Back in October, when VivirLatino had its 5th birthday, I wrote about how much the blogging landscape had changed, especially for independent, political, Latino blogs. In the five years since the site’s birth, we have contracted, not expanded and this has been the tightest year yet. This year, VivirLatino had one of its founding editors move on, leaving one person in charge of the entire operation and as that one person; it was and remains the biggest challenge. The changing nature of ethnic political blogging is one side of the coin. The other side is more personal.
I could go on and talk about how hard it has been financially to keep this space alive. I could go on and talk about how the need to do other various jobs, some within the publishing/writing world, some not, has felt so exhausting that it has left me with more moments of hopelessness than I would like to own. Throw in single mami’hood and having to leave my apartment and you have a drop in motivation.
But it is not all negative. How else to explain why, despite wanting to throw in the towel many times and watching my close circle of fellow bloggers get smaller as they stop producing, move to new spaces, or (let’s be real) are co-opted, I still find value in this space. I have been blessed by opportunities because this space exists – visibility has expanded to local and national media – ethnic and with a broader audience. This space gives me voice and in turn gives the world I am a part of voice, and does so unapologetically, even if that ruffles some feathers or makes people uncomfortable. Scratch that, especially if it ruffles some feathers and makes people uncomfortable. More than anything however, I am truly humbled by the people I have met and continue to meet through the work of having this space. Our communities are filled with amazing, beautiful people with rich lives, not just stories for consumption. What I have been blessed to witness and be a part of because of this space has given me so much love which I am compelled to return in whatever small way I am capable. All the hate mail, attack press releases from orgs, and under the table moves I have experienced pale in comparison to the amount of support I have felt. I am still here because you are still here – whoever that you that has placed your granite de arena is.
So, I close this year at VivirLatino, acknowledging the struggle that 2011 has been professionally and personally. But I also close the year open to possibilities, (real) change, and so much hope. My modest desire for the new year is to make media that reflects my values and voice honestly.
Always the Mamita Mala