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Quiero que sea verano #tbt

Quiero que sea verano, porque en verano el agua sabe a frío.

Quiero que sea verano para despertarme en plena tormenta.

Quiero que sea verano para llegar a casa con perfume de fiesta,

y en la oscuridad pasar la noche en blanco bajo las sabanas y sin cobijas.

Quiero que pasen los meses, porque no creo que el pasar de los días me baste.

 

A veces desearía ser pájaro para volver a casa cuando el sol aturde

A veces desearía ser sol para ver quién se esconde de mí

A veces desearía no tener que ser nada, ser aire, ser brisa.

Pero luego recuerdo qué soy; me recuerdo quién soy

Y me recuerdo como era de niña, era un sol, era libre, y corría

 

Pasan los años pero primero pasan los días,

Los años han tomado un atajo, y las horas sin ti no se enteran

del camino más rápido para llegar a la lejanía.

¿Quien te hizo compás? Y cómo te atreves a clavarte en mí.

girando y trazando una vida siempre equidistante a la mía.

 

Quisiera que fuera verano para no ponerme pantalones en casa

Quisiera que fuera verano para beber una copa y no en taza

Quisiera que fuera un reloj el que controlara las vueltas

Las vueltas del mundo, las vueltas de la vida, las vueltas que dimos

Y lo dulce que fuimos.

International women’s day

Dear Mom,

 

You can be sure I will be fine. I know this, because I was born a woman, I was brought up pride and I have made myself become a leader.

 

I dedicate this article today on International Women’s Day to all the women, all the leaders and all the mothers out there.

 

Last night I read an article from the Harvard Business Review entitled Leaders as decision architects. In this article, there was a sentence that was equally defeating as it was encouraging. It read:

 

“It’s extraordinarily difficult to rewrite the human brain to undo the patterns that lead to mistakes.
(We should) Alter the environment in which decisions are made so that people are more likely to make choices that lead to good outcomes ”

 

 

I want to believe for the greater good, altering the environment is possible, but deeper down I want to believe it shouldn’t be necessary. It made me think back to a conversation I had with a very dear friend of mine. He expressed to me that he was annoyed by the feminist movement which made everything “about them”. He explained to me that sometimes he felt some disadvantages and unfair behaviors women face are also part of a man’s life and that by stating that “most women suffer from one of these unjust actions” we are focusing on the wrong end of the problem. The matter  isn’t – to him – that many women are feeling this, the real challenge is that some people in the world are feeling entitled to act this way and most times their actions have an effect on women, but also, sometimes they affect men.

 

I understood two things from this conversation:

  • Women have been fighting the battle wrong, not only by addressing the consequence rather than the cause but also by speaking our discomfort, rage and frustration in such ways that other women understand it, instead of speaking the language of men.

 

  • This friend was raised by a wonderful woman

 

Why did I come to that second conclusion? Because in order for someone to be oblivious to what women felt, he had to have been raised in an environment where men and women are equal but later was exposed to a world where only women were fighting.

 

Last night, as I read that article I felt disenchanted with the human race. I wish we didn’t need to manipulate the world around us in order to leave no choice to people but to be better. I wish change came from within, I wish it was already established that humans were good. But the unfairness women (and also men) face daily is brought to us by people who need a push. And although I have suffered from it both directly and indirectly, I thank those who made the feminine gender a group of soldiers because without them, I would have probably never felt the pride I feel from being the gender I am.

Another article entitled Strategic Leadership  – The essential skills I read a couple of weeks ago in a more dated Harvard Business Review and this one, states:

 

“the more unpredictable the environment, the greater the opportunity”

 

And I think here lies the secret of all leaders, men and women, but also, all women. Strategic leadership is about being given uncertainty and making progress with it. The statement continued this way: “the more unpredictable the environment, the greater the opportunity—if you have the leadership skills to capitalize on it.

I think, if you are a woman reading this, you weren’t given a choice. You have had to learn to capitalize on your skills, your inner leadership skills that make you fight – or not – to be heard, that make you care – or not – about being appreciated rather than being liked. Whatever you do, in an environment like the one WE, mankind, lives in, you have to consciously do. Nothing is a given but your own skills and the opportunities that come with these.

 

And I don’t mean to diminish the efforts and skills of men who are strategic leaders, I am merely saying, men somehow lived in an environment where opportunities were predictable and making the decision didn’t imply them fighting for it.

