My name is Selena, I am the oldest of two and the oldest member of the SLBL team. Being the oldest was rewarding and came with its challenges. You are brought up to be responsible, become independent and learn leadership skills. Then there was the pressure to be the perfect role model and pressure to succeed. There is this high standard that you have to meet, which can be motivating and stressful.
Born in Mexico, but mainly raised in Chicago. My first language is Spanish and for the first few years of my elementary school education, I went back and forth to school between Mexico and the U.S. I personally didn’t mind it at the time because I had a home and friends at each location. One in the city with my parents and one at the rancho with my grandparents. However, there was this stigma that followed me. I felt that I was not good enough here in the United States and was placed in ESL classes, but clearly understood the English language. When I went back to Mexico I was seen as the Chicana and talked about as if it was something negative. This took place in the early 80s, so I never really felt that I fit in here nor there. Nevertheless, I have grown to love both cultures, appreciate their own strengths and values which has molded me to be full of different flavors (cuisine, music, art, philosophy), wiser and proud.
Fun fact about me is that I am a Cancer in the zodiac sign, which is the sign that embodies comfort, maternal energies, very domestic, and love cozy, safe places that serve as a sanctuary. Moreover, Cancers care deeply about their family and friends. In a few cases, some of those friends have truly become family, like sisters to me.
I first met Irma when I was 20 and it took us a while to open up to each other, but once we did we were pretty much unstoppable and inseparable. Working, school, going out, hanging out every weekend. She became the sister I had always wanted. Shortly after, Irma joined a sorority and she had a new best friend, Yvonne. Irma introduced us and I knew I would get along with her right away. It was only natural since I knew and trusted Irma to have close relationships with people who were like-minded like us. Before I knew it, I was hanging out at Yvonne’s house and all was well. Few years later, I became a sorority sister through the alumnae chapter and met Cristina. I gravitated towards Cristina because I felt we were so much alike in our personalities. After all, she is Libra and I am a Libra rising (yes, I am a bit obsessed with astrology). During sorority events, Irma, Yvonne, Cristina and myself found ourselves always sitting together. We would talk plenty and laugh all along the way. We knew we had something special here and we realized it when we were on a boat cruise outing. Soon, we were having brunches, dinners, and hanging out at each other’s places. We stay in contact pretty much every day and there is nothing that we can’t talk about. These women are home for me and my safe place. I can talk about anything without being judged and always appreciate their real talk.
“Empowered women empower other women,” and this is exactly what SLBL represents for me. We are always pushing each other to do better, reach higher goals and give one another higher motivation. We have been through all the good and bad and continue to bring the best in each other. I’m excited to see what the future holds for us and be able to share our stories and experiences.