Right before we entered lockdown, I left my job. I expected my job search to be difficult, but what I didn’t expect was a global pandemic to make it nearly impossible. In one interview, I was asked, “Do you have any family members that may have to rely on your care if they get sick?”
Eventually, four months later, after submitting over 10 resumes a week, I found a job. I started the job in quarantine, which meant that I had to work from home. While for some it’s been a catastrophe, being home actually helped me focus. I didn’t have to worry about what I should wear to work, or what I could contribute to painful office small-talk. Working from home allowed me to center myself, to volunteer more, and to start projects I was passionate about.
One of those projects included writing for Lynn. Lynn has been incredibly empowering. She’s supportive, encouraging, and cares deeply about her community. So, needless to say, I really wanted to deliver for the blog. With Lynn and Alex’s guidance, I decided to step all-the-way-out of my comfort zone, put on my WWLD (what would Lynn do) hat, and started brainstorming ideas that may be interesting.
Then, I came across Brenda Ramos. My first impression of Brenda was that she was a bad-ass Puerto Rican princess. Her business website tells her story in a way that makes you feel like you’ve known Brenda your entire life. In some ways, she makes you feel like there is a bit of you in her. She appeared to be an open-book full of the chapters of healing and honoring, skilled in guiding you to write your own story in a similarly beautiful and compassionate script. Truthfully, I was in-timi-dated. But, with my WWYD hat in place, I let go of all my fears of rejection or embarrassment, and decided to reach out for an interview.
After getting the green light from Lynn’s team, I scheduled a time and place for my interview with Brenda. Liberty State Park, 6:30 PM. I decided that I would just let my heart speak, knowing full-well that wherever my heart led me, is exactly where I needed to be. That’s the magic of mindfulness, and I was meeting a guide of it. So I decided to prepare a charcuterie board with champagne glasses of “Ginger Magic” kombucha.
I mean, it was like a picture-perfect first date with a fellow star wanderer. Even when the temperature dropped, Brenda and I were ~vibing~. We greeted each other, and before starting the interview, Brenda shared her prayer to acknowledge her ancestors, to honor the original stewards of the land we were on, and to honor her Taino lineage and the lineage of which her teachings derive from, the Asian lineage. How effing great is that?
My first question to Brenda was, “How do you decolonize your mind?” Brenda speaks of the concept of decolonization through-out her work, and her response, speaks to her passion for the subject. We talked about being anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-sexist and being pro-compassion, pro-mindfulness, pro-choice, and pro-love.
Our very existence, Brenda’s, mine, Lynn’s, and many of the other contributors that are expressing their authentic selves by writing about topics that are passionate to them, is revolutionary. These conversations, that are open and honest, non-judgmental, and empathetic, are necessary for change. Change comes from being human, acknowledging our humanity, honoring those before us, and putting on our WWLD hat.
I will never forget our first contributor’s meeting where we voiced our fears and Lynn, with resounding confidence, said, “Just think of what I would do. Buy a fucking tri-pod and take the fucking picture. Fuck what everybody thinks.” And that’s exactly what I did.