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Se Habla Espanol.

I speak Spanish.

It’s not a sign I wear often. I don’t scream it from the rooftops. It’s not perfect, but when I need the language to communicate, it amazes me how it rolls off the tongue. I don’t advertise it on my skin, but I do wear it like a badge of honor. In an English dominated country, I find myself torn between the two languages. I am very proud of my languages, my cultures, and my roots. I am very proud to be of two different and very diverse cultures. Even prouder to be able to have my heart in one country and my roots in another. The past couple of months have been a wake up call to my heritage. I am watching people whom I have considered friends and family, turn around and speak against the very foundations of my language. It’s only cool to know the Spanish language when people see fit to their needs. When a holiday comes up, or after a few drinks, and everyone thinks it’s funny to say a word or two. I have watched people make a mockery of my language in a series of comedic jokes and racist rants. I have sat and watched my peers ask me the correct pronunciations of words, to later mock someone speaking in their native tongue.  These are my languages that I speak to communicate with everyone. English or Spanish, Espanol o Ingles. I may not always get the words right, I may fumble and mispronounce sentiments, but these are my words.

My language is not here to intimidate you.

When I speak in a tongue that is not natural to you, I am not here to intimidate you. There are many misconceptions about knowing two languages, but I use my language to communicate with my gente (my people)–my familia (my family), my friends, my colleagues. I am not observing you, I am not judging you. I have nothing to hide from you. I speak passionately, poetically and profusely about my life, in a tongue that is natural to me. Using my hands, speaking an octave higher than most, because that is how my language expresses itself. My first language, my second language; voices that come from me in the moment that I need to communicate to a variety of different people. How can a person who doesn’t know me at all, ask me to speak in a tongue that is natural to me? Both languages come naturally to me, and I use them how I see fit.

My language is not a party trick.

When I speak the words you do not understand, it is not an open invitation to entertain you with. Yes, I know another language other than English. No, I will not sit here and prove to you that I know how to speak said language. I am not a magician. I am not pulling words out of a hat, while wearing a sparkly costume. My language is not a party trick, my language is my lifeline; it’s my alma/soul and my corazon/heart. My secret power that allows me to be close to my roots –to my ancestors, to my family, to people who understand me. I did not come here to impress you with my words that you will use against me. Telling lies of how my language holds me back from my peers; the same language you want me to repeat.

My language is not here for you to state “Say something in Spanish… It’s so much prettier in Spanish“.

Spanish, as well as English, is a beautiful language.  Both languages with written words have a poetry about them. Spoken in terms of endearment or passionately in a rage, but my words are not here to turn you on. I will not roll my “r’s” at you. I will not come at you in a rage of anger and speak obscenities for no reason. I am not here to fulfill your fantasies or desires of a certain cultural stereotype. I am not spicy, I will not call you papi, carino, amor, or any other stereotypical terms of endearment. I have a Papi, and he didn’t raise me to belittle myself to become a caricature of your fantasies. So, No. I will not say something in Spanish. I will speak to you in English, because it’s just as pretty as Spanish.

Spanish or English, Espanol o Ingles, I will be protective of my language. Speak passionately and not allow anyone to make me feel less of a person by speaking it. My language gives me the strength to be brave and to feel a sense of pride of where I have come from. A pride in my heritage and the people that have spoke the language before me. Something that has taken a long time to realize.  Proud of who I am. Proud of the very roots that have allowed me to grow into the person I am today. One language isn’t stronger than the other. As the years go by, I realize it is a blessing more than a curse to know both English and Spanish. No matter what anyone says. I may not always get the words right, but eventually I will make things right.

 

I think it’s time for us to have a toast..

2015, has come and gone.

We sit back and reflect on the year and look at how far we have come.

Have we come far enough?
Have we let go of ourselves?
Have we let go of our past and made our way into the future?

With each passing year, I hope for something better. I watch myself go into the new year with high hopes for the year. This year will be the year something changes. This year will be the year that everything happens. This year will be the year that I stop beating myself up about everything. This year I will finally be free to live my life. As the months go on, I find myself still doing the same thing. I watch myself hiding how I feel, to spare the feelings of others. I find myself still stuck in the same perdicament as always.

When does this change happen?
When will things happen for me?

The truth is I am afraid. Terrified, petrified of doing things alone. I am afraid of leaving the people I care about alone. I am terrified of failure, that it clouds my thoughts every day. Worst of all, I am afraid of letting everyone down. Letting people down would be my unhappiness, and I couldn’t bare to deal with the pain. I find myself wishing for things to change, and when they do I am frightened of the outcome. Every year I am not ready, every year I cloud my head with ideas of not being good enough. Not being what everyone wants and beating myself up over every little thing. Demons are funny little creatures that eat away at your positivity. No matter how many times people say to think differently, they eat away at your insides, and burrow deep into your soul. I have had my fair share of demons. Demons far too large to ever escape. As the seasons change, the demons come at you head on. 2015, was no exception.

2015 wasn’t a learning experience, it was a understanding period. Understanding that nobody is perfect, not my family and not my friends. The truth is nobody is perfect. I want to believe that. I want to believe that we are all flawed and fucked up, just trying to get by. When you’re hurting, you want to fix everyone else. You want to put your two cents in everyone’s life. Tell everyone everything they’re doing wrong, but  forget all the good they are doing right. Its in this fixing that you don’t feel alone. You feel as though you are helping someone, instead of facing your own issues. You become bitter about people that you start to despise them, and through that you begin to burn bridges. It’s not that you mean to do it, its that you’re upset that they can’t be perfect for you. They can’t be who you want them to be or who you know they could be. What I didn’t realize was focusing on other people’s problems wasn’t allowing me to focus on my own. I watched people come and go from my life but never noticed how angry I was. How hurtful of a person I could be. I didn’t realize that pain from my past was causing me to focus all the pain on someone else, other than myself. I spent years focusing and fixing other people, that I never bothered to try and fix myself.

