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#008: Heal The Pain Or Pass It Down with Kali Fajardo-Anstine and April Morland

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“I know what I come from, I come from people who were here for thousands of years…I know what I am. I feel it in my food and my stories and the way that my culture interacts with one another through the humor and the gossip and everything. I know what I come from, and I have to just celebrate it because I can’t be ashamed anymore.” – Kali Fajardo-Ansteine

On this week’s episode of The Self-ish Latina Podcast, I had the honor of meeting with the one and only Kali Fajardo-Anstine. Kali is a Colorado native and author of the story collection series Sabrina & Corina, which has been recognized as a National Book Award Finalist in Fiction, among other recognitions and awards. Kali’s stories, which take place right here in the familiarness of Denver, Colorado, explore themes of identity, relationships, the truths and exploitation of ones homeland, and navigating indigenous ancestry. With strong Latina females as the protagonists in her pieces, Kali emotionally and elegantly deconstructs systems of oppression, confronts the experience of abandonment, and speaks to her truth. In this episode with Kali we not only discuss her stories, but we step into vulnerable and deep territories.

Along with Kali, I feature a conversation with our summer intern, April Morland. April is also from Denver, Colorado and is in her fourth year at Santa Clara University studying Communication and Film! She worked alongside the team this summer helping with the production of our podcasts, worked on social media content, and has even helped us behind the scenes with the exciting projects yet to come (Read: She was involved in many important development conversations about our new film!) She not only taps into some of the themes discussed by Kali, but shares her own story of healing through the exploration of her roots and the importance of personal expression through art.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Kali’s journey of writing Sabrina & Corina and how she has to be self-ish in order to get to where she is today through honoring her calling. She speaks about coming to own her Latinidad through the many barriers presented to her. Some of the topics we discuss include the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship, the abandonment of one’s roots through colonialism, and learning to embrace who we are through our own “enoughness.” We touch on navigating being in “two worlds” and the ever familiar not feeling “Latino/a enough.” 
  • One of the main themes of this podcast is sharing how we can use personal experiences and hardships to create art, heal, and touch others. We can make beautiful out of the ugly and difficulties life throws at us. I speak with April about her journey as an artist and how she uses her art (filmmaking) as a form of healing. 
  • Through our conversations, I introduce concepts often discussed in the Eñye Dream Accelerator (EDA), such as allowing ourselves to ask for help. That fact that it is OKAY to seek help from others as uncomfortable as it may feel and one of my personal favs, you earn your success in life simply by being who you are.

Thought questions/reflections:

  • Has there ever been a time when the judgement of others has gotten in the way of achieving your calling? How did you get through it? 
  • What are the ways in which you heal through self expression? 
  • When have you asked for help? If not, why don’t you ask for help more often? I challenge you to ask five people for help this week and DM me on IG @projectenye to tell me about it! 
  • In this episode, we talk a lot about “enoughness.” What are the things that fill your cup? What practices give you a sense of feeling whole?

Join the conversation about this episode in our Facebook group or shoot me a DM on IG @projectenye and share some of your answers with me there!

If you are interested in reading April’s blog post and seeing her film, click the link below! 
Learning to Celebrate Adoption – Guest Blog by Artist & Adult Adoptee, April Morland

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