NaBloPoMo 2015 Day 1 – Dia de Los Muertos

I heard (read) about this Blog Month thing from Viva la Feminista y dije porque no.

To be honest I’ve been hesitant about blogging because:

A: There are things I would write more honestly about if I knew my pareja wouldn’t read them.

B: There are things I would write more honestly about if I knew people who want me to fail at my new gig wouldn’t read them.

And really the two go together. I don’t feel like my partner thinks I can be a good Executive Director and I know there are plenty of people who don’t want me to be. I try not to talk about my job too much to my partner who nitpicks at my word choice or will question my credentials/skills/knowledge. And I purposely am keeping space between myself/my org’s work and some other people who have a complex history with my organization.

And it’s like I have come full circle, to when I was a young single mom, deep into organizing in NYC but felt a little outside of the circle. I’m not young. I’m not really a single mother since my partner and I live together and I’m not as broke as/living from pay check to pay check. And yet I feel like there still aren’t many spaces for women of color in organizing to be honest about how race, gender, ethnicity, sex, motherhood in our day to day lives interacts with our roles/places in organizing (and especially in the messy, super competitive Los Angeles immigration non-profit world).

So I will try – this will be an attempt at thinly veiled honesty.

7 Long Years

A ver if I post here if anyone notices. It’s been so long, so long since I wrote anything that was just about me. Now, in this new iteration of my life in Los Angeles, it’s all about the organizational we and everything else is swallowed by the silence of private life. It’s suffocating, and this is my attempt to give myself some breathing room. Puede ser que nadie se va dar cuenta. Que esto se convierte en mi esquina privida del internet. I’m not trying to make deep political statements here. I’m just me – struggling with co-habitation, struggling with my new role in the NPIC, and always, always struggling with mami’hood.

Today, I’m sick. Canceled a meeting at work because of a cold that I’ve been ignoring all week and now that cold has caught up with me in the middle of a SoCal heatwave. Coughing and tight chest so for the first time in a really long time, I’ve been basically in bed. Reading, now writing. Getting up to make sure my children are alive and fed and busy doing something.

The children are hardly the ones when I stopped writing here. One started community college, the other is in third grade aka the year the testing begins.

A ver dejo esto como prueba – a ver quien se fija antes qie digo mas. Do people even blog anymore?

Un Año Que Viene, Otro Que Se Va

It’s that time of year, time to wrap presents, make coquito, and look back at the year that is just about to come to a close and what a year it has been. I’ve traveled more for work more than ever. I committed more time to blogging and writing and relationships ended and started and not in that order. A ver los cambios y plans….

blogging

First off, you will note that I am not even at my mamitamala.com blog because I can’t!!! It’s been a little frustrating pero hopefully in the new year I will have my own domain and server and get back on the mamita mala blogging track. One of my resolutions this year was to blog everyday here  pero I was battling techinical difficulties, work, mamihood, and struggling with how much to reveal/not reveal in this space, including being unusually quiet about things I would normally scream about or the equivalent of screaming on a blog anyway. Me thinks that this new year I will have my own domain, server space and a new design pero also a new lease on returning to my roots as la Mamita Mala, meaning unapologetically honest and naked porque that’s what this space was created for. Not for you who choose to read but for me who needs to write and kind of likes being an exhibitionist.

So I will be working to make this more a regular space, especially now as I enter in single mami’hood again. I want this space to be about negotiating my mami’hood identity with my puta identity with my poeta identity and yeah maybe make some progress on this damn book. At one point during this year

Relationships

Ay so much to say here with so many concerns about privacy and others’ feelings. So mcuh of my blogging this past year was censored. No one requested that it be that way, it was something I chose to do to protect people’s feelings and at one point my own physical safety. In this past year I went from cohabitating, to being physically abused, to having what would be called “an affair” I suppose, to separating and becoming a single mami again. And it’s even more complicated than it sounds.

Pero in all of that I strengthened my own identity. I was able to bond with other radical woc in Detriot, I survived and then some  thanks to the circle of sanity in Denver during the DNC. I recognized how tenuous and superficial some relationships with other artists are especially when they question your Latino cred. I realized how little I have in common with the so called white attachment parenting anti-racist community. I realized how little I want to be a feminist when I am so much more than what that label could ever hold.

