The struggle of not being enough is one that I no longer care to burden myself with. The shame is too heavy to carry, and I’d rather be content and proud of who I am, where I come from, and who I’m becoming.
I’m a dark-skinned girl with thick black hair and caramel brown eyes.
I’m not fluent in Spanish, but I sure have come a long way since a childhood of only speaking English.
I used to think that my background was a story of shame, but I now realize it is just a story. And a beautiful one at that.
It’s difficult to connect with people when you believe you should be more just because of what you look like. I have been called a coconut, Pocha, and even been told that I LOOK Mexican, but don’t act like it.
The deepest part of me knows I’m inherently Mexican- deeply family oriented, hardworking, humble, and faithful. And yet, I get questioned constantly by people who can identify with the culture more than I can. It caused me to question myself for a long time.
Today I choose to accept myself for all that I am.
I’m a reserved, yet passionate girl who comes from the kindest and most selfless people you could ever meet. I work hard and take pride in what I do, no matter what it is. Even though I care a lot about what people think about me, I battle against that tendency so I can achieve things that I want for myself, one thing being speaking Spanish fluently.
Even though I sometimes deal with social anxiety, I love connecting with people on a deep level so that I can see them and they can see me, not in a superficial way but in a raw human-to-human way devoid of the restraints of age, gender, stereotypes, and judgments. That desire of connection is stronger than my urge to hide when I’m embarrassed that even though I look like I should, I can’t express myself fully in Spanish. I’ll keep trying and making mistakes everyday until I have the ability to eloquently express who I am and what I believe.
I’m the accumulation of the people who love me, the places I have been, and the things I have overcome. I no longer wish to take anything away from that and I will give credit to the person who I am. I will work everyday to forgive myself for not being who I think I should be, but until that day I will accept myself for who I am and take pride in being a Mexican American, even if it looks different from other people’s experiences.