Evolve or?

Evolution is fascinating, even to a devout Catholic like me. One of my all-time favorite non-fiction books is by Stephen Gay Gould, Wonderful Life, an exploration of the Cambrian Explosion (and subsequent extinction). Aside from the intriguing descriptions and drawings of animals that look like combs or vacuum cleaner parts, there is something inspirational about the scope of life on our planet, its many shifts and transformations.

The social evolution of Latina women is something I’ve pondered almost as long as I’ve wanted to uncover fossils with toothbrushes. Using myself as a barometer, I have often wondered how far we’ve come in terms of our choices and changes. Most recently, I have seriously questioned the place of career in the life of Latinas. We have been trained(at least most feminista icons and Latin girl mags would have us believe) to go to college and be ambitious and yet I wonder if we’re still not bound by the physical aspects of our gender. In other words, have we really embraced our relatively new role as career women? Or is being a wife and mother still the end-all and be-all of brown womanhood?

I’m in the middle of a major event in my life. I’m on the verge of a new career. New salary, new wardrobe, new credibility, new responsibilities. I will be a mover and shaker on paper and on an everyday basis. I will join the ranks of the powers that be. For the most part, my girlfriends have received the news with great joy and excitement. Still, I can’t help but wonder if a new boyfriend or engagement ring or baby news wouldn’t thrill some people more. It’s not like I expect a party or a parade(though either would be nice). It’s not every day a brown girl from the East Bay becomes a higher-up.

Evolution is a marvelous process. Right about now, I was supposed to be attending the graduation of He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named-Lest-I-Retch and preparing for a July wedding. Instead, my summer will be spent shopping for suits after a long-awaited vacation in Peru. As always, I have survived.

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