The Framework: Why I Blog

July 9, 2013

While sitting in a stuffy classroom in the English department of Loyola University Chicago in 2000, daydreaming during a discussion on the symbolism of Moby Dick’s White Whale, I remember looking around the classroom and noticing that I was the only Latina (and the only person of color) in a single place, for the very first time in my life. I thought, how is this possible? What does this mean? Conscious of my identity, like many university-age students start discovering, but just starting to explore my contributions to my small world, I thought, does it all mean a thing?

I came to quickly discover that it meant a lot but at the same time it didn’t mean anything except the fact that my classmates and I were destined to hopelessly love the written word too much to know how to do anything worth the expensive college tuition! ja!

I’ve always been passionate about what I do. When I was acting for an all-Latina theater company, we put together performances about the unfairness of the auditions for the stereotypical roles.  We were angry, but wrote comedies that made our audiences laugh about our experiences. When I was teaching in a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood outside of Chicago, I took students who had recently arrived from Mexico in one of my regular Language Arts and Reading classes, solely because of the shortage of Spanish speaking educators. I dropped everything four years later to move with my husband to New York City and soon after to Japan for his work. Scared to be holed-up in a tiny Tokyo apartment for too long, within a week, I found a job teaching preschool at an international school. Later, when I found out I was pregnant in a foreign country, I decided it was best for me to become a stay-at-home mom.

Alone with a new baby and literally lost in translation for the very first time, I needed to find that voice that I once used to make others laugh, to make others feel comforted and to teach again. The obsession that my baby would grow up speaking Japanese and English and not be able to communicate with my “Spanish-only” speaking mother, kept me up at night!  I began writing about my fears, my loneliness, my cool expat experiences and only shared with a handful of childhood friends back in Chicago. It was an exceptional outlet.

Those girlfriends were new mothers too and even though they were not in Japan, they had the same fears any new mom would have. Not only did they worry about their kid learning Spanish the right way, but also about potty training at the right time. We all worried if our babies were growing at the right pace! We were all in it together and I was happy to put the words down.

Those girls started to share their friend Betty’s writing with other friends.  The only unwilling one was me. Not until five years later, and when I was back in the States, did I have the courage to say, I want to share this with people I don’t know…I was ready. Two kids later and while expecting a third child, I went “live”. That was the best thing I could have done to keep me sane from the hectic life of raising three boys away from all my loved ones. Now in New Jersey, I’m ready to take the blog to the next level, hoping to attend conferences like BlogaliciousFIVE and meeting my newly added support group of other Latina bloggers.  I hope I get to learn how I can continue to do what I love and how my family, friends and all MFBS readers can benefit from it as well.

It’s a true thing about life being a journey. All of our experiences stack up to build the next phase. It is no coincidence that what started off as sharing educational ideas I provided for my children, turned into a platform full of suggestions to help Latinas continue to find the positives in everyday life. I  know I have found what I love when my research doesn’t feel like work. I have incorporated all of my passions into one. I get to act the teacher day-in and day-out. I’m able to help those who come searching for that perfect cowboy-birthday party theme, books for their reluctant reader, or advice for the times other moms don’t feel very super.

This is why I stay up long after my boys have gone to bed. The ideas that flow through my mind as I wipe milk off the floor or wipe tears from little faces, help me realize that I will never be the only Latina anywhere again. There are communities for me and for others within this little site called My Friend Betty Says.  This is why I write. This is why I blog. And I thank you for being here with me.

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  • Reply Yvette S July 10, 2013 at 6:04 am

    I LOVE IT!!! Great job on writing this one!! xoxo

  • Reply Vanessa July 10, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Love it! Great post!!

  • Reply Nina July 10, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Betty I forget how I stumbled on your blog but I’m so glad I did and so glad that I “met” you! I’m not Latina (my kids are half; does that count? 🙂 ) but your articles are still relevant to me. So glad to see my blog buddies movin’ on up!
    Nina recently posted..8 benefits of making your own baby foodMy Profile

    • Betty
      Reply Betty July 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      Thank you Nina! And of course, I don’t ever want to exclude any non-Latinas. I read so many different types of blogs myself and feel it is important to teach our kids to relate to everyone.
      I’m so glad we met too and consider you part of that community of support in this blog.
      I hope we can meet one day!!!
      Betty recently posted..The Framework: Why I BlogMy Profile

  • Reply Isabel Garcia July 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I always learn something new when I visit your blog. You always share stories that interest me. Love that you are ready to take your blog to the next level!! 🙂

    • Betty
      Reply Betty July 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      Thank you Isabel and thank you for being here too! I’m learning so much from women like you.
      Betty recently posted..The Framework: Why I BlogMy Profile

  • Reply Jenny July 10, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    This is great.

  • Reply Maria July 10, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Good luck Betty! Look forward to more funny and educational posts. Don’t forget, I’m still looking for some really good Spanish apps for Daniella. 🙂

    • Betty
      Reply Betty July 10, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      Thank you Maria! And I haven’t forgotten!! I’m going to deliver soon! LOL Thanks for all your support. Besos!
      Betty recently posted..The Framework: Why I BlogMy Profile

  • Reply Laila July 11, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Throughout the years, I’ve always enjoyed your stories, Betty….and I look forward to reading many, many more. I’m so super proud of you!

  • Reply Ana Flores July 17, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Beautiful, Betty! You are definitely on the right path and doing everything so well with your blog and your social media presence. Amazing how much the blogging community can make a real difference in our lives.

  • Reply Ellie Parker Sapia July 30, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Wonderful blog, Betty! Congratulations!
    Ellie Parker Sapia recently posted..Early Readers of Our Finished ManuscriptsMy Profile

    • Betty
      Reply Betty July 31, 2013 at 7:13 am

      Thank you so much! And thank you for stopping by!!

    • Betty
      Reply Betty July 31, 2013 at 7:15 am

      Thank you Ellie! And thank you for stopping by!

  • Reply Carla July 30, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Well written and well done Betty!

    • Betty
      Reply Betty July 31, 2013 at 7:15 am

      Thank you Carla!!! XOXO

  • Reply Ofelia July 31, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    So happy and proud of you! You are an amazing writer and mother – how can your blog not be a great read.

    Still remember the evening when you said you would start a blog and share it. I said I would start something else. You not only started but have excelled doing so. As for that something else, still in my to do list…

    Congrats on your win!

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