first escape; from a world of hurt into a safe haven of academia. Though sometimes my family’s poverty and the struggle of my culture creeps up on me, I’ve learned not to let it be crippling. 

The real world found my escape, and it’s a real slap in the face.

I was offended to hear people assume that it “must be the locals” or “gang affiliated,” but I couldn’t say why until there was more news out. 

It turned out to be the white son of a movie director who was mad at the world for rejecting him. He posted a video sitting in his fancy ass car, expressing his POV in a way that makes your heart bleed. It was just a human, but he was so incredibly sick from lack of community and affection. He was also the poster child of white privilege, and talked about women in a way that was misogynistic, entitled, objectifying, oppressive, and clearly, how he has been socialized to really think about women. 

My heart bleeds to think of my friends who are still there, and I’ve been sipping the same cup of cold coffee for hours now, hoping to hear that all of my friends are okay, and working really hard to convince myself that “no news” is good news. I’ve also been paralyzed knowing that seven people are dead, and the town is not that big. My community was affected. People I know are hurting so bad, and I want to be there to help them. 

I sit here in Oregon, where I now go to school, wondering how I am supposed to process this horrific incident into my own personal narrative, knowing myself better than to think I can sit this one out. 

All I want to do is fly out to California right now; organize space for people to grieve, heal, and process; make sure my circle is taken care of; and talk about next steps in our community. Unfortunately, that is the problem with going to school in a broken world. My education isn’t based on responsiveness. My career goals of creating a healthier world (through naturopathic medicine, holistic healing and community organizing) could be practiced here, but that’s not how our current education system is designed. I have three finals that I need to complete this weekend, and though I can probably work with a professor if I need time to grieve, there isn’t really space for me to be responsive to the issues of the real world. We aren’t really set up to integrate our experience into the curriculum. That isn’t the way we are intended to be “learning”. 

It’s so heartbreaking to me that this incident validates my career goals so strongly, but it hurts even deeper to know that I will have to sit on the sidelines while I get the formal education it takes to accredit me to be the change I want to see in the world. 

But in this period of reflection and pain, I also feel my privilege. I am not constantly living in fear of loosing my loved ones, as so many people in my culture are. Today, as I continue to drink my cold coffee and refresh my search engine, waiting for a list of unfamiliar names of people who were hurt or killed in a town I know so well, I remember that I am lucky. This discomfort isn’t a norm for me, and my family endured this hurt on a regular basis for generations to get me to this place where I am today. My family did loose friends, loved ones, and siblings. They hurt, and they pushed forward. They did it because they wanted me (and my cousins, and our future generations) to be safe.

My soul bleeds for the people who are finding out that they are loosing a loved one today; for the people who saw it happen; and more broadly, to the people who live in spaces where “waiting for the news of the deaths of those you love” is still a norm. This violence penetrating the safe bubble of Santa Barbara is shocking beyond expression, and a tragedy that words will not do justice. However, it’s part of a bigger story of a broken world that we are operating in. And in this broken world, I am working today to synthesize my understanding of this tragedy into my own personal narrative. I am feeling this with every fiber of my being. Today, I will show my solidarity by breathing deep, taking care of myself, and performing exceptionally well on the tasks that I need to do to succeed in a system that I am not in love with. This will help me to be able to contribute deeper than helplessly grieving in solitude when I am too far away to organize and care for the affected people. 

I don’t even know who follows me on this lil blog anymore, but if you read this far, I want to hear about how other folks are synthesizing this (or any other) tragedy into their story. If that isn’t what makes us human, I don’t know what is. 

2:58pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZSCHax1GnUFvS
  
Filed under: SantaBarbara tragedy 
March 30, 2014
nowonderwhywewonder:

alice in wonderland | via Tumblr on We Heart It.

nowonderwhywewonder:

alice in wonderland | via Tumblr on We Heart It.

March 30, 2014
Aye aye aye?

Cultural appropriation is when you take the songs my grandparents danced to when we celebrated how far my hard working tata and chronically ill nana made it, and all the blessings coming to my and my cousins generation because of the suffering they endured in an act of love; the songs they had mariachi bands play at their 50th anniversary party; and the songs my Tata wanted to hear on his death bed, with his final shot of tequila, and final kiss from my nana; when you take those songs and you play them while you make a vegan torta with mayo, speak bad Spanish, and talk about how it reminds you of the Mexican restaurant you used to work at. Please don’t take my family’s music without recognizing my family’s struggles and successes. If you wanna listen to our music, let me show you how to party, dance, love, and eat the way you should when you listen to our music. It’s much better unbleached.

March 24, 2014

I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you.

March 22, 2014

I don’t think I’m anyone’s “the one that got away”. I do think I’m a lot of people’s “one that got distracted”. #adventurerproblems

October 16, 2013
Slow, Sloppy and Brilliant: How to find textbooks online for free: a post.

obsessionfull:

Textbooks are fucking expensive, and if your professor doesn’t require a physical copy (most don’t - they just want you to have the book at hand. Or maybe even not. Some professors literally give no fucks about whether you have the book or not) and you don’t mind having your…

August 30, 2013

2:50pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZSCHaxtiiwiI
Filed under: bathroom decor 
August 30, 2013
"“I was worried about my own vagina. It needed a context of other vaginas— a community, a culture of vaginas. There’s so much darkness and secrecy surrounding them— like the Bermunda Triangle.”
― Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues"

August 17, 2013
"If the full moon loves you, why worry about the stars?"

— Tunisian Proverb (via pythons)

(Source: shimmyrock, via catchingcrumbs)

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