Aug 03, 2015


Discovering Your “Aha!” Moment Through Introspection and Change

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aha moment, introspection

Personal essay by Lanette Perez-Villarroel via 

As I sit here waiting for my oil change and car inspection, taking in the morning breeze (before it reaches 90), I can’t help but to reflect on two powerful conversations I had this week.

The first one was with a fabulous woman I met through the Latina Leadership Network on Facebook. She is from Sacramento; she quickly responded to my request of needing to speak to someone with respect to youth development programming. We quickly connected, made arrangements to talk and soon thereafter, we spoke for an hour! What initially was supposed to be a professional call, turned out to be both that and a little reality check for me.

Time for an “oil change”

I refer to the call much like an oil change—an odd comparison, I know, but so true. It was about needing to get rid of all the self-pity, the negative thoughts – the need to defend what needed no defending; it was about flushing out the dirty juice that flowed through my system. While I was still functional, the pipes that kept me running were dirty—it was using too much of the wrong energy. My friends, it was time for an oil change!!

It was time to “own it”!

To believe in me and all the positives that live within me. To reaffirm the positive attributes and to “shift my perspectives” – to no longer see those things that hindered both my personal & professional growth as negative or less than, but rather finding the linkage to make it relatable, current and needed.

She told me to “own it”!

You see, professional titles are not and should not be the driving force – but rather, the love, passion & commitment you have for it! What an “Aha!” moment for me. For someone whom I just met, how can she offer up such great wisdom, consejo (advise), friendship and some amazing professional points!!

So grateful to have connected with Liz A. Garcia!! Mil gracias…

Now it’s time for the inspection – making sure it all works and is functional

After my call with Liz, I jumped on another much needed call with my friend/confidant/therapist – what an amazing man he is and how grateful I am for his wisdom.

In a nutshell, I began to feel, once again, that my world was falling apart. While my inside world (with husband and kids) is perfect, the outside world…well, that didn’t feel so good!

He made me realize that my emotions were okay – they were justified. My life was falling into place, everything was in order— family, relationship and job. Then in an instant things changed. Things were no longer in the “working order” as I once knew it and worked so hard for; thus leaving me with a lot of time on my hands. And with having time, comes having time to think about everything, even things that I know damn well I don’t have control of; leading me, well, to no longer have control of myself and my thoughts! Making me angry, snappy and sad…

He said something interesting: “He/she who has control of their emotions, controls the relationship/situation”

I had an“Aha!” moment, again!

It was time for an inspection—time to determine what is working, what is not and then to ask yourself what happened in between to cause that disruption in my emotions.

Once you know—and you will— it’ll be time to fix it!! As he kindly reminded me: you are in control of you, your emotions, your thoughts, your actions and inactions – it’s You vs You!!

While this is easier said than done, inspecting oneself every so often is a great way to start over, without starting new.

My friends, I share this personal struggle because I know I’m not the only one who sometimes finds it hard to deal with the inner you – those spirits that are working against you!!

We all deal with it differently, yes, but at the end of the day, while it’s all up to YOU, seeking support from those you trust, and in my case, from those you just happen to meet.  It can mean a world of difference!

Your mental sanity is so important—take care of it, feed it the fuel it needs so that it runs at its best!

Loving me first ~


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Tanisha Love Ramirez

Tanisha Love Ramirez

Tanisha is the Managing Editor at NEW LATINA, and a social commentary and pop-culture writer/blogger from New York City. She studied Sociology and Women's Studies at Bowdoin College, where she developed a strong interest women's issues and community advocacy. Tanisha has written for the Bowdoin Orient and has interned at BUST Magazine and

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