Category Archives: papeles privileged

Landing It

This past week is one that called for deep reflection of the type of mom and professional I would potentially become. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home on my days before my due date. You have seen me go through many things, ranging from mild depression and angst due to the sudden pregnancy to navigating the field whilst pregnant. So many things have happened in the last couple of months, some would say out of pure luck and others would say due to hardwork.

The last couple of months I have been shadowing our international counselor in order to learn a new skillset of recruiting and assisting students from different regions of the world. It was an attempt to be able to not plateau in my career. I hate being bored and I always need to be challenged. Since then, the international counselor has left the university and I decided to take on some of his duties while also completing my own. After doing it for about three months, I was given the opporutnity to interview for the position. I then became one of two of the finalist for the position.

I got the news two weeks after that the offer was made to the other candidate. I went into the interview knowing that I might not be the best option for the university, however I gave it my all because I had done the work the last couple of months. I went in there knowing my worth and what I was capable doing and sold it. I knew that in the end, the interviewers had the job of determining whether either candidate was compatible for the position. I was okay with rejection.

As a result, the last three weeks I took a step back and reassessed my decision to interview because if the candidate for some reason declined, I would be the runner up. For the last week I have focused on my main job from home. Fast forward to yesterday, I got a call that the candidate declined and I was made an offer. My director then asked, “so are you interested?” and despite me being excited in the inside, I still had to negotiate. You dont always have to show your hand. All I said was, “im 50/50 and it depends on your offer letter. So I will wait”. We left it at that.

Point is: go for something even though you dont meet the entire checklist of preferences or requirements. Take the risk because theres nothing to lose, only the possiblity to gain. I decided to step out of my comfort zone just with the intent of learning something new. I didnt meet the entire checklist, however all I did was prepare! And although I cannot guarantee that you will have the same outcome, I can guarantee that if you do it with the intent of learning something new, you will walk away with a different skillset, and that makes you more marketable.

Now the challenge is the baby and travel but, hubby and I will cross that bridge when it comes. That is a whole other blog entry and I promise ill come back to it.

For now do read Harvard Business Review, Why Women Don’t Apply for Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified”

I promise, its a good article. Adelante chingonas, you got this!

#despierta #featured #highereducation #lifestyle #woke #adelante #chingonapower #chingona

woman wearing white t shirt and blue denim bottoms
Photo by Chelsi Peter on

Damaged Goods- Baby Brain and Work

“It’s a myth”, that’s what I’ve heard and read in research articles of how mothers’ brains who are expecting are unaltered.

Although I still think that at times I am going crazy and that I am not able to be as productive as I use to be, I do think that your mind is affected by the changes your body goes through. Just alone in month 6, theses are symptoms you will be going through:

  • Those baby flutters or as I like to call them, worm feelings, will start
  • Oh the gas
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Backaches
  • Uterus is the size of a basketball
  • Increased vaginal discharge- yea i change underwear at least twice a day
  • Pain and stretching in the underbelly
  • Swelling
  • Most recent, bloody booty-hemorrhoids

Okay, you get the point. Well its no wonder that we can’t focus or multitask as much as we would like to. Something you have to realize is that you actually are multitasking while doing everything else, like work or thinking about what you and your partner have to do before the babe gets here.

Giver yourself a break. I’m trying too. I have become excruciatingly frustrated with myself because I was the type of employee that was able to do it all. Now i’m missing meetings because of appointments, getting undermined by people from other departments and co-workers and my boss are giving me a break with work (I hate it). To top it all off, our VP spoke to my direct supervisor and insinuated that my supervisor should not expect much out of me, as a result my student enrollment goals should be adjusted. Talk about sexism and discrimination. Although I truly am blessed to have coworkers and a boss who is wholeheartedly understanding, it sucks. I want to do it all but I physically, mentally and emotionally can’t. However, there are things that you can do to make it no one else’s business of what you can and cannot do. You also don’t want people’s pity.

