When I was a young girl, I remember telling my grandpa that I felt completely misunderstood in this world. I felt a strong desire to help others but often felt like my offers to help others often comes off misunderstood or unwanted. My parents, my maternal grandparents and my grandparents’ friends kept trying to build me up and teach me that I had the ability to do great things in this world but I still didn’t believe it (and often still feel pangs of those same feelings of frustration). I told my grandpa that I didn’t think it would be possible for me to achieve any of the things he hoped I would achieve in my life. I told him that the world just seems to view me as a little cartoon character and no one listens to a cartoon character.
I distinctly remember him sitting down and looking me in the eye and telling me, “Alicia, listen…my father’s friend felt the exact same way at one point. Do you know who that friend was? It was Walt Disney! That’s why you are named Alicia, so you always remember that you are Latin Alice in Wonderland! You should think of Walt as your honorary Godfather!”
My grandpa proceeded to explain to me that his father (Juan Larrinaga) and Walt had been concerned about some of the same things regarding the future of Los Angeles, and together they worked on a bunch of messages to pass down to the members of our family. One of those messages was a reminder that we are all called to be “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and follow our instructions in life. The true “sorcerer” in this world is our Creator and it is our responsibility to listen for our instructions in life and use our God-given talents (aka “our magic”) to help others around us.
I wasn’t always so great about following my instructions. I tried to hide much of myself away from the world. I’ve learned over the past year how important it is for each of us to get comfortable with every part of ourselves. The parts I’ve been hiding from the world are some pretty awesome stories, so I am trying to honor the promises I made many years ago, and use my art to tell my story (and a bit of my ancestors’ stories too). Hopefully these stories can help bring some joy to those who read them. <3