*TW: Suicide and Depression*
In my tradition, in my family and within the synchronism that is my household, children get blessed. BIG trips, marriage proposals, and leaving home – these are the usual reasons that you are blessed in my house. My father, as the man of the house, initiates these blessings and prays by laying hands on us.
Now that you understand that part of my context, I should explain that I have already left home. I got engaged, married, and left the state to go to graduate school. So, I have had my fair share of blessings. But as some of you know, when I finished school and found myself severely depleted from white privilege and a recent divorce, I moved BACK home.
After I graduated with my Masters of Divinity, I took a year OFF from capitalistic notions of productivity, and respectability politic that demanded that I outshine and thrive to prove my existence worthy as an immigrant. I took a year OFF to cry, sleep, go to the beach A LOT, eat a lot, drink champagne, and travel. I took a year off to put the pieces that were left of me, back together, and strengthen myself for whatever would come next. I took a year off to not end up killing myself, because those thoughts consumed me during 2014 and 2015. I took a year off to stop pretending I was okay and to allow myself to admit that I was not.
But my year is up and much to my surprise, I have come out of it with most of me still visible. My year is up and I find myself earning a living, doing something I never planned or imagined for myself: I became a writer. Because of the nature of what I do now, I can relocate and write from anywhere. I can now leave my moms embrace, because I am as ready as I am going to ever be…So as I began packing my life to move, both physically and emotionally to this new stage in my life, my mom did the unthinkable: she blessed me.
Now if you understand anything about my household you know that there are a lot of problematic notions of respect around the man of the house blessing his family…But, also if you have followed my journey this year and my stories about my mom and I’s very special relationship, you know that a) I do not adhere to these gender norms, b) my mom has become more defiant alongside me. So when she came into my room and began to bless me, I both did not expect but also fully expected how this came to be…
My mami, knowing my soteriological understandings of the divine, did not pray for me but prayed to me. In other words, she spoke words of power and affirmations about what I have been through and prophetic words of what is to come. My mami, with tears in her eyes, told me that I was the strongest person she has ever known. My mami told me how proud she is of me because she knows now what it looks like to see a woman strive to live the life SHE wants to live.
My mami gave me the most boss ass bitch blessing I have ever been given, because I am leaving home in a non-traditional way for what is expected from someone of my country, gender, and socio-economic background. She blessed my non-traditional lifestyle. She blessed her non-traditional malcriada! My mami saw me, and held ALL of who I have become, and said: you have my blessing, to become the person you were always meant to be, without any guilt for who she expected me to be. My mami just did the most loving act that I have ever consciously received, and she did it with her eyes wide open.
And so as I move onto this new stage in my life, I will carry her words in my heart because I exist to make her proud and she has blessed me by telling me that I have already done that and I have hidden nothing about myself from her on my way toward this great achievement.
The day I received my mami’s bendicion. I came into myself even more.
Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez is a chonga Mujerista from Managua, Nicaragua currently living in Miami, FL. She recently graduated with her Masters from Vanderbilt University, and is looking to take some much needed time off to refresh. She is also the founder of Latina Rebels, a blogger for HuffPo Latino Voices, and a columnist/editor at Chica Magazine. Her interests are within biopolitics as it relates to Latina embodiment, specifically concerning models of conquerable flesh around narratives of naturalization for women of color. Thus her work is around reclaiming and upholding embodied resistance, particularly within chonga and chola subcultures. Que viva la mujer!