Not unlike many other great ideas, the inspiration for this blog hit me one night out of nowhere. I immediately shared it with my boyfriend Taylor, called my mom and shared with her, the next day I told my group of friends at work and also called my best friend and told her. While I love sharing information, both good and bad, the desire to share this information was rooted in a strong desire to get support — and, when needed, swift kicks in the butt — from my loved ones. (I tend to need a few swift kicks here and there.)
Truth is, I’ve always been a writer. When I was in seventh grade, an eighth grader whom I rode a little private school bus home with and I shared a friendship journal. Back in the mid-nineties, friendship journals were all the rage, at least where I grew up. “Honey” and I wrote about all sorts of things, including bad things that neither of us were supposed to be doing. None of it was awful or illegal, mind you, but the points of discussion were definitely things we didn’t want our parents or teachers finding out about. Lo and behold, one of us left the journal behind somewhere at school. Because we attended a parochial school, grades pre-K through eighth were all housed in the same campus. One of the counselors for the elementary side found the notebook…and read it. I guess she did a little investigation and found me. It couldn’t have been hard, but she went out of her way to locate me somewhere in the middle school side. One afternoon, I was in the hallway on my way to the bathroom and she pulled me aside. This woman, whose name I don’t remember, had the kindest eyes I’d ever seen. She smiled as she handed me the journal. My heart dropped. I thought I was going to be so. busted. it. wasn’t. even. funny. Well, I wasn’t. She talked to me in very honest terms about some of the things we wrote about and said something that stuck with me always: “Whatever you do, never stop writing.”
The years went by, and I took her advice; although I was in my second year of college and still did not know what I wanted to be when I grew up, I earned a journalism degree. I wrote for the Miami Herald, interned at Univision and NBC6, and I probably could’ve been an on-air reporter in a very small market as the token Latina. But I didn’t. I left the world of journalism and became a teacher. But not just any teacher. A journalism teacher.
I also teach World Literature to very rowdy, very complicated sophomores whom I love with my whole heart. I happen to wear heels to work every day with very few exceptions. I get teased by my colleagues relentlessly about this daily decision. The heels I choose are not practical, as you may have guessed. They are high. At least four inches. I really wouldn’t have it any other way. I own two pairs of ballet flats, both purchased for me by my mom. “You’re going to regret wearing heels when you’re old and have juanetes!” Both pairs of flats gave me blisters the first time I wore them, so a girl’s gotta ask herself, “Flats: get blisters and look matronly? or heels: sore feet but look fabulous?”
The choice here, ladies, is painfully obvious.
I hope this blog evolves into whatever it is supposed to be. All I know is that everything is better in a pair of heels. Even teaching.