Dear Querida Lunita,
I consider myself an activist. So much so it is hard for me to focus on anything else. I have a full time job that I hate but keep to pay the bills.
I am tired all the time & my performance has gone from bad to worse. I have a feeling that my managers have noticed & can feel the hate from my co-workers for having to pick up my work load. What should I do?
Feeling really stuck,
Si Se Puede
Querido/a/x Si Se Puede,
First off, good for you for being passionate about causes that affect humanity & putting action behind the words. Many times, activism happens in the heat of the moment & soon enough people start slacking either because they aren’t sure what to do or find it too hard to make the sacrifices required to be the change.
That said, para tu carro “Si Se Puede”, it sounds to me like you are about to burn out & that is not good for you or the those counting on you.
In order to stay effective, you must pace yourself & give yourself a lot self-care. The work you are doing is very emotional for many different reasons & we need warriors like you to be fresh.
Now regarding work…to wake up & dred getting out of bed to get to a job you can’t stand is the worst! But since you recognize it, there is still hope.
If you feel like you will get the boot any day now, how about having a serious conversation with the manager you most trust. Ask him/her if there is you can pivot into doing the company’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion work? But slow your roll, you need to show up prepared, do some research on the industry & give a little taste of the value you will bring. This includes asking for a salary increase push back & hate you might get from haters.
If it’s a no go & you can honestly not improve your performance, start looking for another job. With job markets shifting because if Covid, there are tons of employers desperate to fill spots. Some of us need something to light a fire under our ass to make change happen & I have a feeling you do.
If that’s the case, give your notice before you get sacked. ASAP if you can afford to or are willing to sacrifice housing like another roommate or crashing with a relative or friend. But pick up your chonis & clean the bathroom & kitchen, cuz like mi ama always said, “los muertos y los arrimados a los 3 días apestan”. Hopefully your employer will need more than 2 weeks to fill your position & you’ll have found employment somewhere that suits your passion & pays the bills.
There is no sense working 2 full-time jobs.
Buena suerte Si Se Puede!
Help me!!! My gramma found my birth control & some condoms in my drawer while putting away my laundry ( I asked not to do either). I am 20 years old & came back home from college during quarantine.
I’m not going to get into my sex life but I will say my parents raised us kids me to own our sexuality & make responsible decisions based on factual knowledge & empowerment & mutual respect. They emphasize that anything to do with my body & life is my choice & they would never judge me & always support me.
Abuelita confronted me about it but refused to have a conversation. Basically she shamed me & in not so many words, called me a “libertina” & a “puta”. The last 6 months have been torture because we have always been super close. She doesn’t speak to me, can’t look me in the eye & leaves the room when I enter. The rest of our tias & primos are DYING to know what happened.
My parents have been respectful & haven’t pressured me to tell them. I haven’t told my dad (her son) because they began repairing their relationship a few years ago & I don’t want to ruin that because of this.
Like a Virgin
Dear Like a Virgin,
I am so sorry to hear that your Ride or Die Abuelita hasn’t spoken to you in 6 months! That must be so painful & difficult being under the same roof. Add to that the chismosos stoking the fires, & that is a lot of shaming & negativity to put up with on your part. You don’t deserve to be holding that. I hope you are getting mental health support & if you haven’t, please do.
As LatinX, we sometimes normalize & hold our families shame around sex, especially with our viejitos. We don’t want to make them uncomfortable, keep the peace, or we assume they are stubborn & think the conversation isn’t worth attempting. We caretake our parents because of the struggles we have seen them go through & we don’t want to add to their problems. We take on adult problems that are not ours to take on & so the cycle of silence & shame perpetuates itself.
In your case, I think you have given Abuelita enough time to feel her feelings, reflect & look within. Since she continues to stay stuck in her judgement it’s time to try another tactic. It won’t be easy but, give her one final chance to sit down with you process the why of her hurtful reaction. Don’t worry, we agree you are a whole grown ass woman & don’t owe anyone explanations. Instead, if she agrees, I challenge you to approach it from a space of curiosity & openness.
You can try something similar to this:
“Gramma it makes me sad you called me (x) & that you ignore me. I miss our relationship…”
& ask these clarifying questions:
-“Please help me understand what you felt about me & why?
-What is it that you are assuming about me?
-Ask gramma what her conversations surrounding sex were with her parents, partner(s)_girlfriends, daughters, sons, sisters, etc . Could thing have been better or worse with more openness? _How & why?
If the conversation flows positively & you feel called to explain your reasons, do so in a simplistic manner that can bridge the generational gap. Por ejemplo,
-“If there is a person I do decide to have sex with, I don’t want to put myself at risk of diseases or pregnancy. This way, I have control of the outcome.”
-“Abuela, if I don’t date different people (sex or not) how will I find the best partner for me?”
On the other hand, if she doesn’t want to talk to you. It’s time to bring in the big guns & that is her son. Having your father explain his reasons for being so open with you from the jump may hit her different. They’d be connecting parent to parent & be able to process the feelings of shame & guilt together. Perhaps there is repair work around the topic of sex that they need to work out.
Luckily Like a Virgin, it sounds like your dad is a G & has done the work to be that container for her since he did it for you. Sometimes, re-parenting our parents is part of the intergenerational healing work & maybe this one belongs to your dad. It’s comes with living in community & that is ok. It sounds like this parental sex convo is long overdue.
Claiming your sexuality & having the freedom to express it may also be part of the intergenerational healing work for G-Ma (Gee-ma).
So, por si’acas, …do you Booboo. CCCCHHHHAAAAUUUUUU!!! (wink, wink)