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Self-love and mental health

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Last week, I had the honor and privilege of sharing space with fellow first gens and inspirational humans Noel Claudio, PMP, CSM, Odalys Jasmine Garcia Arce, Kavell Brown, Brittani Baker and Pabel Martinez to talk about the importance of self-love and taking care of our mental health.

Growing up “in between” two cultures: American and Dominican, or other non-US culture was always mentally and emotionally exhausting for me. I didn’t have that language then but I know that’s what it was looking back.

I also got annoyed when I didn’t remember the English word or Spanish word for things. I didn’t know a bodega was a “corner store” until the 8th grade.

But I’m blessed to have an hermana, amigos, primos and a first gen community on this platform who understands exactly how it feels to bear the burden and blessing of expectations that come with being first gen.

A community who understands why unlearning is so much harder than learning new things.

A community who understands why our relationship with money can be complicated and how badly we need to heal it.

A community who understands how we grapple with thoughts about “success”, “hard work” and “rest” that we know logically are grounded in the survival mentality required of our immigrant parents, yet we still can’t seem to break totally free from the same mentality.

A community who knows exactly what you mean when you hesitate to go to therapy because family might say they had it worse and that you should be so lucky to live the life you live: “how can you be sad or upset or stressed.”

A community who understands that what we do is not just for us as individuals but for ALL of us, our families and those coming after us.

If I could go back and share some wisdom with my 7 year old self it would be that I belong because of my story and that the “in between” is right where I was meant to be and where my truth and power lies.

Owning your own truth and story, and doing it in community is liberating.

Please follow the powerhouses I mentioned above and be on the lookout for the next hella first gen audio event here on #linkedin.

Claribel Vargas throwback ❤️


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