Walking in a sea of people towards the ballroom, I felt the weight of a long-sought goal coming to fruition. My brain spun on the fact that nine months later, I would be able to vote. It was February of 2012. I had lived in this country since 1979 when I came from Colombia as a seven-year-old girl. In my 40th year I was finally becoming a US citizen, and in that moment as a mother, as a mental health professional, and as a parenting educator, I understood that I was finally going to be given the right, the privilege, and the responsibility of voting. I have never taken for granted the gift I was given.
I was embarrassed that I had welled up to the point where my nose and my eyes could no longer function properly. I attempted not to take a huge breath or blink since tears were going to pour. From the stage I listened to Heather C. McGhee tell all of us that we needed to listen and understand one another, to meet in our humanity if there was to be true change. I began to cry because I know that this is the answer. As a psychotherapist to families and children, I sit and listen to others' humanity daily, and it always works when we listen, understand, and meet in that place of "yes, me too." However, in this moment at the We Won’t Wait Summit my tears were a mixture of McGhee stating what I believe to my soul and knowing how difficult it is for people to sit, speak, and listen to one another's experiences and feelings.