40 Over 40 for 2023
"You must believe in your dreams and not those of others.
Don't let anyone tell you that you lack worth. There is nothing more beautiful than your inner strength!"
PROFESSION: Registered Nurse BSN - Oncology Certified
What is the best thing about being your age?
My forties have given me a sense of accomplishment and bravery. There is a sense of empowerment, wisdom, confidence, and beauty within me. Being my age has allowed me to no longer be influenced by other people's opinions. With a sense of empowerment, I follow my own ideas, beliefs, and dreams rather than what others want. My boldness comes from within!
What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?
As an independent, driven, and free-spirited young woman growing up in a traditional Mexican family, I faced hardships. My family's expectations of me forced me to break molds to become the person I was meant to be. As a girl growing up in a predominantly male-dominated household, I had to fight against the notion that women belonged in the home and were wives. To challenge these ideas and thoughts, I attended college and graduated from UCSC with a degree in Biology, becoming the first female in my family to do so. My experience as a divorced mother who also became a single mother has had many challenges, including adjusting to life alone and preparing my son for the future. My hardships have strengthened me so that I will never give up and never conform in life; even if I do not feel I am moving fast enough, I always move forward.
What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?
I have checked off many things on my bucket list, but my favorite thing I have completed so far is hiking the strenuous trails in Yosemite, Death Valley, and Lake Tahoe. In the process, I also completed five ultra-marathon endurance races and met my soul mate, Ivan.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
The mountains make me happy, watching sunrises and sunsets, breathing fresh air, listening to the sounds of nature, and hiking with my husband.
What is your most treasured possession?
I cherish three possessions the most: my health, my son, and my husband.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My most outstanding achievements have been becoming a mom and choosing nursing as my profession. My son Zeke has taught me love, compassion, and resilience; because of him, I strive to do and be better in everything I choose to do. It has been him who has inspired me throughout my life. My calling is to help others in need throughout my life, and I have fulfilled my purpose in this quest by becoming a nurse. As a mom to Zeke and an oncology nurse in my community, they both bring me so much joy.
What is a trait you are most proud of?
One of my greatest strengths is my compassion for people, particularly those suffering from chronic illnesses like cancer. My passion is having a career that allows me to care for others and provide them with the treatment they need to get well, as well as reach and maintain remission of their diseases.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Let life guide my steps in the direction I am meant to go and stop worrying about the future.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don't let opportunities pass you by because they may lead you to your purpose. Embrace challenges without fear of failure. A failure does not mean you are not good enough; it just means you must keep trying.
What is your motto or favorite quote?
“Why do I need feet when I have wings to fly?”– Frida Kahlo
Words of wisdom to younger women...
You must believe in your dreams and not those of others. Embrace healthy habits and surround yourself with people who are good for your well-being emotionally, spiritually, and physically. In this world, there is only one you, and you deserve nothing less than the best. Don't let anyone tell you that you lack worth. There is nothing more beautiful than your inner strength!
What I find most beautiful about aging is embracing all of the changes my body is undergoing. I enjoy growing old with silvery glistening hair and becoming wiser as I age.