In My Feelings Part 1

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Ok 40, I’m ready

It’s been so long since I posted, but I’ve been keeping busy. With my sights set firmly on the future, I’ve managed to travel to my past and through this journey find my present. Let me explain. 

I grew up in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and after my parents divorced I cut all ties with the place that saw me learn to walk, talk, and even kiss boys. One could say I ran away from home. By ran, I mean I left and never looked back.

I moved to the US to make a home and start over, leaving behind a very important place and very important people, but it’s not until now, when I’m old enough to look back, that I can appreciate how important my roots have been to the woman I am today.

After all, I claim to be a champion of Latinas, of Ecuadorian fashionistas in Palm Beach. I market and sell their wares. My identity is so closely tied to my work, sometimes I’m not sure where one ends and the other begins. But I digress.

I’ve been back and forth a few times, but only dipping my feet as a tourist, a gawker. Always and mindfully disconnected. I let people in, but on my turf, in Miami or Palm Beach. I was ashamed I suppose, that my once prominent, happy family was broken. That we were scattered. That I was broken too. But isn’t it where there are cracks that the light can shine thru?

I’ve been super open about my struggles with anxiety and depression. After my parents broke up, I was never the same. For a long time it felt as if I did not have a home, and I associated that with my hometown. I lived as an expat for the remaining half of my life, embracing my American roots, and whitewashing my entire existence.

As they say, out of sight, out of mind. But thankfully Ecuador came knocking. I had worked with Veronica Uribe, a childhood friend and talented Ecuadorian designer, and forged a wonderful business relationship with her. Then came Kitik Jewelry, and Patricia Robalino. Without planning, my people kept showing up for me, and The Curated Look (my business) blossomed.

The entire premise, the trunk show model, is one hundred percent borrowed from my childhood custom to shop in a wonderful, female-led and environment. Our own private space where we could sit and be intimate and share secrets, try on clothes without any pressure, have a coffee, and of course shop for the weekend’s parties. This was a very Latín thing to do. We did not, once upon a time, have mega malls in Guayaquil. 

Fast forward to right now, when I’m about to land in Guayaquil to spend my 40th. Full circle. My son has been studying abroad in Ecuador’s capital of Quito, and I could no longer help myself. It’s time to make amends. It’s time to grow up.

Some tears are flowing as I write this on the plane. My therapist says we are lucky we can cry, that we were made in such an intelligent way that when our feelings have no other place to go we can just let go and wash them away with tears of happiness or sadness. In my case a little bit both.

What once made me feel shame, anxiety, and many other feelings (thank you therapists!) is now what inspires and moves me. Full circle. I can’t wait to turn 40 in a few days, in the city that raised me. I can’t wait to re-discover the food, the music, all the new places and faces. I can’t wait to share it all with you too!