Thrivers in Action: Aurora Lydia Dominguez
This week's Thriver is Aurora Lydia Dominguez! I have known Aurora for more than 10 years, since my days working in the wine and spirits public relations world. She has always been a wonderful person to be connected with on a professional and personal level. Currently, she is an educator as well as a journalist and young adult books expert at Frolic Media.
Name: Aurora Lydia Dominguez
Title/Profession: Educator and Journalist
Reside: Hollywood, FL
Tell me about your work and/or your mission with respect to helping yourself or others with mental health.
I'm currently a high school teacher, college professor and freelance journalist. My mission as an educator is not only to inspire, but also to make sure my students have a healthy environment in the classroom. As a person who lives and struggles with bipolar disorder, my biggest concern is creating a welcoming environment where they can feel free to be themselves without judgement and to express who they really are. Then, as a writer, I also use that as an outlet to express myself and let go whenever the day feels heavy. So, in the end, I feel like my purpose is to be there for those who need me and to express myself with the written word and let others know that mental health issues are real and we should take care of them.
Tell me about your personal experience with mental health. Can be lately during the COVID pandemic or overall throughout your life.
During this pandemic, I've been more diligent about taking my vitamins, medications and daily exercise. I've also, as an educator, been flirting with digital learning. Though overwhelming, it's been a good transition to focus on myself while educating others at the same time. In 2008, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ever since then I've made it my mission to be there and listen to others who might be afraid to express their mental health struggles. And, as a career woman, I've also made it a priority to show others that you can live a full life and have a career, husband and family even when struggling with mental health issues. I'm happily married to my husband Sebastian, we have a cat, Luna and I make them my number one and they are my number one to be there for me whenever I've gotten a bipolar episode. In the end, the disease doesn't define us...it makes us stronger, whatever you might be diagnosed with in your life. That's what I want people to learn about themselves.
Any projects or initiatives you are launching to support your mental health?
Right now, I mostly express myself on social media and help others cope with their own struggles, and as a journalist and educator, I've made a lot of strides when it comes to being there for others. Through my writing and my teaching, I've made myself a spokesperson and real person that you can relate to when things get tough. One dream of mine is to maybe speak publicly about my struggles and help others realize that you can live a normal life with mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder.
What have you learned about yourself/community/life in general since the lockdown and COVID pandemic?
I'm stronger than I thought I was and I needed this time to focus on myself. I've been more reflective and more focused on planning what I want from my future and who should be in it. I love it! Not the pandemic itself, but just how I've grown by dealing with it all.
Learn more about Aurora at auroradominguez.com and follow Aurora on Twitter @AuroraMiami and on Instagram @Auroralydia