In wanting to write a poem, she waited until she mastered Aristotle’s lessons on the art of poetry.
In wanting to be a journalist, she waited until she truly understood the meaning and science of the craft.
In wanting to travel the world, she waited for them to deliver the ticket she for so long researched and waited for.
In wanting to exist in her truest expression, she waited for the permission and affirmations that never arrived.
She suppressed her own power, her own capacity to write the poems, to write the stories, to travel the world, to build the worlds that she had dreamt of because she waited for someone else to tell her she was capable of doing it.
She wanted someone else to speak the affirmations and encouragement that exploded inside of her.
She adopted outside voices, second, third, fourth, fifth perspectives that told her to wait..
Wait for grad school. Wait for the fellowship. Wait for the networks and the connections and the missing links of the life she was already living.
But she was already the poet she wanted to be. The thinker, the creator, the debater, the artist, the traveler.
She had only to begin and fill the blank pages, overwhelm the blank canvases, fill the echoing silence with her poetry.
As I meditate on my next project and the continuity of my journey I am struck with a blow that sucks the wind out of me. It is the realization that I have assigned the blossoming of my creativity and growth to recognition: to awards, scholarships, offers, and fellowships. As I work on an essay, I whisper to myself, “once I get this Fulbright, I will finally be able to…” I cede the power to determine how and in what conditions I will manifest my ideas into action, my inspiration into poetry, my anger into protest.
I repose on this tendency to strip myself of creative and spiritual autonomy and see this dependency and self-doubt rooted to my life and identity as a student. As my first journey and flight from my nest, I made the academic institution my home and, like a child, adapted the lessons and values of an institution dedicated to competition and prestige. Being a muxer, heiress of a past ignored by a world obsessed with accumulation, I measured all of my worth according to my GPA, my CV and social capital.
Meditating on this time of my life, I realize that I still carry these residues, foreign and estranged rituals of introspection and self-understanding. But my perpetual capacity to hold off until next time, to wait to manifest my passion, is also a product of my community, of my life, of my parents, of my experiences, of the protection I have built up around me toward the unknown, the unperceived.
As I disentangle them now, pulling apart these weeds that have penetrated my spirit, I intend to understand them. I remap my journey and rewrite my poetry, confident that it can exist in its singularity. As I occupy and extend my voice and my deepest rooted inquietudes I make space for a language that welcomes and embraces my existence and expression.
My parents have explained to me that my name means Dulce Esperanza , sweet hope. I love and am deeply grateful for my name because it intimately connects me to my parents, to their hxstory, to the strengthening of our collective hopes. And I realize that I can not perpetually inhabit hope. That I must rupture these cycles, nurture myself from them, and realize that my power to create is a gift I must exercise and recognize. I am learning that the process of becoming, and not achieving, will remain our most resilient fulfillment. This is our collective process.