My name is Esperanza Beltràn and today I start my blog. In it I want to say the things that make my head spin when I’m alone. There are three reasons for my starting this blog and they are: 1. I am a writer and I NEED to write; 2. Our current social/political situation; 3. I have cancer.
There has always been an inherent need in me to write, an addictive love of papers and pens. On my bed were spread out handmade notebooks from paper picked up from the local high school’s recycling bin and in the notebooks were songs and stories that lived only in my head. I didn’t know it then but I was already a writer. Actually, I didn’t know it until about three years ago and I am now about to turn 38! It’s not that one day I woke up and realized I was a writer, it’s been a process. There have been many life situations in the past years that have forced me to keep journals. Those journals have brought me a lot insight, one of those being the full understanding that I AM A WRITER. It made me remember the story I have always wanted to write and realize that writing it is not only possible but necessary now more than ever.
I find myself constantly thinking about the book I started but have not been able to finish. Coincidentally, it is the human story of a strong indigenous woman – my grandmother. My parents are indigenous Mexicans whose first language is not even Spanish. They have crossed many hurdles while having to learn Spanish, then some English and finally, enough US History to become US citizens. They have worked all their lives, raised me to love literature, to be empathic and to always try to do right. They have also made mistakes, similar mistakes to those of black parents, white parents, Asian parents, etc because just as in any other race, my set of immigrant parents are humans well. And as our immigrant community is struck with a daunting and uncertain future, I feel forced to be a voice to those who are my people and who might feel unheard. Documented or not, the stories of our immigrant community need to be told and need to be heard and the more of us there are telling and listening to those stories, the less of a possibility there is that we will be ignored.
Not only are we faced now with a drastically changing world but I also find myself having to (temporarily) face a life with cancer. There are situations in life that force you to do things you would never have done, like shaving your head or that force you to do things you would have done if you hadn’t been so afraid like speaking up – which is what I’m doing with this blog. Cancer is one of those life situations. As I sit here in front of my laptop writing, a beanie on my head, an open journal to my left and my two favorite pens on my right, I think to myself “what could be better?” There’s a humming sound outside my window, someone must be mowing their lawn. Birds chirp as they fly from tree to tree. A dog barks at a stranger and a driver steps on the gas, must be a young man. There’s organic food in the refrigerator and there’s nothing I’d rather do than to wait for someone to prepare food and bring it to me but fortunately for me, I am very able to get up and make it myself. I’ve heard of people who’ve said that cancer is the best thing that happened to them, I look forward to counting myself as one of those people in the not so far off future.
For now, this blog is my own little adventure and for those who decide to join me: