That annoying question: Where are you from?Posted: July 23, 2015
I have an accent when I speak Spanish. My accent shows that I am not a native Spanish speaker, however, Spanish is the 1st language I learned. Then I learned German. Then I learned English, eventually I lost my Spanish accent. Having an gringo father will do that, as I lived in gringo neighborhoods growing up with my entrepreneur parents. You would not know this unless you knew since I was born. I have been in Ecuador for a month and have to explain where I am from to people of Ecuador, not to the tourist because they assume I am Ecuadorean.
I am from Ecaudor. I was born here. I moved to the states when I was young and stopped speaking Spanish around 3rd grade. It was a weird situation at home as the person that did not want Spanish in the home was the mother of my dad. She did not want people to confuse my mom, my brother and myself as Mexican. Before she passed away my grandmother did mention she always regretted her opinion of speaking Spanish as she realized that being able to is a real skill in this globalized economy. Strangely enough, since I lived in Texas everyone just assumes I am Mexican. Like everyone, as if the only people in the world with brown eyes and black hair who tan easily are from Mexico. My best friend in high school was Mexican and yes I was able to relate with her family far more than my gringa best friend in middle school. My current best friend is interracial and it is so strange how much we have in common, yet so much more of a relieve to have some that UNDERSTANDS. Do you know how hard it is to meet someone who loves bass music but enjoy the finer things in life?
I have told several people last week that I am from Ecaudor but have lived in the United States for 20 years. Why do I have to include that… oh yeah, my terrible accent. I can speak Spanish enough to get by but it is clear that it is so bad that I am not Ecuadorean enough. Of course I am not American enough. I have stopped trying to fit in anywhere and just say I am from down the street. It is also annoying to have anyone say how cool it is to be interracial. Like it is trendy. It is just something that happened.
It is my funny way of dealing with this constant question that others have about me. I walked down the street and now I am here. Now that I am here now we can do something fun, interesting and get on. Explaining where I am from is not going to explain very much about how I am now, especially right when I met someone. I come from all over. My father has a family that is only 2nd generation American. My mother has family in Europe. I lived in the states for most of my childhood and I am missing visiting the MAC counter right now to even out my sun kissed tan. I was raised to save most of my income and pay for cash for everything and that family is everything and do not take crap from anyone. I come from this country that is bio diverse and friendly and scary AF sometimes too. I also come from a flat land out in East Texas where it can smell like gas but my favorite cousins lives there so I do not mind. I have visited graves of my ancestors from all parts of the world. That is what being international is like. I am really from all over and it it hard for me to explain to anyone who has never even left their state that I feel nostaglic when I am communicating with someone over dramatic hand gestures more than words. I have this great sense of belonging to every moment that I am in because I do not know how long I will be there.
I really do not like explaining where I am from. I am not there anymore, I am not even only visiting, it just part of me. }
I can just tell you where I am now. I am here with family in Ecuador. I am happy to write that.