What I Want in 2019

Change.

I want change. I need change. I am going to get it one way or another.

2017-2018 were hard years for me professionally. I was working with an association that had recently changed leadership. With the new CEO came culture changes that were hard to handle and deeply saddening. Harassment, racism, ageism, and a strong distrust of the staff are just the highlights of an organization that needed a fresh start, but instead was given nothing but rot. Content providers were terminated, or forced into quitting simply from the abuse of new bosses that had no managerial training. Not everyone suffered. Some people thrived with the changes, although I don’t think that is something they should be proud of considering what that shows about their character. About 20 people, myself included, have either resigned or were fired in a staff that was almost 30 strong when I first began working with the association in 2016.

Towards the end of last year, I was beginning to feel my depression and anxiety reach levels they hadn’t since I left a prior non-profit where I worked directly for a micro-manager that delighted in emotionally and mentally abusing me to “help me grow into a better version of myself.” I needed to get out and I did.

Forcing this kind of change in my life after spending my savings and going back into debt to help my mom while she recovered from surgery probably doesn’t seem like the best idea financially, and in some ways I wish I was strong enough to have lasted a bit longer. But I made a promise to myself in 21016 to be safe, and that office was not safe. There is nothing safe about a CEO who makes jokes about tanning so much she almost reaches the complexion of one of her staff. It’s not safe when during an staff meeting about improving organizational culture, a vice president suggests using the Heritage Foundation, a group focused on spreading a message of hate and white supremacy, as an example of “good mentor” for the association moving forward. There is no safety when higher level coworkers treat managers as gophers for their own work simply because they are younger after the CEO promises equity because the distinction between senior and junior staff is ridiculous and unfair.

So, coming into the new year, I have a one month part time contract as a remote social media consultant for a non-profit organization that works with Native Americans out West, and time to dedicate to change.

This year I am going to go for my dreams. I love writing, so I will grow myself as a freelance writer. I love social media, so I will consult with organizations who need assistance with content creation, promotion, and more on social media platforms. My focus, my goal, is to do the things I love. To work on healing, saving, and being the me I have dreamed about but never really spent the time developing. 2019 is the year I change.

Saying No For The Right Reasons

luna and polar sitting on a deck

If there is one thing people notice fairly quickly while getting to know me, my mom is an important part of my life. She is the head of my tiny immediate family, and will soon be a very important matriarch in my extended family (technically, she already is but that’s another tale). Family drilled its importance into my head from a very early age, usually to my own detriment although I know that wasn’t the intention. But good intentions sometimes lead to bad decisions, and I freely admit I made bad decisions thinking about how it would help my family without thinking about how it would hurt me.

2017 has been and continues to be a crazy year globally, nationally, and locally. In my own personal life, it has been a year of learning and growth. After two weeks of practicing the art of saying no, the audience being my own self-control and impulse to buy the newest fountain pen or shimmering ink to match said pen, I am increasing my goal of saying no and putting a goal and purpose to it.

Continue reading “Saying No For The Right Reasons”

I Am Scared

I have accepted that as an Afro-Latina who identifies as queer, asexual, and homoromantic/lesbian, I am a triple strike. Or quadruple or whatever the number may be. My name has always immediately identified me as other because Erisel Cruz is in no way a white name. But in reality, I am not scared for me.

I am scared for my brother who is Afro-Latino, and damn proud of his Blackness. I am scared because he used to be (probably still is but won’t tell me) stopped by the police for “looking Middle-Eastern”. I am scared because (God bless) he found his truth in Islam (and I could not be more proud, regardless of our “opposing faiths”). Because now he’s a “Middle-Eastern looking”, loud and proud Black man with a non-white name who worships the same God I worship but in a different tongue and style. And the only thing that might keep him safe is his uniform because to this country, at least he’s useful through his service but God forbid he tries to walk down the street in a hoodie instead of Army greens. Continue reading “I Am Scared”

January, where did you go?

Greetings and salutations!

I’m Erisel and I welcome you to the beginning of a new me. Now, knowing me before January 2016 is not a prerequisite, so don’t panic. You’ll learn plenty in the days and posts to come.

This site, I hope, will be the stepping stone for me as a web developer and writer. As of this month, I have spent 7 months honing my skills as the former and 18 years as the latter. Here, I will showcase my work with both and it’s my goal to learn and grow more.

January has flown by quickly but with a bushel of blessings. Biggest blessing: Becoming Web Administrator for Teh Lunchbox Publications, of whom I am a BIG fan. Some other blessings: being accepted into Southern New Hampshire University’s MBA in Information Technology program, beginning a Writing Fiction course that has been so much fun, and learning about FutureLearn.com where I am taking said Writing Fiction course and will be taking other writing courses for journalism and social media (for free!).

There are so many other blessings that I cannot list simply because I will be here for too long (I’m always looking for silver linings). But suffice to say, January has been a drive-by month of awesome and 2016 is looking shiny and hopeful.

Signing off for now. Remember to always look on the bright side!