Blog: so this is 40
This is probably a great time to introduce myself to anyone new here.
Hello! I'm Leila and today is my birthday. I am currently "trapped" in the fun at an indoor water park with my family. Of all things to be and do for your 40th, but that's always been me. Random and silly. I spent my 21st birthday (and part of my bachelorette party) at a Dave & Buster's.
My writing journey goes way back to when I was about my daughter's age (10). I found comfort in words and in pages of a book versus...anything else around me. I still write, as much and as often as I can. But LIFE, man. It is fast, brutal, and sometimes, I forget what season I am in and if I've packed correctly.
I have not written a novel in decades. This fact makes me sad. I have 2 different work in progress: a novel in verse about a Filipina whose family comes from what we in the States consider a succubus...but a mananagal is much more complex than that. The other one has been in my heart since the rise of AAPI hate in 2020. I keep adding more heartbreaking and maddening poems...but I don't know when I'll be finished. I want to bring my stories, my culture into the forefront. It is who I am and I refuse to be a side character even in my make-believe world and I will not apologize for that. You call it diversity read. I call it my life and my point of view.
I am an advocate for moms. Women. Babies. Maternal mental health. My motherhood story began when I was diagnosed with Preeclampsia 10 years ago. This was followed by anxiety, depression, PTSD....and right into another preeclampsia diagnosis about 4-ish years later. My 2 kiddos are my world. I advocate and write and do all the things for them. For other mamas and for other babies.
This season, I am going into teaching. I started this journey sometime in 2019 on a whim. But I remember when I was younger wanting to be a teacher and my parents and aunt (who happened to be a teacher) voted against it. Teachers, at the time, didn't leave the Philippines. Only nurses and doctors did. Writers were also not encouraged. But that is a story within my poetry collection.
Anyway, I am so happy you are here! And thank you for sticking around. Reflections from a birthday milestone:
20s was a glorious mess of happenstance, travels, love and opportunities.
30s was the best up and downs of the loveliness of motherhood. This has been my identity for a decade.
But 40s.....this decade, I am going to embrace all things me: the silly, the random, the opportunities, the boldness and unapologetically saying no when I am uncomfortable.
This is 40, y'all.
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I drink too much coffee, read too many books, and in between raising miracle babies, I find time to write.
Hi there! Here's a quick bio