I'm a hood-ass bitch from the West Side of Chicago (Humboldt Park). I was filled with fear and doubt that I would only ever be a hood-ass bitch from the West Side of Chicago. I have nothing going for me. I am the daughter of Mexican immigrants. I was a teen mom. I have a criminal record. I'm poor. I don't have a formal education, and I'm not conventionally attractive or successful or “talented” by societal standards.
I became a storyteller/griot out of necessity. Had I not been forced to share my first story at Grown Folks Stories, I no doubt would have, in one form or another, died in the Spring of 2010. Storytelling saved my life.
Oral storytelling has radically changed the way I look at my experiences, both good and bad. Stories I was once ashamed of and afraid to share have become powerful vehicles of truth and vulnerability that give my life purpose and remind me that I deserve to be here.