 

I think all leaders are soldiers of their own destiny, they are carriers of their own pride, they are martyrs of their own expectations. And being a leader, at any given point, is not easy and is not made easy by anyone, regardless of their gender. I also know that my mother raised two fighters, two leaders, two proud women who have reached rewards in life by personal conviction rather than external acknowledgement. And this, makes me thankful for being born a woman.

In another article I read called Setting goals when performance does matter the authors explain that  “goals affect performance through three motivational mechanisms: choice, effort and persistence”. And I somehow believe, even though both men and women reach goals thanks to these, women are actively aware of each and every single one of these mechanisms because the environment has made some decisions for them in advance.

 

 

Going back to the original quote

“It’s extraordinarily difficult to rewrite the human brain to undo the patterns that lead to mistakes.
Alter the environment in which decisions are made so that people are more likely to make choices that lead to good outcomes ”

 

I feel I want to disagree slightly, or at least adapt this to my strategic vision of the world in the future. I want to use the environment as a medium by making a persistent effort to choose to eradicate the cause, not the consequence. Because consequences might only be affecting women sometimes, but the cause affects everyone.

what’s the first step?

I’m bringing “bossy” back.

I heard that in result to the book by female CEO Lean In  the word “bossy” had been banned from school groudn and many women had advocated for this as it resulted that men were being called “leaders” whilst women were called “bossy”. In my opinion, we are losing sight by doing this. It is not about banning “bossy” because everyone can act in such way, it is about teaching the true meaning of “leader” and making sure it is used correctly.

 

What’s the next step?

Personally I would advice all leaders to concentrate on their own skills and use proximal goals – little wins – to reach a greater target, the final stretch goal we all hope for. I personally will use my skill as an experiential designer to create situations, storylines and dialogues that raise more men like my friend. Every touchpoint of our lives and the way we lead them consequently conforms an experience, that can be designed to reach a  purpose. This is the work I do as a designer, this is the skill I have as a person, and this is what my promise is as a woman.

 

In an environment as unpredictable as the one we live in, the skills we need are the foundation and value we bring to the world daily, let us all learn to be strategic leaders, as we think to change this environment to do good to all times, with the premeditated intention of also changing the behavior through experiences that make a difference.

 

Three Things

 

I heard today that we all need three things:

  • Someone or something to look up to
  • Someone or something to look forward to
  • Someone or something to chase

 

I am a person that doesn’t like to need many things and tries to not want too much. I aspire, I believe, I imagine, but that to me should be enough. Or so I thought.

 

As I heard those words today I realized we need those things that satisfy both our inner instincts –  the hunters inside of us – and our lighter souls. We need both hope and chase. We need to win and to aspire. We need to want more but yes, also, we need to own just enough.

 

And whatever we own doesn’t need to be material goods. For example right now, I’m a student in San Francisco who owns 2 full suitcases and that’s pretty much it. With those I came and with those I might or might not leave. But the thing is I also own my pride, I own my accomplishments, I own my poetic thoughts at times and the spontaneous and uncontrollable four letter words some other times. I own my good mood most of the days I live, and I have to own my bad days too, because if I don’t who will. I own my body, for better and for worse, I own my legs that like to dance to the rhythm of any Caribbean beat, I own my smile that shows up when I least expect it, I own my tough skin that I’ve developed throughout the years and decades as I stopped trying to polish myself trying to be someone else.

 

So now I know that even the most broke of students out there probably owns a plethora of emotional and physical goods. But what is it we all need?

 

If I needed something to look up to what would it be? Probably my friends. I need them by my side – not always and not too much – but just enough to have a little dose of inspiration every now and then of each and every person that I consider my friend to survive for the rest of my life.

The thing is, I had to leave my family pretty young, and that left me to the quest of finding spectacular substitutes to my family members. And it’s not an easy task let me say – specially because my family… well they simply rock. So I made sure to look for people that influenced me, that make me a better person. I see in my friends a spark that I want to have. Each person completes me, each friend I have has something unique only they can offer and that I, by myself, will never have because I know it as well as you do – no man is an island.

