A Special Valentine’s Day Post❤️

When you’ve been with someone over half of their life, you have a unique opportunity to support their passions and watch them grow.

At the San Jose Puerto Rican Festival, 2010

My husband and I are high school sweethearts. This means we have been a couple since we met in high school.

When we first got together, 1994

We’ve never broken up. We have certainly had our fights and arguments though. Our good times outweigh the bad times. Today, we are happy that we have grown up with each other.

One of the ways we have learned to grow up is giving each other encouragement and space to pursue our passions. When we were younger, it was challenging to do this because we didn’t communicate well – at all. My husband certainly had freedom but I didn’t feel I had the same freedom. Why? We followed our cultural, traditional, Latino family model where the woman is the ultimate caregiver. I didn’t question it. I followed that routine as best as I could follow.

My husband, myself, and our first daughter on her birthday, 1998.

Yet, there was just something missing. I felt a bit incomplete at times.

At the advice of a therapist (which will be shared in another post), I returned to running and writing again. Getting back to running out on road was freedom. Pouring my thoughts out on paper was freedom. Then after a while, I returned to another passion, activism.

I found that when I spoke out, asked questions, discussed policies, and advocated for change this was freedom too.

I’ll never forget my husband’s response to my “big idea” of trying to reopen Fair Oaks Library in Stockton, California. “Do you have time for that?” he asked. I had to laugh! I could laugh instead getting mad or doubtful because I was already exercising my freedom. This would be one more area that we’d grow through together.

And we did!

This March, we will have been together for 25 years!

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