2013 VOF Week 4 I will question, challenge, contest, and resist
Refusing to become invisible, like the good little girl that I was brought up to be, I want to become older, wiser, better - I will run, then walk, then crawl, until I become immobile. This process occurs on all levels – physically, intellectually, and spiritually.
To transgress this cultural role placement, I will question, challenge, contest, and resist the status quo. The narrative has importance in my resistance to silence. My story - my life - has the power to shape my own narrative. I can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have the power within me, to change perceptions: about me, about women, about silence.
Throughout my life story, there has always been those who would curb my enthusiasm, my natural exuberance, my ‘joie de la vie’. There are people who think they can control me by using their negativity over my positive power and confidence. This tactic worked, temporarily. No more, no more silence.
Who am I? I have many identities and positions within my cultural and social groups. At the end of 1998, it was time for me to take my future firmly in hand and make some intentional choices directed by my personal needs and desires. As a single mother and an unemployed poverty-stricken survivor of domestic violence, this was a turning point for me. During the work of completing my college undergraduate and graduate degrees, I worked full-time. My work, which I love, has taught me many things that complement my college education. I improved my mental and spiritual dimensions. I have set my goal to becoming a citizen journalist. Being a citizen journalist will be the best use of my abilities to research and analyze data, produce articles for newsletters and newspapers, develop curriculum and facilitate trainings for staff and volunteers.
Being a citizen journalist illustrates how I may become better, as a human being. It also speaks to my ability to multi-task on several levels: personal, professional, family. I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of my four children and eight grandchildren, as well as the lives of the women and children I come into contact with through my work. I have committed myself to work towards the elimination of violence against women, specifically domestic violence and sexual assault on a global level. I recognize the fact that this work has connections with other important social issues such as homelessness, human rights, poverty, racism, sexism, ageism, and homophobia. I have knowledge of many of these issues through personal experience, professional experience, and my pursuit of higher education.
My intellectual identity is still developing and will be well utilized as a citizen journalist. What I know for sure . . . I have the writing, critical thinking, analyzing, and studying skills necessary to become a successful citizen journalist. I have the ability to learn quickly and flexibility to adapt to situations as they arise, which includes handling crisis and trauma. I have developed skills to work with a variety of people in variety of settings. I have the personal characteristics of ambition, focus, commitment, strong morals, and a high ethical expectation and practice for myself.
This is how I am becoming older, wiser, and better. I develop my creativity by writing poetry, short stories, and journaling. I mentor others and I have mentors who are showing me the way to reach my potential. I volunteer; promote social change and social justice. I learn about other cultures that are different from mine. I teach others about resistance while I transgress the status quo. I am a role model for those who would refuse to remain silent. I transgress social control by becoming me and using my voice.
This is how a woman like me works towards becoming older, wiser, better citizen journalist! This is why being a citizen journalist will help me as I work to reach my goal of the elimination violence against women and girls on a global level.