Smart Latinas are Proud to Be Smart

Oh, you’re one of those smart ones.

True story: I skipped my 5-year high school reunion because I didn’t want to deal with the pressure of being smart.* There, I said it.

You see, being “the smart one” SHOULD be something to be proud of. But when people sneer at you and eye you with contempt, it’s hard to not feel guilty. “I didn’t do it to make you feel bad!” you think to yourself. “Should I have not tried so hard?”

But just like my mother, father, teachers, and friends always say, “You know they’re just jealous, right?”

What kind of world do we live in that it’s okay to make smart people feel dumb for excelling? Don’t people realize that intellectual progress is what moves society forward? Education brings people out of poverty, drives innovation, and levels the playing field.

Let’s be proud of the smart people in our lives. More importantly, let’s be proud of ourselves. I have a hunch that there are a LOT of Smart Latinas out there - they’re just scared, like I was, to come out and say it.

Smart Latinas - it’s time. Show them what you’ve got!

*My 10-year reunion is coming up in 2013. This time, I’ll be there.

Smart Latinas Listen to Wise Women

I was a year old when Oprah started her show. In the 25 years since, I never watched a single episode in its entirety - until the last one.

Of the 4,561 episodes, the final episode was the only one that caught my attention: Oprah spoke, from the heart, about herself and the lessons she’s learned over the years.

When Wise Women go over their lessons learned, I pay serious attention - I even take notes. There are a lot of people out there who decide that, if they had to go through hell and high water to get to where they are, then by golly, so should you. But that’s just telling people to reinvent the wheel - there’s no progress!

I borrowed this image from - they have absolutely nothing to do with me, and I have nothing to do with them, except I liked their picture and am giving them credit for it.Progress (in my mind), comes when someone says: Hi, I climbed this ladder as far as it would go. Now I’m tired, but I’ve managed to build a platform here at the top. Do me a favor and take the elevator to my platform (remember to bring your ladder, too!), and climb your ladder as far as it goes. All I ask is that you build a platform when you reach the top, and pass along the same instructions I just gave to you.

So, thank you, Oprah, for sharing your platform with me. I have taken your lessons to heart, even though I never watched your show. For the rest of you, I’m holding the elevator door open so that we can all start on Oprah’s platform together (you’ll have to bring your own ladder, of course):

Lessons I’ve Learned from Oprah’s Lessons Learned:

  1. Everyone has a purpose. Spend your time finding yours, and then live it out.

  2. You are responsible for your own life. Stuff that you can’t control happens to you, good and bad, but it is your choice to pass along the associated energy or not.

  3. Everyone - EVERYONE - wants and needs to feel validated. Accepting and acknowledging that this desire is innate to every person you come in contact with will only help you.

  4. The world is bigger than you. You are not alone, for better or worse.

  5. You don’t get to where you want to be without a dream, a team, and a plan.

The lesson that meant the most to me was #3 - people want to be seen, heard, and feel like they matter. I know this, you know this, but too often, we don’t think about it. I hereby vow to do a better job, especially against the people I don’t particularly care for, because they are simply acting with the same validation anxiety as I am.

What about you? What have you taken from Oprah’s 25 years on television? What lessons have you learned from other Wise Women? Where is your ladder going?

Charlotte's Hidden Tweasure

(also posted on the CRTEC blog)

This town seriously runs on Twitter. Before moving to Charlotte, I never really considered myself much of a Twitter user. Now, however, most of the time I spend on my cell phone is spent reviewing, responding to, or writing tweets (and I thought cell phones were for making phone calls! Pah!).

What’s the obsession? It’s easy. Those 140 characters provide enough information for me to know what is important; with another 140, I can get even more information if I need it. And everyone who is even remotely social uses it. The prevalence and ease of use have made it a must-have tool for anyone looking to interact in the larger Charlotte community.

The Charlotte Twitterverse is home to job postings, event reminders, restaurant reviews, advanced theatre tickets, special offers at your favorite retailers, and more. Sure, every once in a while you get a tweet about what someone ate for breakfast, but by and large the information is really quite useful. Most major events in town include a few social media enthusiasts willing to live-tweet throughout the event, which makes missing that conference you can’t be in town for all that much more bearable.

But the real beauty in Charlotte’s twitter addiction lies in the “biggest small city” mentality that all Charlotte residents have come to know and love: the community is real. The people in the Charlotte Twitterverse, after e-meeting online, meet in person. And often. Charlotteans quite literally use Twitter as a tool to expand their networks, and then take it to the next, face-to-face level.

I love it, I really do. Twitter isn’t for everyone, I know that. But if you’re looking to do business in this town, you’d be remiss to ignore this vital part of the Charlotte e-world!

Smart Latinas Get The Party Started

I have been needing to write a blog post for ages. Unfortunately, in my constant quest for perfection, I neglected to get around to actually writing, well, something.

Anything, really.

I’ve written drafts, come up with outlines, and gotten absolutely… Nowhere!

Why? What about writing a blog post is so hard, anyway?

Nothing, it turns out. You just have to get the party started.

So here it is - welcome, friends, to my party. It’s about Smart Latinas, but everyone is invited. Come on down, have a drink or two, and party with me as we celebrate the Smart Latina in every one of us!

Lesson One: Smart Latinas don’t wait for perfection, or for someone else to throw down the gauntlet. They get the tools they need to produce the best they can with the time that they have. No time like the present. Just get the party started.



Ready? Go!