This past week I spent four days with some of the most amazing women I have ever met. I got to hear their personal stories and their passions. Recently, I have been finding myself inspired more by people in real life who are relatable to me which it took me a long time to realize. I have been trying to make the people around me understand me, my interests and accept me. But being around all these women made me realize that other people don’t need to understand me and accept me; all that matters is that I accept myself.
I had been searching for a community and people who were like-minded and it took me traveling 1,840 miles to find it. I am truly blessed to be a part of the We All Grow Latina Network and I had no idea how much it would influence me. I thought I was joining this network to gain followers and to connect with brands, but attending the WAG Summit made me realize that it is so much more than that. It’s about empowering other Latinas and encouraging the growth of our community because we do matter, we can make a difference and we will change lives.
Being Latina is of course something that has always been part of me. For the first five years of my life, I only knew Spanish and only had been exposed to my Mexican culture. Once I moved to the suburbs, it changed my life forever. I can recall several times driving into our suburban neighborhood telling my parents to turn down the Spanish music. And I always remember them asking me why, and I would reply with “we’re in Plainfield now.” Even as a five year old, I was suppressing my background because I thought we had to be like all the other families in my neighborhood.
I never realized until this weekend that I wasn’t embracing my background that I left behind in Cicero. Once I moved, I didn’t realize that I left the Latina part of me there. I now notice that the only time I feel like I embrace my background is either in Cicero, around my family or with other Latinos. I no longer want this to be the case; I want to be who I am all the time.
Joining the WAG Network has done that for me. In today’s society you can feel so connected to people all over the world. So even though I am apart from all those powerful, beautiful women; I still feel their passion everyday by seeing them post and write about their dreams. Going to the summit has inspired me to embrace my Latina side more than ever. I want to set an example for other Latinas and show them that we do matter, we are equal, and we will make a difference.
When one grows, we all grow.