Hey y’all. June is Pride month, and also Immigrant Heritage Month. In the coming weeks, I’ll be testing out some new content ideas, including a podcast with my kid in honor of Pride month.
For today, here’s another conversation, this time with journalist Fernanda Santos, another no. 1 and a Brazilian American. I got to know Fernanda through our collaboration on Americano!, an off-Broadway musical about immigration, democracy and love.
Here are her answers to the three questions we like to ask fellow no.1s.
1) Name a burden and a blessing that comes with being a No. 1 Immigrant Daughter?
To be the first one in my family to leave my home country and make a home in another country. The burden part is that I had no model to emulate, no one else's footsteps to follow. It’s been entirely on me to figure out how to do this immigrant thing and part of it has required learning to stay true to myself and not the expectations that others have for someone like me. These are all also blessings. I'm much stronger, much more resilient and forgiving of myself because I've had to do it alone. In the process, I've learned to trust myself and my instincts and to love myself exactly for who I am.
2) When is a time you chose duty over desire, that you wish you could do over?
I covered stories in the way my editors wanted me to cover them instead of the way I wanted to cover them. Though I respected my editors, I routinely felt their ideas didn't fully reflect what I was witnessing on the ground and that's especially true of my time in Arizona. I wished I'd pushed back more convincingly and had the kind of political skills that would have allowed me to get my point across without seeming belligerent and playing right into the angry or spicy Latina stereotype.
3) What does the No. 1 Immigrant Daughter in you take to a deserted island?
My younger self. We could really use some time together and away from it all to work through some stuff, forgive ourselves and also remind ourselves that, in the end, everything is going to be alright.
You can subscribe to by Fernanda Santos on Substack to learn more about her journey as an immigrant, mother, widow, and writer.
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