Why create a blog?
I have always enjoyed taking pictures. Even when I was younger, I wanted to document every moment. From taking pictures, to writing in my journal, to creating collages about what was happening in my life. I still have my journal named Lucky, from when I was seven. I treasure the craft to connect and express ones’ values through art.
So when social media arrived, the passion remained. And the wide variety of outlets allowed me to continue this creative process more steadily. It was always a hobby for me but it was a personal one. My world was only shared with my family, few friends and screened acquaintances. Over the years I continued documenting and posting anything I loved; my family, our activities, my food, my culture, quotes, education, my frustrations with the current climate…you name it. The only change is that I no longer feel the need to be private but rather feel the need to spread love and positivity. This world needs it.
What makes your blog standout? Some color and context.
The number one word that comes to mind is versatility. I am a brown woman, NY teacher, feminist, mother of three children and happily married. I was raised on the Lower East Side by a single mother in an impoverished neighborhood. My childhood and early adulthood navigated and experienced the Lillian Wald Housing Projects. My mother raised two successful daughters all by herself. It wasn’t always an easy and fun experience but rather than allowing a rough past deter me, I focused on getting a great education.
I was also part of a school pilot program that provided resources to the inner-city youth. This kept me off the streets and allowed me to do well with my Regents and have a great educational foundation. It wasn’t easy for me but my work ethic was strong. I eventually achieved my Bachelors from Stony Brook University (2003) and Masters from Pace University (2008).
I began my special education teacher journey in 2005 and I continue to service inner-city students to this day. You see, I was once just like them and feel I have a bigger purpose. “A person who is book smart and street smart is dangerous and will always find a way to survive. Never underestimate us.” I have been fortunate to provide teaching services throughout the years and I am a metaphor for experiencing beauty as a result of a struggle.
I am the rose that grew out of the concrete. I’m now a NYC teacher, residing in Long Island and happily married to a NYPD officer. We are a working class brown family striving to give our three children what they need in order to be positive, influential and active citizens; while encouraging them to celebrate their Puerto Rican Heritage.
What type of fan base do you hope to attract?
I want to be inclusive of all in my journey but I can only be honest through my brown lens. I can only speak my truth. There are many untold stories. There are many false narratives. I just want to provide an authentic, good energy, experience. All are welcomed. Social media is a powerful tool that can help convey this. I have always been a fan of an underdog experience. I feel like there are so many ‘Rocky’ versions that need to be heard. It’s time to share my version to the world.
I am perfectly imperfect and that is ok. “The real glow up is when you stop waiting to turn into some perfect version of yourself and consciously enjoy who you are in the present.” It is my responsibility to arm people with factual and researched information, which is empowering. Using this platform, I will be sharing my experiences, open to asking questions on many topics, learning to embrace my discomfort with areas of concern and hoping to just grow, while being vulnerable. Will you join me on this journey?
What is my Utopian goal?
Like any Utopian society, I envision a fair society. Where everyone is treated fairly. Where education is embraced. Where poverty is not frowned upon but serviced. Where we are all treated with respect. Where we support one another and resources are in abundance. My hopes are to eventually service impoverished neighborhoods with education and resources. We need a greater experience.
As an educator, I adore the words of Toni Morrison when she stated, “I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.” I just want to see everyone winning.