If you haven’t noticed already, I have not been making this blog a priority. I have started a few posts since the last, but haven’t seen any to the end because I’ve been working super hard at my day job and trying to keep my sanity as we enter a year not having a place of our own and having to deal with issues that pile on from my rental. I go back and forth with feelings of being an unstoppable badass and being a ball of stress.
My first almost post in March started with the questions: Do I fail as woman for missing international women’s day and not being all over women’s history month? Do I fail as a badass woman for not wanting to have it all? Am I failing for choosing to lay in bed instead of staying up and writing this blog?
I care way too much what people think. I wish I could be that unapologetic feminist or that unapologetic Latina, but that is just not me. In the spaces I frequent, I often find myself being a minority in more ways than one. At work, I am not only the one female geologist, but also the only Hispanic geologist. I am not as conservative as my peers and our backgrounds differ. I find myself in these spaces that sometimes feel like they weren’t meant for me, so I try to assimilate the best way I can by not announcing to the group how different I am, by not posting anything about women’s history month or even acknowledging international women’s day.
Recently, during an innocent conversation about theater arts, I mentioned that I was in a play called Real Women Have Curves. The older white male I was talking to had never heard of this and asked what the play was about. I explained it was a Latina coming of age story. He asked if I was into “La Raza.” I had no words to respond to this and my mouth vomited out no. Then I thought about it and said yes? I babbled some explanation that tried to justify caring about my background, but explained that I wasn’t over the top about it. I could kick myself. What is the correct answer to this?! I realize I am a Latina, and I am proud to be and would not let anyone treat me less than, but I try not to make that my whole identity. I am so much more than Latina. I do assimilate or “code switch” to fit into my environment and be respected and not seen as someone trying to catch a break because I have struggled, been under represented, or otherwise discriminated against. I do not want anyone to doubt for a second that I haven’t worked hard and long to get here. I do not have to shout my Latinidad or femininity, you can see it in my work ethic, attire, contributions, and in my skin when I walk through the door each day. I don’t have to announce it when I live it every day by forcing myself through spaces that weren’t meant for me. I hold myself accountable to everyone because my nieces and everyone coming after me depend on me to make these spaces welcoming for them.
I do feel guilty sometimes for making myself palatable. It is a balancing act trying to fit in all the places and its hard not to feel lost sometimes. Like a true Latina, I have to quote the Selena movie and say Edward James Olmos said it best “We have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans, both at the same time! It’s exhausting!”
That being said, I did kick some ass in March!
I had the pleasure of attending the AmTech Career Academy career fair in Amarillo, Texas. I created an “Ask a geologist poster” to encourage kids to ask questions about what I do. I genuinely love what I do. I have no idea how many times I said that or how many times I made the joke “It is not rocket science; it is rock science!” I had a small appearance in the Driller newscast. I got a substantial raise that I asked for at the beginning of the year, but had been working to earn since I got here.
If you are that unapologetic feminist or that unapologetic Latina that has a fire burning inside you, I see you, I support you, and I wish I didn’t complicated things for myself and could hold such passion and fearlessness.