 

And if I needed something to look forward to? That would be my family. Because I know I’ll see them soon, and if I don’t, I’ll still count the non-accountable days that elapse and bring me closer to the hypothetical day in which I’ll see them. My family is laughter and love, and learning and light. My family is warmth. Warm welcomes and warm soups in my belly. My family is those who take care of me unconditionally, that worry everyday but speak only in motivational quotes because they believe in my success and they want me to dream like a kid. My family is tears of joys and hugs accompanied by the words “see you soon”. My family is home recipes and threads of cooked meals on our family chat. My family is spread all over the world, over 7 countries and for that reason I believe, my family is omnipresent in my heart but still not present in my daily life. And there is no day, I promise, I don’t look forward to seeing them.

 

But what about what or whom I chase? I think I chase the moment it all makes sense. I think I chase that morning in which I wake up and rain or shine I feel just fine. I wait for the day I will not struggle to see whom I miss, or I will not suffer to think of my home. I chase the day in which I make the changes I deserve. I chase the good weather, in the sky and in my heart. I chase balance between dreams and values, between passion and mission. I chase a day when pieces fall together.I chase purpose and I chase pleasure.

 

It’s raining in SF today and it’s okay because I don’t have the need to leave my home, I have my own company and the soothing feeling of being alone. It’s raining today but I’m not soaked in water drops, I’m fully soaked in knowledge and challenges, in my everyday life, in what makes me thrive, in what makes me dream, in what makes me chase for every tomorrow, today. And what makes me chase a happily ever after without the need for a far far away.

how long

Let’s talk about seconds …

Because micro seconds are just too short to exist in my mind. Because sometimes the blink of an eye just happens and I can’t control that. And the thing is that – if I can’t control it –  I might not be able to write about it. So let’s pretend for a second that the shortest time period there is – is – in fact, a second.

And how many seconds does it take for life to change? How many seconds does it take for a smile to invade your lips and colonize someone else’s heart? How many seconds does it take to write a short story? Do you know ? Because I don’t.

I love time. I fell in love with it at an early age. I wanted a watch before I could read the time. I counted the seconds it took for me to do absolutely anything. Mississippis here and Mississippis there. I counted the seconds it would take for me to type my name on my computer, I counted the seconds it took for me to go from one side of my room to the other. I stared at the red numbers on the microwave, I loved the countdown of the last seconds in a song I loved. I loved seconds. I still do. But as you grow old, seconds last less. Is that possible?
I’m no scientist but I think Einstein was onto something with that relativity thing he talked about. I don’t know, just a hunch. I think he was a smart cookie that Einstein.

But it’s true! Isn’t it? Don’t you feel your first kiss lasted forever and now kisses – don’t have as much momentum as they used to when you were younger? It might be because firsts echo trough your memory and as something new happens it impregnates your life and reverberates in your brain so that you never forget. Maybe that’s it. Or maybe, as you grow old, you lose interest in the smallest things, they are no longer magical, they are no longer worth your time,  because time is worth money and seconds are coins you put in your pocket and never count.

 

So let’s talk about minutes… 

…and also about days, and years and infinity.

We’ve heard about infinity, haven’t we? We’ve heard this concept that things will go on forever, no end to the numbers there are, no end to time itself. But it sounds too good to be true, and again, growing up is all about knowing that when things are too good to be true – they probably aren’t true.

So I’m not 100% sold on the infinity thing.But am I sold on the concept of years? of days? of minutes? I still have a hard time with it I guess.

Somehow, even if we can time all of these if we prepare for it, a timer in hand, there is no way for us to know how long it will take for time to stop being infinite and start being definite.

Was there any way to know how long it would take to travel the world before Jules Verne wrote about a man who travelled for 80 days? Was there any way of knowing how long a baby would stay in his mother’s womb before the first baby was born? And was there any way for me to clock and count the seconds, the minutes, the days and the years it would take for tears to not be held in and see the world. And blur the world I live in now?

I didn’t know how long it would take before I missed home. Now I know, it took 159 days, 20 hours, 43 minutes and a few seconds.

 

Being away is infinitely hard, trust me, I’ve been there more times that I would care to count.

  And some people you love are infinitely faraway.

And sometimes time doesn’t heal wounds. 

 

But most of the time, things are infinite until you measure them; and then, when you finally can read time and have a watch on your wrist, you feel in control. Like I did when I learned how to read the time. Like I do today, back on track, living my infinitely long life in San Francisco.