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.

Where Am I? An Ongoing Conversation on Representation

There is nothing more impossible, even now in 2018, than asking to see myself on the television screen. As an asexual woman loving Afro-Caribbean Latinx woman, the chances of me seeing myself for a accumulation of those pieces in one person alone on a television series or in film is like asking for the sun, moon, and stars as well as a billion dollars. It’s totally possible! The probability of it is definitely there, but I shouldn’t hold my breath either. So I break those pieces down, and find comfort in characters that sort of resemble who I am. I look for Afro-Latinx, Black, or brown characters, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. I look for queer folks, regardless of racial/ethnic identity or gender identity. I find empowerment with any characters who could be genderqueer or androgynous because I can identify with them as well as female identified people. I cast a broad net and find a bit of myself with everyone because it’s the only way I’ll be able to see something of myself on screen. It’s been that way my whole life.

Continue reading “Where Am I? An Ongoing Conversation on Representation”

A Scene Between Original Characters

Imaginary friends are the OG original characters before fan fiction ever became a thing after the internet blew up. The following is a scene in my mind if I ever had the chance to introduce my two favorite imaginary friends together (this is definitely still a work in progress):
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Wary eyes glared at each other from across the room. Ice blue locked on dark brown, both filled with judgement and more than a hint of dislike. It wasn’t about who came first, but about who did the most for their creator. Who held her when she cried as a child versus who destroyed her enemies now when the world became too much. Protectors, they both were, but friends. Did they know friendship outside what was designed in them? Love? Could they understand the dichotomy they represented in the mind of someone who once saw herself as righteous compared to the realist, the grey, the demon who wasn’t really a demon as much as a djinn with too much fire, too much power, and not enough morality to care what she did with it. Both pairs of eyes rolled. She was thinking too much again, they said without words. They didn’t need words. Just smug smirks of understanding. Of acknowledgement. No, they’d not ever be friends. They both thought they knew best, wanted to be the sole protectors and providers. Their creator apologizes, has apologized, for that glitch in their matrix. She hadn’t wanted them to become as she was: a servant, a server, a provider. But broad shoulders shrugged off her useless sentiments, not in anger but acceptance. They were who they were and happy with their places in life. One, a dark knight, a paladin, with a righteous fury that slashed at her creator’s enemies with a broadsword and held evil at bay. Another, the djinn, a creature of fire and nature, a destructive force that brushed off what was considered right or wrong and thought only of what was wanted, who catered to her creator’s every whim because why the fuck not? Continue reading “A Scene Between Original Characters”

Saying No For The Right Reasons

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”

Reviews

I have two main addictions if you ignore Pokemon (which you cannot, so bump that two to a three): television & books. Okay, in essence one addiction: stories. I love stories. I love crappy stories from SyFy (come on, Sharknado was kind of funny in a sad, pathetic, sexist way), I love realistic fiction like L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series, and I especially love Fantasical stories from the Harry Potter series (the books, don’t start me on the movies…they were okay, I guess) to Netflix’s adaptation to the Seven Deadly Sins. Stories are my life’s blood.

Since I want to post my stories here, my writing as a whole, I’d love to be able to talk about other stories and perhaps even entertain a conversation on them. Maybe I can convince you to watch something new, pick up a new book (or download it to a Kindle, I love my Paperwhite), or we can talk about our favorite relationships/friendships/all the ships. All in good fun, of course. I am certainly not here for senseless arguments, and I try to be objective whenever possible and stay respectful.

So! I will be posting reviews every now and then on different television shows, books, games and movies; getting a feel for a different kind of writing than what I am used to and I hope whoever stumbles upon this humble blog of mine will find something interesting.

Ta ta for now, and remember to always look on the bright side!