As my 30th birthday gets closer, I reflect more and more about my life. I look back and see how 11 years ago, I left my island, Puerto Rico and my family behind without speaking english. Today I am the Lifestyle and Features Editor at Vetta Magazine, I represent companies as a brand ambassador and as a influencer plus I got to start this amazing blogazine, Dreams in Heels. It is crazy how time flies, and how life changes. The thing that never changes is where I came from, my roots and my heart. This is why, this year once again I decided to mix my passion for fashion, beauty and entertainment with my desire of giving back. We all can make a difference, even if it is with a smile, with words of encouragement, with a meal, a dollar, or anyway we can. My mother always taught me to give from what I have and not from what I have left.
For this reason, I cannot contain my excitement to partner with CAPS LI (Children Abuse Prevention Services) non profit organization to raise funds for the foundation and help change the face of bullying. For my birthday, I am requesting donations to CAPS (capsli.org) in lieu of gifts. Preventing and stopping bullying is a personal cause of mine. Read below about my experience with bullying.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH BULLYING
I’ve had my own share of bullying when I was younger. Many times, I came home crying. There were times I felt scared like I couldn’t be myself around other students. It was easier for me to be myself around teachers and adults. I could engage in a conversation easier with them. I also felt more of a connection. Adults always called me an old soul, while kids criticized my curly hair, called me ugly, ‘witch’ and many other names. They also laughed at the way I spoke. They said I didn’t sound like I was from my own hometown, I guess because of the fact that even though I was raised in Puerto Rico, my mother is Puerto Rican but I came from a Cuban father. He wasn’t there during my upbringing, but certain things are born with you.
I grew up feeling like I did not belong to my island. It was a very frightening and empty feeling. What it did help me was engaging in extra curricular activities, such as karate, dancing, playing an instrument, drawing, etc. I also used music and writing as my therapy. I used to write poetry since I was 11 years old. I turned the negative into positive by embracing my talents, even though inside of me there were times that I used to break down. Also (and many people don’t know this about me), I was born with a tendon condition in my legs, which makes me walk on my tippy toes since I was born.
Kids laughed at the way I walked, and at some point during elementary school I even had boots with metal braces. Still, I embrace the way I was born by wearing high heels! People wonder how I can walk on high heels all day and so perfectly. Here is your answer, “I am living my dreams in heels.” Heels are my source of power, confidence and they represent me. Dreams in Heels is my way to empower others not only through the fashion, beauty, travel and lifestyle platform but also through giving back to others.
My advise to you is to find your purpose and embrace your talents, your passion and who you are. If you still need advise, help or someone to talk to you, I am here as well. I know that many of us do not have the support of others. I am grateful and blessed to always had the support of my mom, my sister and my brother, but I know many kids that do not have that support system when they come home. This is part of the reason why suicide rates are on the rise.
We need to support organizations like CAPS LI, STOMP Out Bullying, Born this way, Kind Campaign and many other amazing entities that are trying to address this global issue. It makes me happy to know that kids nowadays have more resources, such as workshops, campaigns, testimonials, etc. to voice their concerns and hear others in their same situation. It’s important to recognize that everyone is capable of bully and to be bullied. At different moments in our lives, we all play both roles. You might not understand or see how much you are affecting someone’s life by your verbal abuse, cyber abuse, hatred, violence, racism and homophobia. Let’s stop this by bringing awareness and educating kids, teens, parents and schools about the issue of bullying.
LET’S TAKE ACTION TODAY!
Let’s put an end to bullying, cyberbullying, other cyber abuse, hatred, racism and homophobia!