Storytelling is personal. What better way to start than with a personal story of why stories mean so much to me.
When I was 20, my boyfriend moved in with me, in my mother’s home, shortly after we found out I was pregnant with our first child. It was during those early Fall months I remember he slyly asked, “What are all those books in the closet?” I knew he must have read them! My diaries.
I’ve kept diaries since I was in elementary school. I don’t remember how old I was when I began. I imagine as early as I could write a sentence. We’ll never know now for sure.
Thrown away are stories of my fears, my loves, my confusion, and my happiness. I think my last diary was full of stories of when I first met him.
Where I begin sharing my story
Sure, it’s a shocking and sad story to begin with. When I think about why I write now, I think about that moment I threw away my diaries.
I remember carrying them to the green garbage container, lifting the lid, a faint whiff of spoiled food, then letting go of the weight of several books from my arms.
Done. I followed through with that decision. However, I don’t quite remember making that decision. Did I weigh my options? Did I ask him if he actually read my diaries? Did I ask myself why I cared? I don’t remember.
That was 20 years ago.
I know what it feels like to keep a story. I know what it feels like to turn your back on it and throw it away. I know what it’s like to regret that decision.
I’ll begin here with this story so that you’ll know why I’m so eager to share now. I’m no longer afraid or ashamed now. I’m sharing my stories and those of inspiring Latinas so that you can feel confident to share too.