This morning, I had the opportunity to listen to Astronaut Jose Hernandez speak. We are from the same area and, while I knew about him going from farm worker to astronaut; I confess, I never really knew his story. Now granted, I have never had aspirations of working it as an astronaut, but, as he spoke, I found that I could totally relate to his advice on the importance of having goals and making a road map to get you where you want to be.
I really enjoyed his storytelling as well. I’m always looking for authors whom I can relate to, who can tell my story. Just as I search for authors, I always listen to any Latinos who speak to see if they tell my story. I’ve heard many many many Latinos and Latinas speak yet no one came as close as Dr. Hernandez did this morning. He was funny without really even trying, he broke out the Spanglish as many of us do, and proceeded to talk about the important things we all share: familia, education, goals.
Familia is key to keeping you safe, on an emotional level, as you pursue your goals. Who else can you trust enough to tell you straight-up truth, keep it real, and support you at the same time? Hearing the stories about family as he spoke in Spanglish were hilarious, heartwarming and they hit home for me.
As in his house, for us, college was not an option but an expectation. Our parents told us to try college for one semester and, if it wasn’t for us, it wasn’t for us. Part of Dr. Hernandez’ plan included putting in the work, no excuses, to get what you want, no matter what you are trying to accomplish. I kept thinking about 2 or 3 unfinished life goals that I am now inspired to revisit and ‘get on it’ to make these goals a reality.
My father only needed to take us to work the fields very few times before we knew that it wasn’t for us, and that, like both our parents, we were destined to study and earn a living another way, not in the fields. I’ve learned, thru my education, that my job is what I’ve worked for…radio and events are not for everyone and there is no way that I would have known that I could make a living at it had I not gone to college, university and got all into clubs, campus radio, events and taken the classes. I always joke that I get now get paid for what I had always done for free since I was a child.
Our world today needs role models. Role models are not just for the very young or those young people who are just starting out; they are also very important for those of us adults who tend to get stuck in our ways, in the way it’s always been done, living in “I can’t”, “I don’t have time”, or “I shouldn’t” mentality, who need an attitude adjustment along with a kick in the ass to get moving. The most important thing I learned was that we never stop learning and, if we can work through our fears and insecurities, that we can achieve more than we ever imagined.
At least, that’s how I want to do it. Once I get out of my own way.
I’ll have to thank Dr. Hernandez for this much needed “patada” the next time I see him LOL.