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Missing My Viejitas Today

What I wouldn't give to have the consejos of my Tia Mari right this minute. 
What I wouldn't give to hear my Guelita Petra's giggle, her dirty jokes. To feel her hand rubbing my back, calling me Blanca, Blanca. 
Miss them both so hard today. 

solita cruises part 1. (south side san anto, i luv you)

third day in a row cruising my hood in my cute ass yellow bike. basket y todo, of course. today, i went right when i normally go left. I saw so many beautiful yards and gardens and altares to la virgencita.

2 señoras waived hello, one was on her cordless phone wearing a blue vata and bright neon-orange shoes w/ chanklas and the other was sweeping her sidewalk, like my tia olga used to do to her patio, and asked me how i was. like we've known each other for years. pero she's just on the next street from me so it's like we have. 

yesterday i took two rides, one in the morning solita. i rode over to the park a few blocks away, and circled the walk path four times. there were two other people there- one man that had on one of those garbage bag type shirts, he didn't look at me in the eye or say hello. he was on his phone the whole time. & la otra, a lady who i think is just a generation up from me, wearing gray sweat pants and a maroon hoodie, listening to music and smiling every time we passed each other. it makes me think this man is new to this hood, because really- we all smile and wave like we're long time compas. 
the second ride i had a compañera in tow, La Poeta, who complained as she tends to do, pero then i heard giggles and saw smiles. we rode over to walmart (i know, i know) because i needed a sealant to help finish some journals. i feel guilty every time i go there. it's literally an easy bike ride away. a new walmart that serves my hood and has a pretty descent organic section. it sucks that it's there. it sucks that sometimes i go to it. pero i did feel a little less guilty riding my bike over. carbon footprint is a little less patona? 

my goal is to ride my yellow bici twice a day when i can. and not feel so guilty when i don't. it's been a really lovely way to start my days, and no matter what-- riding a bike takes you back to when you were little and didn't have bills <3. 

also... the other day, my boo and i cruised to the park with my big bluetooth speaker in my basket and played selena so loud that everyone looked and smiled. that's magic. anything for selenas, after all. 

Comadres make my world go round/The Art of Comadriando

I'm back at Fair Trade Cafe in Phoenix, enjoying a salad, an iced tea, and an amazing 90's playlist, before the last leg of my trip to LA. There's been a lot of alone time for me to do some deep thinking, breathing, affirming, and reflection. (Also a lot of singing out loud, there have been some tears, and long conversations with my luv.) 

Reflecting on how this trip came together, I am reminded of so many comadres that make my world go round. Here's a few of the mujeres that have helped this happen: 
1. La Poeta: AA has been with me, side by side, in my little home studio helping me crank out as much work as I possibly could. Did we ever get on eachother's nerves? Sure. Did we laugh, tho? Sing out loud? Get all the way deep? Challenge each other? Laugh over awful movies and awesome YouTube videos? ABSOLUTELY. Because that is what being comadres is about. Support y pan dulce y alegria y  gozo. I'm so honored to have this fierce hocicona in my corner. 

2. Las comadres de Casa Aguacate: the women that come together in C.A often vary, pero four of us are constant. Mas o menos every Monday we come together to cook, play loteria, chismiar, cantar, pero mostly support one another in all of the things we do. Very much a q/woc safe space, Casa Aguacate is where things get real, where laughs are so so so loud, Juan Gabriel tribute bands are created, and where a group of comadres come together just like my Mami and Tias used to. 

3. Sobrinas: Lex who gave up many free afternoons and evenings to help me, and Kat who is helping keep things going at my casita en Texas.  

4. MV + JOG: two luchadoras so giving, so powerful, so KIND. Y they're BFFS forming some kind of compadre super poderosa duo. When I need a reminder of why I do what I do, I text MV, check out JOG's fb, fill my heart and mind up with a little bit of their poder, and I remember- I can do all of the things with love at the forefront. 

5. Mi Amor: V reminds me to rest, reminds me to write, got her car all the way ready for a cross country trip. She holds me up in gentle but strong ways. She makes me want to keep dreaming, keep fighting, live my truest truth. Do you know how heavy my work is? Very. She helped me physically, but more so mentally and emotionally. 

Never apologize for selfies. #frida

So this was cool for me to wake up and see... I recently realized I stopped taking selfies (and pics of myself in general). I like being behind the lens and capturing my loves and friends in moments I find interesting, but pics of myself used to be one of my favorite focuses. I have a Tia (Silvia) that once told me to take and keep many pics of myself at all ages, that I would thank myself for them later. I believe it. I think one of the coolest things about my generation is that we're archiving like never before. Sure, this can be problematic- I am learning to put my phone down way more, but if there is balance it can be a really beautiful thing. So, today I wake up and do my usual phone checks- texts, email, Fb, IG, and I saw my latest 9 fotos. It makes me really happy to see 4 of just me, documenting this wild ride. I will thank myself for it later.  #tejastocali2016 #aytu2016 #verythat #chingona #sometimesitshardbeingachingona #selflove

Tejas to Cali: words and thoughts vol. 1

So I have around 13 blog post drafts that I never completed... no se por que, I have like a fear of hitting publish for no reason at all. With the encouragement of mi amor and my best friends, I am documenting this trip! 
I am on my way to Los Angeles to participate in 3 amazing events this weekend + next Friday. I met Ana Guajardo of Cha Cha Nail Covers through her mom and sister, this trio of amazing and inspiring mujeres have each been instrumental in my growth as an artist and vendor. With her gentle nudge, I took her invitation to stay with her in California. 
 I had to make it count, so I worked endlessly for weeks to make as many cositas as I possibly could, with the help of comadres, sobrinas, y ganas I hit my nearly impossible goal. 
Off I went, boxes and boxes of precious cargo in tow, + me, myself, and I (hey, Bey). My love being ever poderosa and lovely, got me all packed up. It wasn't easy, my stuff is HEAVY!!

I left San Anto on Tuesday at noon, made it to El Paso and decided to stay there for the night. 
I have never stayed in a hotel by myself, this trip has manifested many first. Like the chingona that I am, I managed to haggle a lower price for my room! 
Sleep was lovely. I rose early this morning and got myself on the road, stopping at What-a-Burger to get my last taste of Texas for a while, and off I went. I drove through the BEAUTIFUL and breath taking New Mexico. My eyes and heart still can't believe all the colors we saw.
Driving out of Texas is almost a beautiful punishment, it takes HELLA long, pero ayyyyy que pretty.  Going thru NM to AZ has been quite easy and has given me lots of time to explore Pheonix.  Best part so far? Through an Internet comadre, I found a great coffee shop and hostel.

Y here I am, sitting in front of a dorm, people watching. I just saw a girl come out of a restaurant and hand a homeless man a meal, I just saw two men holding hands walking past me giggling and kissing,  I just saw a college student wheeling herself in a wheelchair into said dorm. Life is beautiful, the moving parts, the still ones, the quiet between long stretches of nothingness. The revelations that come when least expected. 
I never thought I'd take a trip like this alone, sometimes it's hard being a chingona. Pero, I am trying, I am thriving, and I am so grateful. 
Tomorrow is another day <3.