Friday, October 2, 2015

I had a moment in Target today and it was great

When I was 16/17 years old I would go shopping for clothing for Leilani. At the time I was working at Taco Bell making $7.50 an hour. Gas was pretty much consistently $3 or more so my $7.50 after taxes and gas didn't go very far.

I remember going to Walmart to get her clothes but always preferring the options at Target because they were much cuter and didn't fall apart in the wash as quickly. The thing is I didn't have Target shopping money.
Hell, I barely had Walmart shopping money.

Around 17/18 I started working a sales job at a cellphone store and making more money (not that much more but more nonetheless) I was finally able to go to Target and shop their sales for kids clothes.

Being in the toddler section and seeing the "bigger girl" options (sizes Leilani would grow into) made me REALLY want to be able to get her the cute clothes from Target. I remember telling myself that I would one day be able to afford those clothes for her.

Today I went into Target for 2 things (and came out with like 1000 like everyone else).
Leilani is a Cat Lady through and through and when I was in the kid's section I saw they had a great assortment of Cat Lady merchandise. I walked around for a while looking at all the Cat Lady options and put a few in my cart without thinking too much of it.
Then I walked over to the shoes and saw the perfect black and leopard print booties that she would love. I instantly grabbed them. Unfortunately, the size was too small so I had to put them back.

As I put them back on the shelf I had a huge realization. I ACCOMPLISHED MY GOAL.

I was shopping in Target in the "bigger girls section" without having the think about it and counting every single penny with the same shame and anxiety I had when i was 15/16/17 years old.

Don't get me wrong. I still count pennies and I had to put back an an item I wanted to get her but DAMN I was doing it!

Being that I've been in a really bad, negative, and low confidence level place with all things in my life this moment came right when I didn't know I needed it.

It showed me that although I'm not "where I want to be" in life I'm living, I'm growing, and I am accomplishing goals I set out for myself.

My 15/16/17 year old self is proud of me.
My 25 year old self is proud of my 15/16/17 year old self.

Monday, August 31, 2015

I found a gym


I've been struggling for a while with my overall health. I love to be physically active and exercise often however, I haven't in a long long time and have just been really stuck in life.

Stuck in my writing.
Stuck in my search for full time work.
Stuck in developing this space to the next level.
Stuck in my professional stuff.
And stuck in my parenting a bit.
Just overall stuck.

Finding a gym right around the corner from my house comes as a bolt of positivity.
Not only is it right around my house but I can go to it while Leilani is in her enrichment classes.

I hope that going to the gym and becoming more active will help me feel less stuck.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The False Dichotomy Between Young Parenthood and Success by Natasha Vianna via Medium

Natasha is a teen mom, amazing person, and reproductive justice advocate. She recently wrote a piece titled "The False Dichotomy Between Young Parenthood and Success" below is one of my favorite parts. 

"When I became a teen mother, I decided to see my obstacles as temporary adversities rather than allowing it to define my future, my daughter’s future, and who I was. I began to look more critically and analytically at my surroundings, my history, and my family’s history only to realize that my life may have very well been the same today regardless of parenting status. Many adults blamed my new challenges and overwhelming stress on my growing belly; a common regurgitation of morals and values set forth by those leading privileged lives. Identifying the parts of my life I wanted to change gave me strength to continue and my first task was separating teen pregnancy prevention from unplanned pregnancy prevention.

The truth is: addressing teen pregnancy needs to be radically changed to focus on preventing unplanned pregnancies because not all young parents’ pregnancies are unplanned. Whether planned or unplanned, shaming teen moms, vilifying them and setting them on a path to failure does nothing to help, it simply makes their lives even harder than it already is – to their own detriment and that of their child. Society is shaming them for the socioeconomic issues many were born into and shaming them for their background, cultures, decisions, and everything that pushes them away from common approval. If this is not unfair, I don’t know what is. Instead of stigmatizing teen parents, we must recognize all young people are entitled to make decisions about their own reproductive health – whether we agree with their decisions or not." 

Please do yourself a favor and read the rest of the piece here. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Teen mom and serial entrepreneur

Tran Wills is a bad ass (former) teen mom. She has started several businesses all with her family by her side. Some have been financially successful and others have not. The one thing that has remained  constant is the unapologetic nature she came into after becoming in a teen mom.
"When you’re a young mom, people look at you like you have no worth. We wanted to prove to everyone we weren’t going to be like that. I’m doing this for my kids. If it weren’t for them, I’d probably be working a job that I hate." 

This carried over into the ways she showed up for business meetings with prospective clients, funders, and partners.
"A lot of people were awesome about it, and some were questioning—like, are you a professional or not? But I said, 'If you want to work with me, this is what it is.'" 

Being a mother, business owner, creative, wife, and individual is A LOT of work but she has found a way that makes it less stressful for her.
"When I live day by day, I can be better prepared for when shit hits the fan. A kid will be sick, and something will go wrong at the store."

How does she think her children feel about her?
"I think they are super proud and super inspired"

Read the complete interview here
You can check out Tran's website here
Follow Tran on Twitter here. 

Teen mom unlawfully deported

Fleeing an abusive husband, dealing with the stress of parenting in an abusive situation, and looking for a better and safer life for her and her son; thats where Lilian was when she came to United States seeking help and a safer place to raise her son.

Unfortunately, what she got was imprisoned with her son for months, chained, forced to strip, and had her child taken away from her after she tried taking her own life.

This is Lilian's story.
A story too many immigrant and teen mom face.

Monday, August 10, 2015

@NLIRH is looking to pay and train 2-3 young parents in NYC

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is seeking 2-3 young parents under the age of 25 who live in New York City to meet with City Council staff and share their expertise during a briefing designed to learn about the issues impacting young families. NLIRH will provide food, child care, training and transportation at no cost to each participant. Each participant will receive a small honorarium (pay).

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is one of the many organizations I have worked for and I can honestly the media trainings, activist trainings, and over all family love and support I have gotten from them is amazing. 

I encourage you to sign up for this opportunity that offers a small paycheck. 

Application here.