Lola Montilla’s POV: Finding the Positive in the Toughest Situations

During the incredible length of my 16-year-old life I have been able to take in and give out

Lola Montilla Hiplatina

Photo: Courtesy of Lola Montilla

During the incredible length of my 16-year-old life I have been able to take in and give out. By this, I mean take in experiences and give out inspiration or a point of reference for people to draw comparisons between any given moment in my life and theirs. I don’t know why it happened to me, but I’m glad it happened. What exactly is it? It is a moment in my life in which I had two choices, to give up or give it my all, this was my heart surgery. You see, I was born with a congenital heart defect.

Lola Montilla
Photo: Courtesy of Lola Montilla

We’ve probably all had a moment in life in which we’re told “You have such a big heart!” and it fills us with joy, but instead it filled me with fear. I was lying on a hospital bed running exams when the doctor vocalized those words I was so afraid of. I couldn’t break down, because I already had so many people following my every move back home and I couldn’t let them down. So, I smiled. I closed my eyes staring at the bright lights of an operating room and took a leap of faith.  

I sprung out of my hospital bed a week after and I decided that I was going to make a change. It was not just as a coping method to turn all the negatives which had happened to me into a positive for sake of not falling into a deep black hole I like to call depression, but to show others that we all have our moments in life in which we fall but we need to get back up. The world keeps going kid, they’re not going to wait up for us.

At the age of 12, I decided that my life was interesting enough to start documenting it. ALL of it. I began making video diaries on how my life had gone completely down the drain but I was speaking about it like if it were the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me. I spoke about this imaginary book of my life and how every moment in my life was going to have a chapter, and I didn’t want my heart condition to take up the whole book, just one chapter. Boy, was I wrong. I strongly believed that after my surgery I was no longer going to be “Lola with the heart thing.” Then I realized, I will always be “Lola with the heart thing.” But now it didn’t have such a negative connotation to it, because I chose to accept it, rather than to fight it. And no matter how much I try, it will always come back to that, because it’s reflected in my every move. Whether it’s my everyday life choices or the path of my career, it will always be present.

Lola Montilla
Photo: Courtesy of Lola Montilla

I can’t say that I mind being “Lola with the heart thing” either, because this is where it brought me. Interviews and public speaking engagements are insignificant when compared to the true value of what I do after my surgery. I help others and that’s what I care about. Hearing people say that I helped them get through something that they would have never thought possible, or that now they’re not afraid of confronting adversity or just the simple pleasure of hearing people say, “You’re Lola with the heart thing.” Because it still lets me know that I touched someone and my message is getting through – one way or another (I know you’re singing the song in your head too.)  

So here it is, my first blog entry on HipLatina. They found a comfy corner for a teen to give insight not just on the life of a congenital heart disease advocate but on what goes on in this secret realm of adolescence and sarcasm. Are you a teen or just peeking? Don’t worry I won’t tell, after all this is my POV.

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