  1. Stop talking about baby brain and mommy brain. Even though you are convinced that you are going crazy or feel like you are a bit more clumsy than before, stop mentioning it and stop complaining. I know, you are going through so much but at the same time, you are what you want people to see and if you want them to see you as a person who is tired all the time and needs help doing the work, then who is losing out here? Believe that you are this human who was given the opportunity to pop a sucker out. You are strong and you CAN do it. You won’t be able to do it all at once but be patient with yourself. Also seek out a group outside of work and/or talk to HR about what your rights at work are. If you can’t find anyone, I’m here to help! I can be your support!
  2. Plan! Not only plan for what changes will happen with baby coming into the world but plan for the things you can control such work events or responsibilities and be intentional. If it takes you longer to complete a task, start early and give yourself time to successfully complete it. I use to be able to do projects within hours of receiving marching orders but that’s not the case anymore. You are now responsible for yourself and another being. Time is no longer your own. You will have to adjust to the changes and pee a lot more or pump!
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Photo by Bich Tran on

All in all, as a person of color as my dad would say, “don’t give them a reason to fire you”. And although it would be illegal to not provide certain accommodations, don’t be surprised by anything or anyone that might try to undermine your ability to successfully complete your job. I have always been a firm believer of being ten steps ahead of anyone and ALWAYS have paper trail, be transparent and work with integrity.

On the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission you will find information about the type of rights you have as a pregnant person. Per law, while the PDA does not require employers to provide time off for pregnancy disability, it does require employers to treat pregnancy disability the same as other disabilities for purposes of sick leave or temporary disability benefits. Be your own hero and know your rights!

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#anxiety #depression #highereducation #latina #latinx #latinainhighered #lifestyle #mentalhealth #newmom #wokemom #woke

Looking for “Woke” Mom Group

One of the best and unfortunate things about being in an interracial relationship is preparing yourself for the talk with your new baby. Things that might come up are:

  • Why are we brown?
  • Why is there so much violence?
  • Why do people hate people?
  • Whats racism?

That’s right i’m not talking about the sex talk, that’s the least of our worries as people of color.

As I am counting down the days of when the baby comes into the world, I keep thinking of the anxiety inducing conversations that I will have with either my daughter or son. One of the most saddest things I can think of is having a conversation with my kid on topics about their rights. I don’t think a lot people know that it is also common in our brown communities. I grew up being told what to do in the case of”……(fill in with racist or discriminatory issue)” or “mija nunca platiques sobre nuestra situacion (dont talk about our situation). Fear was in-bedded in our community. Fear of being asked where we are from, or whether we are even allowed to exist or fear of deportation, was normalized. Knowing my rights at an early age was a rite of passage. Standing up for my family and translating was a skill I obtained at such an early age. Growing up, I made it my duty to always be there for my family in case anyone tried taking advantage. It is what I was meant to do. I was meant to be a person who constantly had eyes everywhere, due to never trusting anyone or any system. To always have back up plans in case the original plan didnt work out. I guess I have a complex that’s bleeding into all facets of my life.

The talk has become threaded into our being, whether you are from the black, native or brown community. As a result, I cannot shelter my kid, its not a choice. Helping someone develop into a respectable human being is scary, and to some extent, I am responsible on how they turn out later on. I know, I might be overthinking it but the biggest concern I have is not only how to be real with my kid about racism and sexism, and all the isms out there, but how not to be racist and how to be respectful of other human beings; how to honor your culture and live with integrity.

I wish I had support from my sisters. My sisters don’t get it. Despite one being in an interracial relationship with a black man, its hard to think that some of the conversations I’ve had with her could be as deep as my concerns. I don’t think she gets it. She was born and raised in Mexico, once was undocumented and now a citizen. The other sister married someone Mexican and is probably even worse. Both are light skinned and sometimes are mistaken for being white-Caucasian. I mean the privilege is there.

They are the epitome of what I fear of my community becoming. A community that forgets where they came from and turn out to be just like our past and current persecutors. So who can I turn to during this time?

How do you prepare for this? Are there such groups out there that talk about these issues?

