What do you think when you hear the word perseverance? I think of not stopping. I think of barricades and hurdles waiting to be moved and jumped over. Like track and field but you’re a clumsy runner. You keep running, and attempt to jump without tripping, but trip, fall, and get back up. That’s what comes to mind when I think of the word perseverance.
I’ve always been one to want to go beyond what was asked of me. Maybe not so much in school, but in real life situations that define my future. My parents often tell me to stop biting off more than what I can chew, yet I continue to do so. It’s not because I want to prove anyone wrong or I want to be a rebellious “son-of-a-gun” who does whatever her parents don’t want her to do because I, being a huge suck-up to my parents, want to do as much as I can to make them say “That’s my girl.” I’ve always been that way so I’ve continued to do so. After surgery I thought I couldn’t do anything bigger than having survived, and I always aim to prove myself wrong. I strive for greatness.
Ever since I started speaking publicly to groups one of the questions that comes up most frequently is: What’s next? And I never know what to answer. I often don’t know what’s next, or what my next big move is going to be, or what my sequence of very small moves will be, or what I’m going to have for dinner. I’ve learned to live in the moment and not rush what’s coming next (props to my maaaan for teaching me this 😉 ) I don’t have the answers to everything and that’s a huge lesson in itself. If I had the answers to everything, I wouldn’t have kept trying to explore new areas of my life or new chapters that have made me the person I am today (as cliché as it may sound, but it’s true.)
The obstacles I may have faced, the difficulties I may have encountered, the discouragement I may have experienced are nothing when compared with my determination. I’ve motivated myself to always go bigger and always try to beat my last goal; Lola Life Lesson #103 “you are your own competition.” When I was lucky enough to meet First Lady Michelle Obama through the Make a Wish organization, I was in awe and I remember one question I asked her: “How do you get your message through, when you don’t have the platform you have as First Lady?” Her answer was flawless: “Speak from the heart, and if you are genuine about what you speak of, people will listen.” So I did. And little by little I began building that platform of my own, piece by piece, word by word, speech by speech. Now I write for millions on HipLatina (holla!), speak for thousands at public speaking events, and share my message with all of Puerto Rico (and beyond!) on Vive Tu Nite, and it’s not because I’m better than anybody else or have a greater power than anyone, It’s because I persevered. Success (which is different for everyone by the way) is not about being better than anyone else, it’s about staying focused striving harder, getting back up and persevering: looking adversity in the eye and coming out the other end stronger, maybe a little bruised, but definitely more powerful, and a lot wiser.
Speaking of sharing my message to the world, here’s a clip from my recent appearance on Vive Tu Nite, talking about a cause near and dear to me: body positivity.
Lola’s segment on Vive tu Nite can be seen Wednesday nights at 8 pm on Puerto Rico’s WIPR, channel 6 or via online streaming, at http://bit.ly/WIPRLive Past episodes are available on http://bit.ly/LolaTuNite