What is a life lesson you feel everyone can benefit from learning?

Forgiveness!

Forgiveness is such beautiful quality and practice. We are in a world that judges people, full of cancel culture! A path built upon colonialism. A pain felt my the majority of humans that live in the intersectionality of inequality. So many of us are hurt.

We are hurt by “society”. We are hurt by family. We are hurt by friends. We are hurt by circumstances and we often hurt ourselves.

Forgive me. Forgive them. This does not mean forget or let someone walk all over you or let the system remain as it is if it’s not working for you. But it means let go of that pain and find a place within your soul that allows you to continue to create the changes you need to see in the world.

Tango project in Berlin 2014
Let go of the pain

What does your ideal day look like?

Waking up to the pink tones of sunset! Taking some selfcare and a coffee, then back to bed.

Having a loved one join me for brunch! The rest of the day will most likely be wonderful after such a start. Perfection Isa’s not something I want.

I crave adventures memories health and abundance. These things often come from mistakes, oppsies and what is unplanned for.

Corona Arbeit got me in a German dive bar! A misadventure that’s keeping me real!

What does it mean to live boldly?

This question immediately brings up gender inequality, memories, and the pursuit of happiness, for I am a woman who lives life by her own rules. I have always lived boldly I have always lived fiercely, but being female & a minority, I often have been treated as if this equates to lousy behavior. My boldness has been considered rude instead of a strength.

What is golden and admirable for one gender has been seen and socialized as rude for women minorities and other (they them) boldness is seen as too much and Over the top behavior. We should raise little girls to live a bold existence to have not only a passion for expression and this includes being able to say no without an explanation that is the confidence that is what we expect and respects about each other when I say no, but I also have to be apologetic, or embarrassed which I will not be! My no, it’s clear one word a bold no I live life boldly I pursue my dreams. Sometimes I get lost in this pursuit in a forest of Creative confusion. Still, amongst all of these choices, I have fought for the freedom to be a sassy, bold, wild woman. I have immigrated to countries where I am respected for my independence and expected to marry and bear children!

Liliana Velásquez as Nstasha BikiniOff

If you want to catch me on stage being bold, come to Sunday Slips open mic. Every Sunday no matter what! Or my solo show Allein!

What do people incorrectly assume about you?

Living in Europe for the past eight years, the most common assumption is my nationality. I’ve always been recognizably Latina. When I lived in New York City, people often thought I was Puerto Rican. But here they think I’m from Spain, France, Italy. The guesses go on and on and on and very seldom does someone assume that I am a Latina and, to be clear Colombian.

16 year old me in Medellin Colombia

But what exactly is nationality? I can understand why I might look European to some. In the past eight years, I did not know that my skin could be as fair as I had not been in the sunshine or even at the beach. My skin tone varies so much depending on my proximity to the satellite. Well, I grew up in Miami and Medellin. my skin was caramelized and kissed by sunshine. My hair was curly and long, and my smile and attitude radiated Latina sassiness.

Throughout the years, I have come to believe nationalities are a construct and that in the end, we should all be fighting together for a better world and more quality of life for all. Stop Making assumptions about where people come from and start treating everyone the same rights; live a healthy life to access healthcare, food, education housing. One of the main reasons why I live in Europe where I live in Germany, to be precise. Berlin.This city has offered me a better life a better simple standard quality of life. And even though often people assume they know where I’m from, I feel welcomed most of the time. I am only exotic to you if you have a colonizer mentality. It’s not a compliment to call me exotic it is a strange and triggering word.

Two Colombian beauties on a rooftop in Brooklyn

What makes you laugh?

I don’t think anyone’s asked me this in a long time. Usually, I’m the one making other people laugh. I’ve been working as a standup comedian for the past 15 years all I guess I’ve honestly been working for the past ten years, and the first five were learning the craft becoming better. I’m still becoming better. In my opinion, I’m not even as close to my growth spurt as the people I admire in this career path. I laugh a lot at comedy shows when I see the greats.

That is just my life path. Laughter has made me understand tragedy and personal pain. But the moments where I laugh to the point where I might cry. The moments where I have to hold my stomach and fall to the ground because I’m laughing so hard, the moments when I almost Peed myself because I cannot control my laughter have almost always been with a close friend or one of my sisters. Where the silliness takes over the absurd unites us. We’re time seems to stop because the giggles are so strong that one cannot even breathe. These are usually moments about ridicule about mistakes about survival moments that no longer exist.

Lady V & Sammy
Martini & Lava

The last time I laughed like this was on Christmas dinner my friend Martini and I made eye contact and our cunty truth often brought us to tears of joy.

I am so grateful for all these moments. Sometimes we forget exactly what we were laughing about, but the memory of that connection of that deep, profound universal laughter of that healing sensation that is joy. I always welcome this time and time again.

HANDS

As her hands moved through my hair, I felt the hands of time turning back. She braided my hair. I had been asking her for months to braid my hair, and she would laugh. One day I asked what is so funny she said I don”t do well with white hair. I looked at her in awe, my Latina curls bouncing in the light I said what are you talking about? Girl, please, you are going to do my hair! It is quarantine, and your hands are going to be able to do anyone’s hair by the time we are let out again. I grew up with my hair braided all the time! French braids, multiple braids, Beach braids, you know. Hot weather hair! We braid straight, curly, etc.! I felt younger and younger as she pulled. I even laughed, telling her to make it tighter so my wrinkles would stretch with every twist. I remembered moments of my youth in rollerblades laughing with my friend Carolina as we jay rolled. Crossing the street on our blades while rolling a joint! Miami in the early ’90s. When she finished, I looked in the mirror and laughed so hard as I looked shinny and young, my eyes sparkled, bringing even more attention to all my beautiful grey hair!

Discover Prompt Day 3: Song

Song. Songs languages. Places Adventures… A song can take you back! I remember the songs from a kindergarten life in Miami, Florida, in the early ’80s. The hair was big, and nails had become a huge fashion statement. My friend’s mother had a fingernail that had its own earing dangling off the end. I never understood it, but I was mesmerized. My mother would wake me up to the song you are my sunshine with a heavy Colombian accent “Jew are my Sonshine. Jew are my Sonshine jew make me happy Jew know the rest.” Well, I loved and still love this song I hear it in a toy box and boom I am once again sitting next to my mother no matter where I am in the world. Play me some “Con mi burrito habanero Voy Camino de Bellen”, and there I have transported to Christmas time in Miami.
Today I play all kinds of songs and music. I mostly enjoy local talent and find myself lost when the radio is on. Most songs make me dance. my feet will move to any beat, even a car horn repeatedly can cause me to shake my booty. #latina. Within songs and memories are sensations at times my body sinks into the ground with the bass, and my feet need to be bare! I want to feel the earth between my toes. And other moments, I fly into a twirling sky with a violin. A song can have no lyrics, and yet I will sing, a song that can have no music, and however, we know it. Children sing repeating words they do not know or understand. 1 little 2 little 3 little Indians. Wondering whose culture they are learning. Songs that break our emotions apart songs that help us heal from loves lost. The power of a song to unite people. Songs of nostalgia and faith, love and hate, songs for every moment, silly songs for passing moments and most of all the songs that have been lost the languages that will never be heard again. Somewhere in the sky between the falling stars are these lost songs.
Let us keep singing our songs into the universe and moving our bodies to feel the connection to more than just self. We might be in isolation at the time, but we are more connected to our songs our people our planet than ever before. Keep sharing your song!