One year, 365 days, 925,600 minutes, 52 weeks, 12 months.
Who would have thought that one year later I’d still be writing for HipLatina? I never really saw my writing as a gift or as a talent when I first began. I just saw it as a way to share with others and a way for others to share with me. I wanted to be able to tell people what I thought without needing to stand on a stage and be vocal. When you speak to others, they can lose concentration, they can roll their eyes, and doze off into a deep sleep. But when you’re reading, you determine what you want to do. Doesn’t interest you? Scroll along. Anyways, to the point: I want to thank you guys for not scrolling past my posts and giving me the chance to tell you a story through my syntax and vocabulary.
I was 16 at the time (I don’t know why I say it like if it were long ago) when I met with the Hip Latina crew. I wasn’t a writer or at least didn’t think of myself as one at the time. I had published my book, but I saw that as a photo-essay. I wanted to study public health and public policy — but they took a chance on me, and I took a chance at writing. I remember answering a Q&A that they sent me and that’s when it felt REAL. I wanted to impress everyone and I wanted people to know who I was. From there to my first blog post I grew really motivated with writing as a form of reaching other people. Latinas from all over the world would be able to read my content and comment on their own experiences. I could be a source of comfort to those who felt the same way I did.
From feminism to animal abuse, to a positive body image, I could express concern, and passion for the things I wanted. My opinion on writing began to change incredibly and I decided that I wanted to continue my path in writing and become a writer further in life — so if you have any college suggestions for writing and communication majors, feel free to drop a comment! The things that you don’t expect are the ones that bring the best surprises into your life.
I felt an immediate connection with my regular readers, which motivated me to open up even more. You, my fellow hip Latinas, accompanied me through my cyberbullying scare, my first public outing wearing a two-piece and this new version of normal that I live in after the Hurricane. I treasure your trust immensely. If you were around last week during my Instagram takeover and participated in my Q&A’s, you allowed me into your world as well. I learned about you and what it means to you to be a hip Latina. Being a hip Latina means that you can be independent, you can be vocal and share your ideas, you can be into the theater or the movies, single or taken, you probably still use your grandma’s home remedies, and drink café con leche.
As I embark on a new year, surrounded by all of you strong, vocal women who I am humbled to be accompanied by, I want to open the conversation. I don’t just want to write about what matters to me and what I am passionate about, I want to hear what you care about and what you want to hear about because most probably you care about things that I care for too. I don’t want this to be a one-sided conversation— give me your feedback! I’ve been writing for a year, and you’ve read me for a year. Thank you for all your support and thank you for taking a chance on a 17-year-old who discovered her passion. This is our anniversary, so happy anniversary to us!