Literature Lover

If there is something I find difficult is to make a description of myself. For me, the best way is to do it is cutting layers from outside into the inside. Let’s see: I think I am an average woman of 1.67 cms high, brown hair and eyes. Nothing much nothing less. However, I was always skinny as an arrow. You must be thinking ‘how lucky is she?’ or ‘yes, now what?’ but be mindful that I was growing up in the 80s in Colombia, the country of the beautiful curvy-perfectly-measured women! So it was not always fun. I should say being all bones and skin brought me trouble at school as a lot of jokes were directed at my appearance -from constant questions about the state of my health to some comparisons at cartoons and so on- so, for the first 18 years of my life, I focused my efforts in trying to enlarge my body.

The diets imposed -six meals per day instead of three-, high sugar intake, much more fruit and a lot of milk chocolate- didn’t change my appearance in any way, but gave me that good skill of acceptance and strengthened my ‘better-look-for-something-else instinct’ that has helped me all my life when changing homes, countries, jobs and even profession.

But if I was blessed on something was that I got good and protective intellectual parents. Both were lawyers, so lunches at home were full of interesting conversations about politics, human rights, and even spiritual search. Besides, my father was a feminist who believed in our own capacities and strongly encouraged and educated us to be independent. He was a beautiful treasure in that patriarchal world. Both were also excellent readers who taught us that there was no greater pleasure than those daily moments to indulge yourself in a good book. I was particularly attracted for the descriptions of other cities and countries, other cultures and specially to the stories that talked about injustices. One of the books that struck me was ‘Sold’ by Zana Muhsen. I remember reading it after school and just thinking how a girl of my age could have such a hard life. This book was definitive in choosing my career and the path I was going to take. I left literature on the side, if only to entertain myself on my free time. I needed to become Super Girl to save the world of the naughty people who were harming others.

As someone said to me once, I find myself easily on situations in which I get to travel. After finishing law school I did a Masters in International Relations in Spain. I then went back to Colombia to get a Masters in Political Analysis and then I went to Australia to study Public Relations. Next to these masters I did courses and more courses. If I could I would have never studied that much, but Colombian migrants do not have the same job opportunities as an European, for example. I had to study to stay in other countries and I did. And the moment I started working I found out about the refugee drama. And I worked for them and with them for many years.

Later on my children arrived in my life. And with that happiness there was a new purpose for the future. We left Australia, now a family of five, and came to France to look for new adventures. We arrived in a little town and there, I got lost, really lost. Once again, I was in a place that was not familiar to me, a new culture, a new language and I started trying to find the reason for being there. But the Covid made its entrance in this world, and the confinement arrived as a prison sentence, not because it was dictated or imposed, but because of the fears, and the desperate situation that got us all in. Let’s not even start with the new situation for mothers, having to work, clean the house, study with the kids and keep themselves sane for the sake of the family. I tried to stay calm. At least we had our health, our kids were little and didn’t really noticed the changes, or at least they were not complaining that much. We were together, we could take longer naps, be more introspective and learn, listen, for the first time, and think. I understood. That I had a great opportunity in my hands. I could read infinite books, and most importantly, I could write. I had found a greater motive to move on, and to get into the silence that life was offering me. And I embraced the chance -even sacrificing the little hours that I had for resting- I chose the nightly hours of writing and the extensive hours of reading, that in my case start at 10pm, after a day of playing, activities and cuddles with my three kids.

And here the reason for this blog. It is the manifestation. Of my ideas, my expectations, my dreams. It’s the recognition of others talents and those of my own. This blog is the result of a promise, the promise of keep writing, no matter what. The promise to find a voice. The promise of not letting go that voice once it has been found.

Luz

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