As Spring was ending, I watched myself dig into a deep dark abyss. I watched a huge light switch inside of me turn off, and turn against everybody. I didn’t believe in friendship. I didn’t believe in family. I felt my insides turning themselves inside out, and watched how the days turned to nights, and how much I wanted to claw off my skin to show how I really felt. Thinking positively didn’t help. Changing my attitude just made it worse. I could hear happiness, I could hear love, but I wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t want to talk to anyone because I knew it was my negativity that was pushing people away. It was my darkness that was turning people against me, and for once in my life, I didn’t care. I wanted to lose everything and everyone, before I had to let them go. Before they saw me for who I really was: a terrible, miserable, hateful person, that truly hated herself. The demons from the dark carried over to the daylight and I watched them turn me into someone I hated. Someone I loathed.

When you’ve reached the end, that’s when your beginning starts. I wanted to be alone and find a way to deal with my emotions. I realized the more alone I was, I started realizing who I really was. I wasn’t happy with the person I was, I wasn’t doing everything I wanted to do, and I wasn’t dealing with all my emotions as I should have done years ago. While the world was preaching to me about a positive mental attitude, I couldn’t produce it. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it wasn’t that I didn’t try, it was that I couldn’t see past the smoke I was making myself. I wanted to disappear, but found myself just sinking deeper into my depression. I had been forcing myself to be happy, when I was miserable inside. My fear of being alone became reality; I had let down so many people I didn’t know what to do. The weird thing happens when you disappear. The people you didn’t expect to help you, always help you out in the end. The people that are always there for you, give you space to heal and grow. It took me a long time to understand that, but I finally realized happiness cannot be forced. You have to feel happiness to believe its there. No matter how much you hide from sadness, you need sadness in order to appreciate joy. You need to be able to feel every inch of that hurt and that pain, to truly see how beautiful life really can be. I can’t hide from the pain as much as I would like to. I can’t pretend that pain doesn’t exist because it’s everywhere. I just have to understand that through all that pain, there is beauty. Through the beauty you find a tiny ounce of happiness. Maybe you won’t see it right away, but the day you are ready to embrace how you feel, you’ll get a tiny glimpse of it. It took me years to realize that by embracing my pain, I would find happiness inside of myself. That by accepting everyone for who they are, I could understand the flaws and imperfections of not just everyone by myself as well. People are always going to disappoint us, but sometimes they surprise us in the most unexpected ways. Sometimes the people you love the most will hurt you, and sometimes the people you kept at a distance will be there for you in ways that other people can’t. But 2015, wasn’t about changing, it was about understanding ourselves and the people we care about the most.

And I think it’s time for us to have a toast..

12/31/2015

Mean.

Anger has a way of eating away at your insides when you’ve been hurt. It cuts away at every positive vibe you’re feeling. Taking away every civilized thought you could possibly think of. The more it boils inside of you, the more upset you become. You start picking up your ammo, ready to fire your shots with every possible thought you could ever think of. Because I know all your secrets and I see through all your lies. I know everything about you to use everything against you.

I could cut you down to size, if I wanted to. I could spew out every ill will feeling, if I wanted to. I could hurt you with just 4 words that would spin your whole head around, if I wanted to. Because I know every deep dark secret. I know everything that nobody else knows. I could hurt you and watch your world crumble to the ground, if I wanted too. You’ve lead me no choice but to hurt you as you have done to me. Point out all your flaws and break your heart into two. Words can be just words, but even words can cut you to the core. Words can find a way to hurt you without drawing out your fists. Hurting you would show your weakness and pain, and trust me I want to hurt you. Hurting you would show you how it feels to be me.

None of that would make me feel better, it would only make everything feel worse. I once believed that to defend yourself, you had to hurt somebody. Hurt somebody that they felt it deep down to the core. All I’ve ever wanted was to show people how much they have hurt me. To show them that words aren’t always just words. Words are the ammo that they shoot out to their targets and rip them apart. When people hurt they do everything in their power to harness that hurt onto anyone they come across. Everyone is the enemy when you’re hurt. To justify the pain, you hurt everyone that you come in contact with. Innocent bystanders have no chance against you in your quest to express your pain. Its the pain your want to get rid of, the pain thats eating away at your soul.

I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to hurt. As much as it pains me to be this hurt, I can’t push this emotion on someone else. I know all your secrets. I know all your lies. I know everything that can hurt you and make you stop in your tracks. But I won’t use that against you. I won’t allow myself to stoop down at your level. Because eventually your pain will be your downfall. Eventually everything that you spew out to hurt people, will one day come back to haunt you. No one deserves this pain, not even you. But I won’t use this hurt as ammo to shoot at you. I won’t use this pain as a blueprint to destroy you. Instead I will overcome all this pain and manifest it into something else. You can’t hurt me anymore and one day you will give up the ghost of all this pain. Being mean doesn’t solve anything, it only makes you into a monster of yourself. You’re better than that.

I won’t hurt you with words. I won’t hurt you at all. Instead I’ll live inside this hurt and find a way to love. Because love is bigger than any mean ill feeling you could ever think of. I am bigger than this, just wish you could be too.

8/23/2010