Take time to think about the big vision and the mission that you want to accomplish in your lifetime. Remember it daily, visualize and feel it as if it is happening now…
This story is about a Femigrant originally from Latin America who left her homeland in a time of political and social unrest. She experienced a challenging life being an undocumented immigrant for 16 years in the United States.
Mabel was born and raised in a traditional family in Peru. She came to the United States when she was 25 years escaping political violence back in her country. Fleeing her homeland by herself at such a young age was very dangerous at that time. Her dreams of living in a better society and changing her life in a new country wasn’t as easy as she expected. “I was a big dreamer and too naive convincing myself that life would be easier in the US. And I think that it was a matter of an inner confidence I was lacking at that time and not having someone mentor me then.”
When you have to face what seems to be a very bad condition, you think that it’s a tragedy but it turns out to be a great opportunity to reinvent yourself
Being an undocumented immigrant prevented her to find a better job where she could build her career. She had to work underground at a laundry place, selling pearls and crafts in the streets, even worked as an exotic dancer to pay the bills.
Mabel wasn’t able to go back to visit her Peruvian family either due to her legal status.
“There were many situations that made me wanted to go back to my country but every time I convinced myself that I need to be patient; luckily life surprised me every time when I wanted to give up. I eventually got married and my life changed for good.”
When Mabel became a U.S. citizen, she faced another challenge. She was diagnosed with a life threatening illness, cancer. I’m glad to say that Mabel hasn’t lost her positive attitude while struggling for so many years in the United States. “When you have to face what seems to be a very bad condition, you think that it’s a tragedy but it turns out to be a great opportunity to reinvent yourself or to go to heights that you didn’t think it was ever possible.” Currently, she is in the process of bringing her story on screen with the project “Prodigal Daughter,” a documentary film and community art journaling workshop that she intents to use as a vehicle for the empowerment and healing of women and immigrants.
If I didn’t make those mistakes I wouldn’t be the person who I am today.
Today, she takes a different perspective to her challenges. When she faces barriers, she becomes aware of them and goes through a process of self -growth; when she goes through self-doubt, she questions her mind, “Why I am thinking this is going to be the only solution? It is my ego saying that’s the only way. Before, there were certain experiences that I regretted but now I don’t have that feeling. If I had a chance to choose my life again, I would not change my anything that I have experienced during all these years.
My advice to other Femigrants is to take time to think about the big vision and the mission that you want to accomplish in your lifetime. Remember it daily, visualize and feel it as if it is happening now even if it hasn’t fully materialized yet. It will, the more you can feel it and see it.
Break out from the self imposed limitations, the fear of the unknown and what the world may think of you. Focus on building your brand and the people who are open to become your allies in your community. Find mentors along your path and strive for a balanced life.