Change

“The only thing constant in life is change”

I’ve truly learned to accept and embrace this quote. As I approach my third (and FINAL! 🙂 year of law school, I can’t help but to reflect on all the changes I’ve endured within the past three years. Let’s see…

  1. I graduated from college with three bachelor’s degrees.
  2. Accepted into law school.
  3. Received the most life-changing news yet–that I was going to be a mother!
  4. Matriculated into law school.
  5. Worked for two amazing non-profit law firms/legal services providers.
  6. Preparing to graduate from law school.

This is by all means not an exhaustive list. However, it’s easy to get caught up on the day-to-day motions of everyday life and forget to REFLECT on the beauty of one’s work. I may have struggled to balance it all, but I have a lot to be proud of within such a short period of time.

Bravo self, well done! 🙂

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My current reality

Oftentimes, women are led to occupy many, many different roles in life. Many of these roles challenging each other, pulling and tugging for equal attention, commitment, and performance. The truth is we can’t have it all! Not all the time, at the same time that is. In the United States, women are oftentimes told that we can have it all, there is no limit to our dreams but that’s a lie. I say this not to be pessimistic but rather realistic. Our society has yet to fully recognize the notion of “workplace equality” for women (don’t forget the added levels of oppression for women of color). Being a woman of color in the legal field, has proven to be quite challenging from the onset. From undecided feelings of whether or not to disclose the fact that I have an infant, to the condescending comments about women, childbearing, and ascribing to a “hetero-normative” lifestyle. Over this summer, I struggled working, going to school, and caring for my son. In my struggle, I felt even more isolated because I had no one to confide in who had been in my situation. Isolation in and of itself has become a part of my reality.

In order for women to be successful in graduate school the following has to be recognized:

1. Most women in graduate school are of childbearing age (24-34). Graduate program policies should openly recognize and support the personal development as well as professional development of its female students.

2. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in higher education. Policies that respect and recognize the unique needs of pregnant female students creates an inclusive environment for women. Policies that indirectly and/ or directly force women to choose between pursuing their degree and having children are simply wrong.

3. As a society, we need to recognize that cis-women did not choose their birth sex. Pregnancy brings human life and is not just a “women’s issue”. All human life on Earth, up until this point, has been carried by a woman.

4. A woman’s choice to have a baby does not mean that she should have to forego all of her personal and professional endeavors. When men have children, procreation is viewed as a good thing. Men are seen as stable, trustworthy, and reliable. When women have children, procreation is a negative thing. Women are viewed as unreliable and a burden on the workplace.

Jose’s First Trip to the Beach!

Jose's First Trip to the Beach!

This past weekend, we decided to take an impromptu trip to the beach. Jose seemed to really enjoy his time (so much in fact that he wanted to eat the sand!) It was definitely a trip to remember!

Introducing Jose Ismael Ayala

Introducing Jose Ismael Ayala

This child has given more meaning to my life than I ever could have imagined! The product of love, labor, and God’s grace. I am so eternally grateful for the gift that has been given to Geo and I. Looking into his beautiful brown almond-shaped eyes, I see so much of myself and Geo reflected through his gaze. As his mommy, I’m the most important person in the world to him and I love it!

The “Final” Stretch

This week brings finality to a great deal of things in my life. After this week, I will have successfully completed my first semester of law school classes, carried a growing baby boy for 9+months, and added another member to our family. Yep, all in a year’s work! However, rather than view all of these events as endings, I’d prefer to see them as the start of new beginnings. To new life, to new love and to everlasting joy 🙂

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“Life is what happens while we are making other plans.”

If someone were to ask me three, even five, years ago where I saw myself being today and compared my response to where I actually am, they would equate many of my life achievements thus far, with those same plans, thoughts I’d said years ago. At 21 years of age, I can truly say I’ve lived my life to the fullest. I am very grateful for the opportunities God has blessed me with; beginning first and foremost with a mother who never gave up on her children or the hope of giving us a better life. In this year alone, I have overcome barriers, created new life, and embarked on a series of new journeys. Now more than ever the old folks saying rings ever more true–“if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” As this year ends, and another inevitably approaches, I remain reverent of God’s presence and power. In regards to my plans for the future, I will continue on with the “five-year plan” and the “ten-year” plan, while also recognizing that life will conspicuously and inconspicuously alter them.

T-5 weeks! (Im)Patiently waiting…

The days are long but the weeks are SHORT! Baby Boy Ayala is soon to be here:) I can’t wait to experience the joy of bringing new life onto this Earth. A journey that has taken nearly ten months to complete, is only just beginning. With the holiday season near, I am eternally grateful for my loving partner, this wonderful baby boy, and all of our loving family and friends. It is amazing how God continues to put life into perspective for us. Situations in life that we, at first, may consider challenging, bring results that we love and cherish for a lifetime. The opportunity to be a mother and a wife is one that many women may never experience. It is a blessing that I do not take for granted and a duty that I intend to fulfill happily and righteously, by the grace of God.

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To new beginnings…

To new beginnings...

First Day of Law School: August 26, 2013

T-3.5 years to go!

Petition to stop deportation of Dominicans of Hatian descent in the Dominican Republic

Petition to stop deportation of Dominicans of Hatian descent in the Dominican Republic

This is an important issue to me. The international principle of jus solis is a fundamental right. The decisions of the Dominican government to restrict birthright citizenship in the Republic, but also the retroactive application of this law affects millions of Dominican-born citizens and up to three generations of individuals. Sign the petition urging the reform of such a law that has devastating effects on a large class of individuals.

Nesting

Nesting “is a ritual performed by pregnant women in preparing the house, the “nest”, for the arrival of the soon to be born child”. 

Needless to say this natural instinct has taken form in every way. From the incessant urge to buy countless boxes of pampers, wipes, and formula to the buying and assemblage of furniture, I have thought of every thing possible that can be done in order to be prepared for Baby Boy Ayala 🙂 So glad to finally be in our new home. These next two weeks will be filled with baby preparation, because after that there will be school to obsess over.