3am, 2am, 2am, 2am, 1am. The time I went to sleep this last week.
Why do I WORK SO HARD?
Why do I act with such URGENCY?
Because of these two people right here.
My parents literally have given EVERYTHING to give me and my siblings a better shot at life, they have made unbelievable sacrifices, continued to believe in me when no one else did, told me to keep going, never told me I was dreaming too big or wanted too much.
You see, the story really begins a LONG time ago. My family doesn't come from wealth or power, not in a traditional sense at least. But, I do come from a long line of certified warriors, leaders, healers, and badasses.
I have to start wayyyyy back, with mis abuelitas and abuelitos, who set an example of what it means to be a beacon of strength for your family and community. Especially thinking of what my abuelitas stood for, these BADASS MUJERES, how they showed up in the world being women who lived during a time when the world wasn't used to women yielding such strength and power ... I can't help but know their essence and history is part of me today.
Both, mis abuelitas are TOTAL badasses. My abuelita from my mom's side, had fourteen, yes FOURTEEN, babies all in "El Rancho," pretty much in the middle-of-no-where Mexico. These births weren't in a hospital, nope, it was just with whatever resources you could find on your own. My grandpa and grandma, were the leaders for their little community. They were the force behind building the ONE school, paving the roads, and bringing electricity to their town. My grandma, was not only beautiful, but diplomatic, sharp, loving, and yielded a silent but commanding power.
Mi abuelita from my dad's side became a widow when she had 10 kids to take care of. She was left to handle the household, to care for the kids, and somehow make ends meet as a widowed woman during that time. It was a common occurrence for 20-30 people to eat at my grandma's every day, and she thus had to manage a household in which 20-30 people came in and out on a daily basis. On her freaking own. Every time I think of what it must have been like to be my grandma, I'm just in awe at how she led her family with grace, kindness, and strength.
So my parents came from these badasses. My mom is a freaking warrior, healer, badass spiritual leader with an indomitable spirit, and always, always the life of the party. My mom was 13th out of 14 kids, and she lived through incredible scarcity in her childhood. The stories I've heard still leave a knot in my throat as I think about these times, and how hard she fought to fight against ALL the odds. My mom has always LOVED reading (I guess this is where I get it from). When she was little, she would hide in the mango trees, where no one could reach her, so she could read uninterrupted. Then, some nuns that were visiting noticed how much she loved to learn and they urged my grandparents to let her study. She went off to the "big city" all on her own as a teen, and struggled through hunger and sexism, but never gave up. My mom went to receive her Masters in Chemistry and Physics. Mic-freaking-drop. Ummmm....really?!! How amazing is this woman?!!!! Then after immigrating to the US, she spent years at the community college teaching herself English, was the most active parent on EVERY parent organization, and she FOUGHT to make sure her kids had as many opportunities as any other kid in any wealthier town or zip-code. I can go on for days, one day in a book, I will.
Then there's my dad. Whose tales I heard for years of his adventures as a young man. Who shaped so much of my values system, and who literally has done EVERYTHING in his power to take care of his family. My dad who has NEVER relied on society to tell him what's right and wrong, who listens to the beating of his own drum. Who is a certified genius, but didn't care to follow what traditional society told him success looked like, nope, he was going to do his own thing. One of the most spiritual and wise people I have EVER met, even from all the books I've read, sometimes I think I need to just have a recording and write the things he says. He who as a young kid had to start using crutches, then a wheelchair, and who said, YOU CAN'T FREAKING STOP ME, and still kept on going being a total badass. Who's done every job under the sun to take care of his families. He who taught me to never take no for an answer. Whose lame jokes always make me crack up. These tales, and jokes, to come too. Honey badger don't care. My dad is the original honey badger.
They both have taught me relentlessness. Kindness. Faith. Liveliness. Passion. Laughter. Sarcasm. Gratitude. Having a larger vision. Giving it your all until you succeed.
Every time, I choke up thinking of all my parents have been through to give my brother, sister, and I a better chance at life.
You think I'm going to work my ass off to show them that their sacrifices were worth it? To make sure that they never have to want for ANYTHING? To make sure that the rest of their many years here on earth are full of the ease, abundance, and adventure? You bet.
These two are my why.
I will keep going. Will keep WORKING. Will keep showing up. Iterating. Doing what it freaking takes, because they are my why.
What's YOUR why?
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