#woke #newmom #latina #chicana #futureworkingmom #featured

A Dark Place- 10 Pounds In

I was definitely in a dark place in the last post. Struggling with this new event in my life and worrying of whether I would fall in the same track as my sisters and mom with depression was excruciating. One thing is for sure, when you start letting people know about your news, it becomes something else. It goes from becoming this heavy burden to something joyous and unbelievable. My advice, I know you probably want to keep this little piece of news between you and your partner, but when you start sharing this news with your loved ones, the gifts start coming, and theres unconditional support and love galore (for those who are fortunate to have it).

In my eyes, and its probably from society’s doing, I felt like men would see me as passed due merchandise (as if I could ever see myself any lower than this) and I believed I would dissapoint the women in my life who I have preached to about doing me first.

Nothing could be the opposite and these thoughts only showed me how much self-esteem I lacked. My insecurities ran deeper than what I thought and its partially to how I was raised. Growing up I wanted to be the opposite of my primas; not bear children until I was older. I come from a family that believed having kids in high schools was the norm and that being in gangs was the only way out. I soon saw myself running in the opposite direction of what my primas and primos were doing. I didnt want to lose at life but its taken me this long to figure out that creating life is something out of this world. It is incomprehensible.

The men I told in my life, especially my peers and boss, were unbelievably supportive. To quote, “I hope you know that a woman’s body is a powerful thing, you can do anything”. When my boss told me this, I was shook. I grew up believing that being pregnant was giving up on my life but its not. It is about creating a new life, a new path, and turning a new leaf. For those who choose to have children and are in a dark place, know this, you are invincible. You are stronger than you think and you are great, regardless of what people tell you. You do not need a child to validate or invalidate you, nor a husband or wife. You are enough.

I may have chosen this path and maybe it was not in my original plan, and yes im fucking scared because my vagina is about to get really stretched out (TMI) but damn i’m giving birth to a human and theres nothing more fitting that this to a cis and trans-wombyn. Whether you want to live it or not, we were placed in this earth to bare children, and I find comfort in that. So believe in yourself and believe in what your body can do!

P.s First trimester I rarely had nausea or was vomiting. Now in my second trimester, I have a bit more energy but cramping. Its almost the size of a peach. My boobs hurt and I have a horrible pain on my back resulting in me not being able to bend forward. So far I think I have had it easy compared to other mothers to be. Best of luck!And yes im still aspiring to start a PhD program but not yet. I still dont know what I want to do.

#futuremom #futuredra #latina #postpartum #combatinganxiety #latinainhighered #mentalhealth

Shit, I’m Pregnant- That Was Fast

I am going to be brutally honest, its scary. Not only do I have to put my life on hold but I have always been that person that believed in adopting because there are way too many children out there without parents.

Its an idea that popped in my head at 5 years old. I was that one kid that would watch the adoption commercials and feel so bad for kids and start crying for them. Yea, I have always been a person with deep conviction. Its nothing I can escape, trust me, ive tried.

So remember when I was in the Philippines, well we got lucky because there are so many people that try for years. I am about 5 weeks along, so completely new to this idea of being a mom, yikes.

My husband new I never wanted to have kids, and if we did, I would like to adopt but after assessing our situation, I opened my mind and it happened. So these are the thoughts that have been rattling in my mind so far:

  • Fuck, I have to put my life on hold
  • Well now I really need to stay at my insitution and risk not moving up at the expense of my mental health, because there is no opportunity for upward movement
  • That whole idea of me becoming an international admissions counselor, forget it. You will not be able to be away from home with a newborn more at 2 weeks at a time.
  • How the hell do other people do it?
  • WHY?WHY?!
  • Should I just go back to school now being that it would be the easiest thing to do?
  • CRAP! I have to apply to new positions right now before I start showing…..people wont hire someone who looks pregnant. Why would they if I would need to be away after getting hired due to maternity leave.
  • You know, this is why men advance at higher rates, they dont have to think about this shit and how to maneuver in their career.
  • Elisabet, dont be resentful but I have to express how I feel
  • I really dont want to hear what my sisters have to say…..too opinionated with too many kids. Stay way but I do need their help.
  • Why did my mom look so dissapointed?
  • Wait, how will I travel to schools with a big belly?

