My Narnia

Currently in Narnia, it’s amazing.

Just kidding, man do I wish Narnia existed. Could you imagine? I would’ve run away from life a long time ago.

I am not in Narnia, but I am currently being sucked into the vortex of academic literature.

Specifically, I am working on a literature review assignment for my Intro Latino/Latin American Studies seminar. While I dread writing the paper (mostly because I have less than two days to do it), I am currently living for all of these articles I am finding.

Of course, that means narrowing down a topic has been tough, but I think I am going to focus on Afro-Latinx identity in the U.S., I think.

One of the professors who I totally wanna be when I grow up told me that he got his master’s degree in Latin American Studies for selfish reasons, he really just wanted to learn about himself.

You know, like when people used to tell me I was a psych major because I was trynna figure out my own “crazy”? Welp, I am using this graduate program to learn about myself too.

There’s just so much out there-even though in the grand scheme of things the field is still relatively small- and I wanna read it all.

I wish I could just spend the entirety of my days reading and doing nothing else. Like, I think I would get around to wanting to do my own research, but right now I’m super content just reading what other people have studied.

I say this all the time, but I genuinely can’t believe I am here right now and have this opportunity.

My entire life is essentially one big identity struggle, like on the daily, so it’s nice to be able to use my courses to learn more about myself. It’s refreshing to see that this identity shit is in fact as complicated for everyone else as it seems to be for me.

To the people who actually read and/or follow this blog, I’d love to hear about your “Narnia”, or just anything really. Thanks for reading my ramblings, I gotta go back to Narnia and get some shit done.

Nunca soy

Voy a escribir algunos de mis blog posta en español desde ahora porque yo quiero practicar el idioma de mi patria.

¿Preguntes pero Victoria, su patria es los Estados Unidos?

Si, técnicamente, este desorden de un país es mi patria, pero no pertenezco aquí.

Cada día es una batalla de declarar mi posición y identidad en este mundo.

Es algo que pesa mucho en mi mente. Nunca me siento segura en mi identidad y no se como resolverlo.

Creo que hablando el idioma de mi gente es un paso en la dirección correcta pero también creo que no es justo que nunca soy suficiente para nadie. nunca.

She’s baccckkk

Went to the first concert I’ve been to since high school the other night, and I’m not gonna lie, it was magical.

There’s something about singing along with 16,000 other people that sorta gives you those Disney World vibes.

At the end of the concert, Drake talked about how people coming together to enjoy life regardless of their differences is what life should be about.

He’s not wrong, it’s amazing how the power of some things can really make you forget about all your worries. But..

Everyday I wake up and go about my day and am in some way reminded that I am different from other people. Yesterday, in my Latinos in U.S. education class, a question was posed basically asking if Latino students still face being stereotyped by educators etc.

We sure fucking do, which is why I love this Latinos in U.S. Ed class so much. The professor is a Puerto Rican man from New York who grew up poor and now works on changing the way the educational system functions for Latinos. He’s essentially what I wanna be when I grow up, and I didn’t realize that until I sat through his class yesterday. For the first time in ever, I am super fucking excited about a course.

There are so many elements of the course that I love, but I guess what I love most is that it feels like home. My home is only an hour and ten minute drive from here, and I’m not really the type to get homesick anymore, in fact, this class has felt more like home than my real home has in a while.

I think what’s most exciting is that it is a space in which I have some insider knowledge, but am also still learning so much more. Like, I can’t believe I didn’t know that Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash while attempting to do some great humanitarian work. May seem like a random fact, and not at all connected to my interests, but it’s one of those facts that actually sparks my interests further and creates new ones.

I love learning about myself (not in a cocky way I promise). I love learning the things they don’t teach you in school, that I can actually one day maybe convince people to teach in schools.

I have found a space in which my worries really do dissipate, and not because we sit in class singing together and trying to focus on the positives instead of on our differences and problems. It’s because it’s a space in which all of my problems, issues, inner conflicts over my identity etc feel validated.

