Working It for others and working it for me…

Got a couple of emails that made my day:  one was praising a writing job that I had done, the other thanking me for helping her reach a much-needed goal: getting a job.   This got me thinking about what it is that makes me do what I do…what it is that gives me that joy that I have when I work with others, that joy that can be so easily lost when things get stressful…if I’m not careful.

A task that can become stressful for the person waiting for it:  a proposal…sitting here laughing at how long it took me to write up a proposal … over an hour … this has rarely happened in YEARS.  But it showed me something:  that  1) I’m a little out of practice; and 2) I’m not THAT out of practice LOL!!!     It’s been about a year since I’ve been asked to write proposals, think out of the box, come up with ideas on the spot.

I’ve always been told that I have a bunch of energy, that I talk fast, I walk fast, I move fast, I drive fast, I think fast, etc.  True.  But I’ve also been really trying to harness that energy to work in my favor 🙂  It’s an inner energy that I’ve always possessed, a little buzz that has been able to motivate me to come up with ideas for events and organize things, it’s helped me organize my familia’s many events, helped my colleagues bring in that “feria”.   It’s a positive energy that has rarely let me down and allowed me to deliver what I promise – even when I didn’t feel like it 🙂

I’ve been doing the flipside for the past year — putting all of that energy into others, helping them find their way back from unemployment, find their power back, find that “it” that could lead to an interview and or a job.  I’ve dealt with people from all walks of life, all races, all ages, with one thing in common:  they want to get their groove back so that they can succeed.  I have learned so much about cultures other than my own, the fun part:  I learned to become better at ebonics thanks to my African Am clients with whom I connected from the first second of meeting them; learned more slang from my beloved Latino clientes especially the mexicanada and salvadorenos.   Learned the great importance of treating people with respect and dignity while maintaining a good sense of humor.   I have learned how to NOT judge a book by its cover, to look for the best in people and to show them how to capitalize on that “it”.     Finding and using your positive energy is one thing:  finding someone who respects that process and “gets it” is another.  Believe me, I saw sooo many people who are so different but all have this in common:  they have this positive energy in them, they just need to learn how to find it and use it to their advantage — I know that this will not be the last experience that I will have in motivating others,  I really believed in these folks … a lot of these folks are street-smart and would smell it if someone was fake or offensive with them.  Even when I would tell them that ‘ya me tienen harta/you’re driving me crazy’; it was all good because we related well to each other

Now that move into the next phase of my life; the goal for me will be to try to keep that joy that I’ve had for the past year and transfer that very positive energy into my many projects.     I expect that I will have to read this entry over and over to remember how cool it was for me to help others achieve their goals:  now I’ve got to practice this on myself as I get myself and my projects back in gear … can I do it?

Not easy … I tend to take care of others and other things before myself…I was asked on Friday  ‘how do you take care of yourself?’ and I swear I didn’t really know how to answer but reading thru this entry will help me get started:  motivate myself, be gentle with myself thru the process, cheer myself on when things go good or bad, to learn how to read myself better and practice, practice, practice being positive until it becomes a reality!


The Importance of Seeing People Like Me

I’ve worked within my Latino community for my entire life thus have been able to meet and see many people whom I really admire.   Last night, LUPE ONTIVEROS, beloved Latina actress, passed away.  She was one of the very first brown faces that I ever saw on TV and in movies…the very first movie I saw her in was “El Norte” when she played the hilarious Nacha … I remember thinking, ‘man, I wish I could speak Spanish/Spanglish like she does’ and she was always so funny.   Lupe Ontiveros is one of those actresses that, once you see her, you will know that you saw her in something…

I got to meet Lupe a couple of years ago at an event at the Mexican Heritage Plaza where she talked about her life and her work … such a positive lady and I remember her joking about how many times she played maids LOL  over 150 at least and the first thing she said when she came onto the stage was, “and NO, I did not kill Selena”!

It was always so important that there was a Latina who looked normal, someone I could relate to, someone who could make me laugh and cry at the same time, someone who I could look up to.  Lupe Ontiveros paved the way for many many Latino celebrities and I admire her for doing so without losing her sense of self, community, cultura, and uniqueness.  God Bless Lupe Ontiveros and her familia.  RIP.