Saturday, October 27, 2012

Complaints and Positivity

Life has been very busy lately. I haven't felt very certain in my classes and have been feeling extremely overwhelmed when it comes to EVERYTHING!

I guess the amount of times that people ask "how I do it all" and me responding, "I don't know. It doesn't seem like much to me," is starting to catch up to me.

It seems like much.
I seems like a lot.

And as much as don't like to complain because I know I live an amazing and very fortunate life its starting to get really fucking overwhelming.

Between dealing with all of the day to day things of life I am starting to notice a change in Leilani's behavior, I'm starting to realize that she doesn't have that many friends and that the children that are around her aren't that great.

They tease her, their parents aren't as involved, the babysitter isn't doing that great. To date Leilani has watched Chuckie, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna videos and has played "Truth or Dare" just to name a few of my baby sitter woes.

But mommy has to go to classes, doesn't have enough money to afford a 'top of the line' after school program and doesn't have any real options to choose from.

I keep trying to remind myself that it's only for two to three days out of the week but the dissonance that she feels with the children of the neighborhood is constant. And of course as a mother and being the reason why she's there makes me feel horrible.

However, as I write this I can NOT forget the amazing things that are happening in our lives. Things like picture day, Box Tops for Education, Boston trips, serendipity play dates at the zoo and the fact that I got a B on my Economics of Policy mid term and I have a B in another one of my classes.

Nope life isn't bad but at times it can be very stressful BUT! I have to remind myself that I have more positivity in my life than negativity or real problems.

When it gets tough it means you're on the right track.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I've been selected to be a One Voice Summit Fellow!

A while ago I applied for a fellowship opportunity through The Sierra Club, a non profit organization "with the largest and most influential grassroot organization in America." The application was for One Voice Reproductive Health and Environment Summit in Washington D.C. 
The application also stated that the focus of the summit was the relationship between reproductive justice and ones environment.

I eagerly applied, hoped to be selected but cautious to not be too overly optimistic.

Imagine my surprise when I hear back from The Sierra Club via email on my way home from speaking in D. C that I have been selected to be a One Voice fellow!
I was so excited I wanted to cry and shout but I couldn't because I was on the 'quiet cart' on the amtrak. Hahah

I'm very proud and happy to say that I will be in Washington D. C in November doing what I love, again! I will be surrounded by like minded women, learning, advocating and speaking! I can not wait! The event is put together by Sierra Club, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), and Advocates for Youth.
 I can NOT WAIT! 

Speaking in D.C with the National Latinas Institute for Reproductive Health.

On the International Day of the Girl, National Latinas Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), 8 young mother and myself were in Washington D.C speaking directly to members of Congress and State Representatives about the policies they support and or reject and how their actions truly effect the lives of teen and young mothers.

Speaking on a panel with other young mothers was amazing! Hearing them speak with such conviction and determination in their voice made me once again appreciate the fact, yes I said appreciate, that I'm a part of such a dynamic and determined community of young mothers that exist everywhere!

When I spoke on the panel I felt as if people really wanted to hear what I had to say. They had the option to be elsewhere at that time but no they choose to come listen to what young mother had to say, they want to know our realities or truths and how policies are directly effecting us.

After the panel we had a wonderful "Know Your Rights Lunch with the National Women's Law Center. They informed us about the rights that ALL pregnant teens, parenting teens and young parents have when it comes to receiving an education. To know the rights that you have click here. 

Being someone who had a daughter at 15 in a tiny town in Central Florida to a college student in living in New York City and speaking directly to DC officials is so amazing and mind boggling to me.

My experience in D.C reinforced many things for me.

First it reinforced my belief that ANYONE can do ANYTHING if they keep trying, surround themselves with positivity and most importantly BELIEVE in themselves. Believe in their potential and their dreams even if they aren't 100%sure what they maybe at the moment.


It also reinforced that despite people say " WTF is Public Affairs?" when I tell them my major that I am in fact studying what my passions are. Public policy, people and the relationship of government to its citizens.

It also reinforced that I'm F-in amazing! I thought I would be super nervous when speaking to a room full of people but I surprisingly really wasn't. When you speak from the heart and speak on the things that you are educated and knowledgeable in you have nothing to be nervous about.

I am so thankful to NLIRH for such an amazing opportunity. However, the amzingness didn't stop there, on the way home from D. C I received an amazing email which would have me back in D.C NEXT MONTH!

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Figured IT Out

I am very excited! I have so many wonderful opportunities coming up for me! However, I'm more excited about the fact that I found out the origin of a lot of my stress, lack of help with Leilani.

Why I'm I excited about the lack of help that I have when it comes to Leilani. Because now I know what I should really be trying to fix.

I have been looking for my stress source for a while now and after thinking it was meal planning ( which it can be), lack of having a planner (having a planner would totally help) or 'not enough time in the day' syndrome most deal with. I realized it really is not enough time in the day.

I'm not talking about the usual sit around and do nothing then complain when you have to do everything at the last minute (which I do sometimes).

Let me explain to you all how I LEGIT do not have enough time in the day. I wake up at 6:30am, drop Leilani off at 8am, get to school at 9am, have class from 9am-2pm then I have to rush home to get Leilani.

Once I have Leilani my day turns into Leilani's day. Complete with her homework, spending time together, feeding her and the usual bedtime routine. On good days she's in bed by 8pm and sleeping by 8:30.

But then I have dishes to do, need to unwind myself and hope I'm awake enough to actually understand my notes from my classes.

Then on Tuesdays and Fridays I work until 4/5-ish. Then do the above routine.

I have no time for study groups, club meetings, blogging, anything really.

See my problem is my days end at 2pm. I don't know about you but for me it's hard to do all I NEED to do between 9am-2pm. All the while sitting in class straight during those times.

I NEED help! I need her to have an after school program. I need to have study groups so I don't fail. I need to have time to work on the tasks that will ensure us the future we want.

Right now.

Since I don't have that I'll try pulling all nighters.

Friday, October 5, 2012

I'm going to D.C!!

If you follow the Facebook Page then a few days back you might have saw that I posted a status which read:
"Today I was on a conference call with some of the wonderful staff at National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health I am very excited to let you all know what I'm going to do!!!"

I'm happy to let you all know that I have been invited to speak in front and with elected officials and staffer in Washington D.C on October 11th. I will be on a panel with other young mothers speaking about what teen and young parents really need in terms of the policies elected officials vote on and how their decisions directly impact the young parent community.

This opportunity was made possible to me by the National Latinas Institute of Reproductive Health. I'm very excited because as many of you may know Public Affairs is my major but more so my passion!  

Another update is that through my internship at Resilience Advocacy Project- a Non For Profit that seeks to end youth poverty. I have been able to create a political activist workshop geared towards young women becoming their own political advocates and how to advocate for the change they would like to see in their communities. I have taught this workshop at events and non profits around the city that help young women. I'm so excited and humbled by this opportunity but also saddened because I haven't been able to teach a workshop in a while. However, if you would like to work with Resilience Advocacy Project contact them here.  On November 7th I will be speaking on a panel at the 2012 Teen Massachusetts Institute, Celebrating Success and Envisioning Our Best Future at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts about how young parents are utilizing social media with other young parents.
I'm so excited about all of these opportunities and can't wait to tell you all about them!

I am going to be able to finally visit D.C, a city I have been saying that I want to visit, live in and work in since I was a child. I'm so excited to let policy makers aware of what we need, what we don't have and that young moms are a rising group of women that are passionate about creating the lives they want for themselves and their families.

You can read more about Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy here.