Today is November 25th, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. I find myself wishing… wishing I could do more, to be more active, to have a direct impact in this global struggle to eliminate all forms of violence against women.
I often feel guilty, inadequate and not enough. I overthink my place in academia, in the world, in general.
As a first generation college student, and Central American woman in the U.S. academy, I second guess my place here. I have worked hard for a very long time. But, is it worth it? am I worth it? is my voice worth it?
Who am I to think and write about violence against women in Central America?
I wish I could be part of a direct action to commemorate this 25th of November, but I am here, sheltered and removed from it all.
I have been having a hard time writing my dissertation. All the overthinking and double guessing got to me. However, I have to force myself and remember why I am here.
A constant struggle to return to my purpose
A battle to remember that I am part of a constellation of people, especially, women who raise their voices to denounce patriarchal, colonial and racist violence and in the process seek collective healing. I am part of this movement. My writing and my voice matter.
So, here is a poem I wrote to myself.
How can I believe in the power of women’s voices, storytelling and feminist collective actions, and at the same time, doubt my own voice?
Often, I am week, but then, I remember how I am also brave.
A reminder: I am planting rebellious seeds to harvest freedom.
Play the Cumbias, my advisor said
What voices have you been hearing?
Those of fear and doubt?
Are you listening to classical music?
Why do I keep feeling like I am not enough?
My writing doesn’t matter.
I am so close to the finish line
Why can’t I give the final step?
My body is tired
My mind keeps wondering, creating unfavorable scenarios
My heart is confused
It forgot how to believe.
How dare you doubt your sacred fire?
Stop that, my advisor said
Let your fire dance
Move your body
Let your voice be heard
Get back to it.
Play the cumbias, she said
So, I did.