The Raging Latina is back y’all, in full force, and she’s ready to change the world. So maybe one day people wont gather and have joy in spite of their differences, but because of them.

Room of my soul,

I just finished reading Inés of My Soul by Isabel Allende and I am the giddiest person alive right now.

If any of you have read the book and are thinking there must be something wrong with me because “giddy” is not a feeling you’d expect the book to leave a reader with, you are absolutely right.

I am giddy because I am in my favorite place, doing my favorite things.

My room is my serenity. Literally everything else outside of this room could be shit and falling apart, but as soon as I’m in here nothing else matters. Well, order matters. Last night wasn’t the best night for me in my room because I hadn’t finished unpacking and organizing my life.

BUT now that the unpacking and organizing is done, I am basking in the joy that my room brings me.

A few hours of my day were spent reading in my bed, and I gotta say, I was quite content. I also started a puzzle and jammed to some music, but reading was definitely the best part.

Reading has the power to transport you to a different world, and the safest place to get lost in a different world is in my cozy bed in my peaceful room.

Throughout the story, Inés recounts tails of love and courage, and all around being a bad ass woman. I aspire to be the bad ass woman she is.

Her character goes through a tremendous amount of challenges, but never gives up or backs down. I want people to one day think of me in the way they would think of a strong character like Inés.

I don’t need money or fame, I don’t need popularity or for everyone to love me, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wanna be knowing for being a boss at life.

I am going to be a boss like Inés and one day instead of having just a room of my soul, I’ll have an apartment and then a house of my soul. If walls could talk my room would have a lot to say. It has played a huge role in making me who I am today. I know that sounds kinda silly but it’s true.

I’ve cried, laughed, danced, studied, workedout, thrown concerts, cried, and learned so much about myself in this room. I’ve had the greatest of epiphanies while lying on my bed staring at the ceiling .

And tonight, I’m starting my second book of the summer. I am hard at work expanding my Latinx book collection and I’m really excited for this next one because it’s written in Spanish.

So this Latina goddess is gonna head back to basking in the serenity of her room and read a little more before she calls it a night.

Cue JT..

It’s May.

If you haven’t been singing “It’s gonna be May” for the past week then your a square or a child.

It’s May 1st and I’m scheduled to walk across that stage on May 6th. Just two final exams stand between me and that day and I can’t believe I’ve made it.

I’m excited, so excited, like I’m not going to be bringing my nerd ass right back to this corny campus in the fall.

I’m ready to go (as in, on to the next chapter of my life) and never look back. That’s what my cap says, it reads :

“Nunca mires pa’tras” – “Never look back”

I was going for the keep moving forward, “Siempre pa’lante no mires pa’tras” – “Always forward, don’t look back” vibe.

Now, is it okay to look back at some things? Absolutely! Positive memories are important, but boy am I ready to leave everything negative behind.

I’m so pumped to keep moving forward and to keep exploring my passions. Everything happens for a reason and I am going to make the most of all of my life.

Everything is falling into place and I couldn’t be more excited. Watch out y’all, here I come.

Issa Identity Crisis

Today I high key, low key had a mini identity crisis.

Well, really, it’s an ongoing one. One that I’ve written about in essays for both my undergraduate and graduate applications, one that will probably plague me my entire life.

I don’t remember exactly when I started defining myself as Afro-Latina, but it was definitely in recent years. Every once in a while I freak out because I feel like an imposter.

My life is s never ending series of feeling like an imposter in many different ways based on all my identities , in fact. I’m too Black for White people, too White for Black people, and not Latina enough for Latinos. I know both what it means to struggle financially/ live in a household that gets by basically paycheck to paycheck, what it’s like to stay in a luxury hotel outside of the country. I know what it is to attend school whose population is mostly minorities, and attend one that is predominantly white.

All in all, I’ve experienced a lot and am not easily defined. I’ve always sorta just considered myself to be in the middle of everything.

