I had an interesting conversation today…

I had a conversation with someone who sounded just like me, like a Joanna of two or three years back. It was interesting, it was comforting.

Do you ever feel a sense of responsibility? (she asked me and now I am asking you)

Are you the daughter or son of an immigrant? Do you come from a small town? Maybe you’ve decided to pursue your dream instead of following the “safe path”. Five out of the seven days of the week, you question your path, you wonder if you’re doing the “right” thing. It’s an exhausting battle, and a battle you have with yourself.

It wasn’t until I was in a situation of stress, anxiety, and frustration that I decided to speak up. When I did, I learned I wasn’t alone.

At times, we set high expectations for ourselves… maybe a bit unrealistic. This was confirmed today.

Confession. My high school was ranked as one of the lowest testing schools in the district, in the state. I come from a town where stability is most important. Dreams are limited. Happiness is the goal but not always the case. Aside from my background, I wanted to aim high… I aim high.

In her case, she felt a sense of responsibility being one of the few Latinas to have received a college degree in her circle of friends and family… who now will pursue a graduate degree, which only builds to the anxiety already present. She feels there is a gap in media outlets, and feels as if she’s responsible for getting the voice of her community out there.

As she said all of this, I smiled… I was hearing myself speak.

I responded, “you’re going to be just fine.”

You’re going to be just fine as long as you take a moment to breathe, to live, to work things through, to understand, to learn and explore, to mess up, to be okay with that.

We all want to be the next Sonia Sotomayor (maybe?), we want to have an impact, we want to bring about change. Together, I believe we can. Alone, I don’t think so.

Overnight, definitely not.

Por lo tanto, preparación, atención, consistencia… “con eso y un poco de tiempo, se logrará. Ten paciencia”, le dije.