A thought which has been stirring in my head for quite awhile is my personal mindset on being the child of parents with different races-
My mother was born in the US with a full blooded Polish background while my father’s life in America began quite differently. He was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he lived until he was fourteen. From there he began a new life in California with the help of his family, something that I am in awe by. To have switched cultures at such a young age and entered a nation without even the knowledge of how to speak the same language was a brave move. He made a life for himself here and generously gave to others along the way through sacrifices which I will never have to say I had to face. After meeting my mother in Washington state and distancing himself even more from his family by switching locations with her to the east coast, my father continued to lead a life with unique aspects filling his history. Regardless of the struggles which he has had to go through along the way, he has the most sincerely pure heart.
Living in a home that has two different cultures intertwined has been something which has brought about challenges along with incredible things. I myself have been on the receiving end of too many derogatory comments about my ethnicity and I know that many people have negative views on the concept of immigration as a whole, but to open one’s eyes instead to the beauty of cultural differences would move everything we are accustomed to about mixed ethnicities forward in a beautiful way.
For me, what I will stand by as long as I live is that I am incredibly grateful for the fact that my father came to America and sacrificed so much to create even more good than anyone else I know. He is a man who I respect so dearly who loves my mother and I in ways that I can never be thankful for enough. I always have a smile on my face at the unavoidable miscommunication which often occurs in our lives (such as the most recent event: informing my dad of my intent to buy a kayak, to which he responds to by bringing home a kite) and additionally at all of the opportunities this cultural immersion has brought to me. I have been so fortunate to travel to Mexico many times throughout my life and embrace loving family and culture in ways that bring me to tears just thinking of it. Through my father I have been introduced to a new language, to new standards of respect, and to a much more open mind. I have been humbled to the core through being exposed to the Mexican culture and for that reason my personal goals in life to be very involved in Latin America have emerged.
Immigration is a touchy subject for many, but I do not want those around me to forget that the reasoning behind such choices and the beautiful, positive outcomes are often things that should be praised. As we live in such a privileged country, please never forget to be thankful for what we have been gifted just by residing within our land of opportunity.
I am PROUD to be a Mexican American. I am proud to be the daughter of two incredible parents. I love you, Mom and Papi.
ps- yes we eat everything on tortillas in my house and my white madre makes kick-butt Mexican food