Yea, these among other topics have been floating in this head the last week. Ive been stressed, to say the least. Maybe I wasnt ready, but too late.

Lets just hope everything goes well. I know its a bit early to get excited since miscarriages are pretty common but I will try my best to be positive. Am I right to think all these things? I dont know but it does no service to bottle it all up.

So, im asking for your help. For those who have dependents and have moved up in the world, how did you do it? Did you go through the same crises?

#pregnant #working #struggle #firstworldproblems #highereducation #movingup #feminism #feminist #realitycheck #latinx

Empowering Others and Taking Less Space

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“Why does it matter to you, you’ll be gone next year.”

“Things don’t change overnight.”

“You know people have had this mentality for so long, sometimes you just can’t change their mind.”

I came into work today because I had an admissions presentation for prospective students. While waiting, I decided to ask one of my former students: how are you? How is everything? Whats going on with so and so?

After having her cathartic moment, I felt compelled to ask her: Do you have conversations like these with anyone else like your Dean of Students or Diversity Director?

Her answer, “No”.

“Why?” I said.

“Because there are only a few I trust that actually live what they preach and believe me when I state anything”, she said with a hopeful look.

Sometimes I am so wrapped up in my own world and my own issues that I forget there are other who have less opportunities to share their thoughts and anxities.

So today, I realized that the Board of Trustee meeting I was scheduled to have (I know its bizarre, im only an admissions counselor), was the proper space for the student.

As a result, I decided to invite her to a meeting that was an opportunity of a lifetime for me, that I was about to selfishly keep to myself, and share it with someone else who needed it.

As a human, it is my responsbility to give space and step aside for the next generation. To open spaces to voices who need it because if its one thing ive learned from crappy leadership, is how not to be.

To pass the baton. To share in the glory and to work together for a better future.

Afterall, this student will be the next university professor at someone’s university or college, I hope she knows im on her side and this time, im here to lift her up.

So, my advice: The space you take up,bring someone and share it.

#access #inclusion #success #mentorship #latina #chicana #highered #papelesprivileged

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Conquering Hyperdocumentation

How do you conquer the feeling of not being enough? Of feeling like you need another degree to make yourself feel valid? And how do I convince others that I am more than qualified? The ugliness of insecurities.

The idea of getting another master’s degree or pursuing my PhD has been rattling in my brain since graduation; May 2017. That’s right, withdrawal symptoms from education started as soon as I crossed that stage and I do not know how to brush it off. I work in a higher education institution, so getting another degree is a force of habit; for those that can afford it or stay long enough for those beautiful benefits.

The idea of being hyperdocumented popped in my head when Dra. Aurora Change from Loyola University introduced the notion at a higher education conference last year. Since then, I cannot stop thinking about how we, minorities, get into this whole mentality that in order to compensate for this supposed lack of credibility, we create the need to get many degrees. It’s a true phenomenon, especially for those who are undocumented and seeking validation. My own mentor has one bachelors, three masters and just started his PhD program. Despite all of this, according to The World University Rankings, last year, “Latinos were 26 percentage points behind whites and 21 percentage points behind blacks in postsecondary attainment, compared with 23 percentage points and 10 percentage points respectively in 1992”.

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We are still lagging behing many but of those who have been fortunate to matriculate and complete, find the need for more. Thinking about going back to school is definitely giving me anxiety. The whole, “do it for your community…your parents didnt come to this country for nothing” keeps going on in my mind. However, I have always dreamt of matriculation, despite the immense pressure I put myself under, at a prestigious school because I crave for a challenge, but dammit this is a hurdle I don’t know how to get over. I dont know if im good enough. Of course if I never try, ill never know.

Part of me wants to just stop and not give into the idea that my credibility not only lies on a mere paper but on my experience. In the end its up to me to decide. I have to study my butt off for the GRE and I have to apply myself and want it. I need to either do it or let it go, but when will that happen?

I’m ready for the journey. In the words of Bo Bennett, “the discipline you learn and character you build from setting and achieving a goal can be more valuable than the achievement of the goal itself”. Bring it on insecurities. Lets see what you got.

Pa’ delante!