My own relationship with myself has come full circle. I disappoint and amaze myself. I fall in and out of love with myself and alot of it has to do with if I am true to myself or not and I spent so much of this year not being true to myself. When I did start to open up to what I really wanted, needed and deserved, the shift in feeling was amazing. That’s not to say that i am not working on a million parts of myself pero I almost killed Mamita Mala this past year, not the blog pero that whole side of my identity because I thought it would be easier than dealing with the backlash. Pero then I realized that I, Mamita Mala was too important to kill off, that I have so uch more to do with so many people. So as I tie up a few loose ends in my life, like making sure I have a roof over my kids’ heads, in 2009 Mamita Mala will rise again.

Writing and Reading

This past year my writing has taken me all around the country, speaking to college students and organizations, speaking at political events and recording powerful poetry. I was inspired to write in Spanish and then translate to English for the first time ever pero no I still haven’t written my damn book pero in the new year it will be because it has to be. I already have readings lined up for January and am working on Feburary and I am planning on maybe speanding the summer out of the city to write away with less distractions.

May the new year bring happiness, light, clarity and justice and love (and some good sex would be nice too).

My Life is Not a Template

No women.

There is a reason why my story is not in books for me to sign,

why I have to carve out my own space through electric wires

and trasform actions into electrictrifies palabras,

why I spit on the ground and into teclado taps,

why I push my way in

and pull myself out.

No women.

There is reason

a porque

you don’t know who I am

and it is not because I am invisible

it is because you can’t be bothered

unless I am paired up with someone, something

that looks like your own privilege.

No women.

My life is not a template.

It cannot be copied and pasted,

followed like a guidebook

applied to children not yet in your wombs or delvered to your doorstep.

There is a reason you have nothing to add to the conversation

ask no questions

just watch and spy and shke your head and move on

como si nada.

Si women.

There is a reason.

Why I exist

and it isn’t for your benefit.

I’ve been Away

I took a vacation. A time away from the craziness that is the logistics of a breakup. A time away from the need to post a certain number of blogposts per day in order to reach a certain number of hits, a certain amount of money. A time away from the constant demands of mami’hood and responsibilities to communities.

Vacations are pure escapism yet my vacation in a super secret location was also about living painful realities, sitting with them, hiding from them, and facing them again. It was about sleeping in and witnessing patterns of daily life you dreamed about. It was about long walks under moonlit skies, wine, coffee, nakedness, food, familiar sounds coming from unfamiliar places, breathing in new air, mourning and then hoping again only to mourn some more.

I made a game about not telling people where I was going, about being all clandestina when it wasn’t a game at all, rather a request, a courtesy, a respect for myself and others and I guess a need. A need I still am not content with and resent the same way I resent all the compromises i make. I have started to question when consideration for someone else trumps your own path to happiness and if it should.

Now I brace for the long winter of change, emotionally sleep and hibernate, using my stores of knowledge and experience to survive and wait for the spring hoping it will remain true to its promise of new beginnings and rebirth.

Tanto Espacio Y Todavia Falta

I feel like I’ve been living in borrowed space, borrowed time with borrowed people for a little bit now. It’s been a week or so since I’ve been locked out of my online casita, MamitaMala. It’s funny. I was Mamita Mala before I was a blogger and yet, blogging and the community carved from it, has been unbelievably important, full of impact and implications. So, call me an addict for missing the blog as an outlet, but it really is an extension of myself and my life reaching in and then out.

So the chica, who struggles with the desire for home and homeland, the mujer who fights against borders, outlines and claims another space, an tent city for my exiled words, aqui.

It feels a little silly, the attention paid to the details here. The dark colors reflecting my morning/mourning mood this morning and now the meticulously designed banner courtesy of Xolagrafik , (mil gracias Nezua for capturing) reflecting the Nuyorican poeta/puta. All this for a home that is not permanant, pero rather an in between space.

Pero it makes sense. It reflects my in between heart that knows where it wants to be but has a long way to go to get there.

So si, bienvenida to the neon lit ciudad until it too, burns away.