The only problem is, sometimes being in the middle means being lost. If you ask some people I’m “dark for a Puerto Rican” if you ask others, I’m too white. My hair is curly but my curls aren’t as tight as my mom’s. I’m a solid tan, even more so with the tiniest bit of sun exposure, but my skin isn’t as dark as my mom’s or my brother’s.

Not having those two features phenotypically play out on my body as prominently makes me wonder if I can even claim to be Afro-Latina. It’s seems completely ridiculous to boil down an identity to just hair and skin tone, but unfortunately many people do. This is why a lot of people would see me as a fraud. But, if my mom and my maternal grandmother are Afro-Latina, I am too right? My dad’s family has some Afro-Latino roots too. So why am I struggling?

The honest answer is because society is screwed and all my life I’ve been fed all sorts of mixed signals about race and ethnicity.

So like, I know how crazy this all might sound, but do you wanna know what snapped me out of feeling like a fraud?

First, I searched #afrolatina on Instagram and found beauties of all shapes, colors, sizes, hair textures etc. Then, I compared myself to one of the two biggest Latinas that everyone in the media sees as like the Latina mold, Jennifer Lopez.

I’m talking I scoped through her insta, took a screenshot, and put our pictures side by side. And guess what?

I DONT LOOK ANYTHING LIKE ONE OF THE ONLY LATINA FIGURES I HAD TO LOOK UP TO GROWING UP.

That’s not a total surprise to me, but for whatever reason, it helped confirm my identity. I feel awful even saying all this, and thinking all this, but I think my story is a reality that a lot of people face.

I’m an Afro-Latina goddess, and more than just my skin and hair goes into making me one. I am an Afro-Latina goddess and I’m not a perfect one. So if this blog post offends you in any way please reach out and tell me, I’d love to continue the convo. If you just wanna chat or have questions, you can hmu too 🙂

Here’s the deal,

I don’t typically write statuses on Facebook, in fact, the only thing that is really on my timeline now are my blog posts.

Today I felt compelled to write a status for a few reasons, but before I tell you about them, here’s what the status said:

“I just want everyone to know that I’m literally never going to stop talking about how I’m graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree because something like 15% of Latinos in the U.S. ages 25-29 have one. I also won’t shut up about grad school because somewhere around 5% of Latinas go on to complete a Master’s Degree by age 29.

So if you have a problem with it or find it “obnoxious” you can exit stage left 🤷🏽‍♀️”

The “obnoxious” part was specifically in reference to the fact that some White Fox News anchors decided to negate a young Black boy’s accomplishment of getting into 20 colleges/universities by claiming it was obnoxious for him to apply to so many and take up so many spots that kids on the waiting list want.

I don’t think I really need to explain how utterly repulsive and ridiculous this is, but I will say a few things. I promise none of those anchors or the people who agree with them would have made it into half of those universities. Kids who make it on the waiting list are 1) likely to turn out just fine 2) should be praised for having been qualified to make it to the waitlist just as this young man should be praised for having gotten into 20 schools. Point blank period.

I applied to more schools than recommended, some that I knew I would never go to but had to prove I was good enough for. I got into some of the most well known schools in this country, and like this young man, Michael Brown, had to deal with haters.

Never in my life did I think people would legitimately chalk up my success to affirmative action, boy was I wrong. I worked my ass off in high school, did amazingly on the SATs, was super involved in extracurricular, but people wanted to say I only got where I was because I’m Latina. They’re right, but not in the way they think they are.

I wasn’t chosen for acceptance over some White kid more qualified than me. I was not given hefty scholarships because I live with my mom who is a severely underpaid teacher. LOL nope, you best believe those big schools asked for my dad’s financials and those didn’t warrant much aid.

I got into those schools, and have succeeded swimmingly over the past four years because I’m a badass Latina who believes in herself, knows her worth, and works her ass off.

No one will ever be allowed to take my accomplishments from me.