Revolutionary: adjective rev·o·lu·tion·ary\-shə-ˌner-ē\. This is the definition that best fits: constituting or bringing about a major or fundamental change. For example: a revolutionary new idea or product.
In upcoming posts, I’ll tell you a little more about me and why I decided to start this blog.
I was born and raised in in Los Angeles, California, a second generation Mexican-American. My family was middle class. My dad, who was born in El Paso, Texas, was a union member and a welder by trade. He made decent money.
When I was a kid, we spent a lot of time at the park as a family and my brother and I would ride our bikes, taking walks as a family, making ham and avocado and bean “tortas” to bring to the park and have picnics. On Sundays (each and every Sunday), the entire family would meet at my grandmother’s house for breakfast and on the menu was: menudo. All of the kids would then play outside and run around the front and back yards while the adults caught up inside on the past week’s happenings.
Life was good. I was a happy kid and we were a strong family…that was, until my dad fell into alcoholism and addition: I was 12. From then on, everything went down hill. That was a really tough time for me. I’ve experienced every high and low there is to experience in life. As they say, however, what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. Or, adversity builds character. I couldn’t agree more!
There are many details, lessons learned, observations and perspectives I gained in life, having gone through such a difficult childhood, adolescence and young adulthood.
Despite all of the above, however, I worked extremely hard, worked my way through college and graduated from a private university in Los Angeles, summa cum laude with a degree in Business Management – Finance. Very early on, I decided to focus my career in the healthcare sector. I began working at a local community hospital on weekends at the age of 16 and never left the industry, making a very good living for myself and becoming an executive for a Fortune 10 company. By the time I hit my late 30s, I was earning almost double my initial goal and was in the top 5% of income earners in the US. I also had the opportunity to travel the world and, through my work in professional services, lived in London for a year.
Why does this matter? It matters because only a couple of years later, I’ve decided to leave it all, take a sabbatical for a year and move to Mexico City.
Exiting Corporate America at the height of your achievement and earning power is not something most people do and it’s not easy to do. It took me almost two years of thinking and re-thinking to finally have the guts to make it happen. Why did I do that? What could be so compelling that a person could walk away from a life with so many privileges?
Well, as it turns out, all of those lessons I’ve learned at a young age and in my very eventful life, including lessons you take away from each interaction with every person you meet as well as my bi-culturalism which allows me to see things through the lens of an American and the lens of a Mexican, all helped me understand what’s truly important in life…and it’s not money! Don’t get me wrong, I am a risk-averse person and also plan everything at least three times. 😀 I made a very decent living over the past years and have been debt free for at least the last four years so I’ve been able to save a fair amount of money which allows me to take time off without significantly impacting my savings and retirement plans.
Through my experiences and research, I’ve become convinced that we Americans, as a society, are at a significant risk of decline now more than ever because of our declining health (certainly in the US, the UK and Australia, the industrialization of food is a big culprit). Our movement way from traditional social structures and rapid decline in our natural resources—at a pace never before seen–will put us at grave risk of depleting our natural resources and exacerbate things like climate change and water scarcity (via deforestation and industrial farming). Our consumption is out of control! We are destroying land left and right; we are drying out rivers, lakes and contaminating oceans…all in the name of profit and greed that’s really gotten out of hand.
The US, as a society, has lost all respect for their fellow human beings, animals and nature and we’re consuming food and other “stuff” with such voracity, that it has given us the highest rate of obesity and chronic disease in the world. We’ve created an entire population of people who are chronically sick: including mental illness, drug addiction, diabetes, rising rates of cancer, hypertension and heart disease. This life we’ve created is not sustainable and I am convinced it will have a catastrophic end if each one of us doesn’t begin making big changes so we can all do our part.
The worst thing is that we (the USA) are exporting this way of living and consuming to the whole world. I see it in Mexico. I saw it in Spain, in the United Kingdom, and in France.
We don’t care about the fact that we exploit people in underdeveloped countries, pollute their rivers and oceans–we pollute ours as well–and create waste in volumes that surpass our ability to dispose of it. All this in the name of unchecked capitalism. It is out of control and completely unbalanced.
I hope to provide you with the information you need to help you adopt a more sustainable life, including asking you to reflect on each action you take and its consequences. That is, to live a responsible life and exercise that consumer power that each one of us has to move things in a sustainable and just direction. A direction that protects our future, the future of our children and the future of our planet.
We need to change our ways amigos, it’s as simple as that! We must take action and there’s great power in numbers. Informed citizens have so much power in a free market (capitalist) society such as ours…but we have to learn how to wield our power. In this blog and via Instagram and Twitter (follow me @staywokeamigo), I will inform my readers how they can make a difference.
Because I hope to bring to all of my readers insights that constitute or bring about a major or fundamental change in the way we view life and health; in the way we view our “role” in “our own” health; in the way we view happiness; in the way we view our responsibility in making decisions that are socially responsible, including our consumption habits; and, in the way we view our neighbor Mexico and how we view Mexico/US relations–this topic being close to my heart as a Mexican-American and seeing how the current US administration has soiled the name of a great people and insulted an entire nation who really are our “amigos.”
As Americans, we get caught up in such a hamster wheel running 150 miles per hour, but have we ever asked ourselves, “Where are we going in such a hurry?” We become disconnected with our community, our fellow humans and with reality. We have lost appreciation for the simple things in life–those that bring about “true” happiness.
I am taking a sabbatical and moving to Mexico City October 2018. I plan to fully explore Mexico’s food, people, culture and the lessons they can teach us about valuing life, family, love, mental health, nature and finding happiness in the simple things.
I’d love ❤ to have you accompany me on this journey. Together, we can make a difference!!