Apparently Jesus is really trying to engrain in everything give thanks into me today. So far our 6 am flight turned into being deplaned once, getting back on the plane and staying on there for 3 hours before taking off, not being able to enter our gate, missing our connecting flight, waiting two hours in the customer service line and then finally getting another flight only to find that it was also delayed by an hour.
“Izel stop asking Jesus to give you more patience” I kept thinking. I was really trying to keep a cheerful disposition and for the most part I think I passed. Definitely got at least a 80%. Negative points for griping about how hot it was on the plane though.
Anyway that’s not the point of today’s blog. So while waiting in that customer service line, we discovered we had some family waiting in line with us! I was introduced to one of my grandpa’s sisters and since we had a looooong time to wait until we boarded, we sat down to chat.
Mmmm this makes my heart melt. Being able to hear old stories of relatives, life in Mexico back in the day, las charras. There is something so beautiful about being around tu gente. Gente que conoce a toda tu familia. Gente que vio a tus papás crecer. MY HEART.
I’m just such a mix of both cultures that you couldn’t separate them if you tried. Like two colors of play-doh smashed together: one culture so intrinsically woven into the other. I can do el grito Mexicano and also know every word to Respect.
Every summer these emotions get all stirred up once again. There is something about leaving the US and landing in Mexico that makes time stop. Somewhere in between I contemplate so many things: how hard it must have been for my parents to give up this beautiful country, how extremely blessed I am at having this opportunity, and how there are so many more layers to life than you ever realize.
I never became aware of how much Mexico and my summers here were a part of my identity until I got older. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but it’s hard being a hyphenated American. I think the Selena movie said it best:
I hated not growing up with my Abuelitos, or grandparents. I distinctly remember being in elementary school during grandparents day one year and just crying because my mom was always our fill in. Sure speaking Spanish as your first language is cool (it’s actually freaking awesome) and all but man I sweat bullets when I have to try to make sure and speak it properly in front of adults or family friends.
I think sometimes people only look at how astonishing it is to be of another culture without realizing how sticky it can be. And I’m not trying to throw myself a pity party or anything because it’s quite possibly the most glorious thing ever. I mean, tacos, tortas, TEQUILA. #blessed #bendecida
But yeah I just want to touch on how it can be a tug of war at times. I always get “where are you from??” or “what are you? (uh a human). I mean who doesn’t like to be called exotic looking? But at the same time it’s kind of a sad realization. I’m never going to be fully American or fully Mexican. And it’s like okay…. well what side do I identify most with? And it’s a toughie. That’s why I love being able to connect with other people who’ve grown up in the same culture. You just get it. And I have immense, immense love for you. This blog goes out to all those homies reppin La verde while blasting Drake. Se les quiere raza, nunca se rajen.