(Photo: Yulissa’s tagging on the front door.)
June 18, 2020
Dear Yulissa & Santiago,
This is the first of (hopefully) many letters that I will be writing to both of you–yes, published publicly as a blog. Honestly, it has been so many months since I wanted to start doing this; since you, Yulissa, were only a few months old. You’re about to turn 2 years now and little Santiago is not even 2 months old. What I am most excited for though, is for my friends to begin writing letters to either you or their own little ones as well. This is a space that I have created to share our experiences as we learn to become better people, so that hopefully YOU can be the best version of yourselves–better than all of us who came before you.
When I was in middle school (which as of today is 18 years ago), I used to write pointless blog entries on Xanga.com. (I just checked and it looks like they are trying to re-launch a new version. Let me know if it still exists in your time). I used to write about my trips from my middle school campus to the 711 across the street. That is probably the only thing I can clearly recall writing about, Hot Fries and Slurpees. I remember loving changing the themes on my blog and later, enjoyed doing some amateur coding for my MySpace profile. Eventually Facebook and Instagram came along and this is where I am at. I am living in the year 2020 without a Tik Tok account and possibly other platforms I am not even aware of. But as I begin these letters, in a worldwide web that is saturated with so much content, I have you in mind and you are my inspiration to do what I have been wanting to do for many years: write my story.
Since you are family, I can admit to you that I have been making up excuses to do all the things that I want do. The worst part is that I am physically able to do so, and have the resources and skills to do so, pero nada (until today after such a long time). As you read these letters, you will begin to see how mental health plays such an instrumental role in our day to day lives, including in our creativity.
I decided today that I must push myself to create, express myself, and do work that will help improve the lives others. Even if it is a simple letter to you, my little ones.
My goal is that through this writing exercise I can unpack years of trauma, emotions, and so much more to heal myself and in turn, our family. Plan B is to finally make an appointment with a therapist. I hope by the time you read this we have free healthcare for all in the U.S., because therapy is expensive! I truly look forward to writing to you about so many topics–from current issues that we are experiencing with their historical context, to a song I think you should hear in the year 2035, or whenever you read this.
I can’t wait to share our stories with you, mis chiquitos.
Your Tía Ara
P.S. Today was the day that the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against “President” Trump’s attempt to end DACA. Yup, props to the SCOTUS for the second time this week.
P.P.S. Also today, Ethnic Studies is officially a requirement for CSU’s. My plan is to push for K-12 Ethnic Studies, which in the future should be addressed simply as History.
P.P.P.S. Black Lives Matter. Always and forever.