Hi. I’m Janeli.
A mujer, but not much of a “dama.” A wife…but not much of an “esposa”. A working mommy & stepmommy trying to find that elusive work/vida balance. I love food, margaritas, old school 90s R&B and Rock, and just having a good time with friends and family. The list of things I don’t like is much shorter.I grew up on the Border on Texas/Mexico, hopping over to Juarez every weekend to “help” my dad at our carniceria [meat market], and by help, I mean eat all of the Duvalins, Masepans, and “Yogurs,” and run around the back parking lot with the guard dogs. I think I checked out a customer once. I was about as helpful as Louise Belcher is in Bob’s Burger joint.
Then my parents moved us to Dallas, and somehow I lost my Mexican-American identity. Because in Dallas, everyone assumed all Mexicans were related, short, brown, and were adorned in gold pendants of Jesus. Ne’er had they seen such a rare creature with words of Latin lands spew out of her mouth. A tall, palish, semi blonde who knew more Spanish and could actually name more Mexican Presidents than the kids who called each other “vato” in the halls of DeSoto High School. After graduation, I jumped the first ride out of the DFW area and attended a small private Catholic university in San Antonio. There, I met my hubby and the people I consider my friend-family. And I fell in love with this city and have made it my home.
I’m embarking on the journey of being a vocal advocate for myself, my community, and my children. As a mother to a child on the autism spectrum I find myself fighting everyday to make sure he’s treated different but no less. I’ve also decided to come out with my HIV positive status. I know that with my light skin, husband, and cisgendered body I am afforded a privilege other shamefully do not have, so I’m shoving my foot in the door and pushing it open for me and for everyone else living with HIV.
I’m just trying to do my best to make my mom, tias, abuelas, and primas proud with maintaining our culture, language, lifestyle, whilst trying to find a way to fit into American culture. Just like Mr. Quintanilla said: I’m too “Mexican for the Americans, and too American for the Mexicans”…the #BrownStruggle…am I right? So follow me on my journey down this road of life while juggling my kiddos, Esposo, career, lipstick, pledge, Vicks, and a molcajete.