Yesterday was one of the longest days for me. I normally try not to mope as much or drag myself all over the house in self-pity, but this weekend was tough. After my friend Alsy had to cancel our plans for dinner last weekend, I had not really made any attempts at hanging out with anyone else.
I called another friend, who was tied up with studying. I just didn’t even know what I wanted to do. That evening, I went to Church, which always cheers me up– if temporarily. I love the people there, and I enjoy the experience of learning about God. Plus, I got to practice my oratory skills because I did the reading yesterday!
But after I leave Church, it’s always the same-old. What do I do now? Where can I go so that I don’t feel so alone?
It was only earlier that afternoon that I had remembered an E-mail I received a few weeks ago, an invitation to an event honoring local Hispanic women in the media, aptly titled Encuentro Artístico: A Celebration of Women. It was to be hosted by Latino Leadership, a non-profit organization in Central Florida. I had decided I was going to attend, but with so many things going on in my life right now, it slipped my mind that I had to buy a ticket! Still, I called the young woman who organized the event and left her a message, asking her if it was possible for me to get a ticket at the door.
If not, I had no other plans, and this event sounded right up my alley! After Church, already dressed for the occasion if necessary, I called again and finally reached the person I needed. She said sure, I could come. 🙂 I was thrilled! I was relieved. Going to this social gathering did not guarantee I would do much “socializing” of my own, but at least the door had opened for me.
As Mom and I headed to the mall where the event was held, one thought crossed my mind: “If only Alsy were there!” But I let it go. It would be far too much of a coincidence, and Alsy’s job as a reporter keeps her far too busy for events such as this.
Once I bought my ticket at the door, I said “bye” to Mom, and headed inside the venue, which was an area that used to be a store but was turned into a beautiful event space. Almost immediately, I was greeted by Donaldo González, the producer/camera person who worked on my story for Telemundo Orlando. He actually introduced me to a few people, including Olga Aymat, an anchor for Telemundo, and Aixa Díaz, who anchors for WESH 2 News.
Both were incredibly sweet, and interested in my story about “Holdin’ Out,” and its mission to generate awareness of spina bifida. So…let me tell you a little bit about Aixa. She was born and raised in my native Puerto Rico, and earned her bachelor’s in communications at North Carolina State University. Then, she got her master’s in broadcast journalism at Boston University.
The diverse stories Aixa has covered include the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the Virginia Tech massacre.
But what compelled me to profile her as a “hero” was her enthusiasm in listening to me and her insistence that I get in touch with her and that she would like to help get this story out to the public. If each journalist took just five minutes to listen to this story, the news would travel pretty fast and reach thousands of people. After all, this is what I’ve been asking of all of the celebrities, journalists, politicians, companies, and nonprofits I have written to, many of whom have not responded (although I have yet to finish letters for everyone already profiled, so it would be unfair to say that all of these people have been unresponsive).
To get back the celebration last night, it didn’t take long for someone else I know to find me. It was Alsy Acevedo! I was psyched (and quite relieved) to see a very familiar face, so I spent much of the night enjoying conversation with her and her husband. (They are quite an adorable couple!)
I didn’t fail to recognize the irony in the fact that just last weekend, I had been so bummed that my plans with Alsy had been cancelled at last minute, only to run into her at an event such as this one was. About, oh, five or ten minutes into the conversation, Alsy told me she was one of the honorees who would be recognized! I am so proud of Alsy and her accomplishments, and I just know that people like her, and like Aixa, will continue paving the way for other Latinas (and women, in general) to make a difference in their communities.
Keep tuning in to my entries daily, please. I think I will have lots more to share with you in the coming weeks!