“Sacar la Voz” – Ana Tijoux
This is all against my nature, this whole whole feelings thing… I don’t cry, or talk about my emotions… Or at least I didn’t. Up until recently, my only means of expression was movement; my dance and bgirl persona were what kept me safe for so long. This was problematic because there isn’t much room for vulnerability in that universe… At least not in the way I chose to manifest the culture that I love so fiercely.
“Hip-hop, this thing we love that loves us back, is our lingua franca.”
Raquel Cepeda, Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina
I refused to look like a “girl doing break dancing”, it was my primary objective to appear as one of the guys, to disappear into that haze of intimidating ego and bravado. This was my perspective on being a female in general… I felt unsafe, weak, less-than. I chose from a very young age to never concern myself with the things other girls were doing, liking, interested in… more so I grew to disdain them the more I was told they were my inevitable destiny.
Since losing my father in his earthy presence a few months ago, I feel more alone than ever.. less understood than I thought possible. We were as intense as each other… Pouring over at the brim with conviction and passion. Without his camaraderie, inspiration and readiness to provide insightful and powerful guidance; I am more in limbo spiritually than I have ever been.
I’ve thrown myself into the heavy task of analyzing and attempting to discard my character defects…
I am prideful. I have a difficult time with accepting my lack of control…perhaps it is because I fear the pain of instability, emotional turmoil, psychological mayhem..
I try to counter the roller-coaster by humbling myself.. staying steady learning and absorbing knowledge…
It takes the edge off of my existential predicament… sometimes.
On the bright side of this universe my papi’s passing has realigned me.
It has given me the much needed swift kick in the culo and the purpose I needed to improve my quality of life. I am part of his legacy… and I cannot leave this existence without at least doing it in the full values, morals and spirit that we both held so close to our souls… which, I more often than not forgot to live by. That has now begun to change.
My every day is a marathon.
Every word to pass my lips carefully thought out.
My behavior constantly reflected upon to be able to improve the person I am, for myself and the contribution I release into my circle of people I love and would defend with my life.
Every day I have the opportunity to be softer – not passive…
To be more vulnerable – not weak…
To be more grateful – not co-dependent…
To be clear about my boundaries – not violent or reactive …
It’s a fuckin’ 24/7 job.
Guest Contributor: Nylda Gallardo-Lopez aka “lady Noyz” : LatinX, bruxa bgirl, spiritual gangsta, mentor, art educator, hip hop soldier, “Tdot’s 1st lady of the dance cipher”