How Do I Know Who I Really Am?
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

How Do I Know Who I Really Am?

An identity should be something that comes natural, but that's not always the case.

How Do I Know Who I Really Am?

As I worked on my Spanish homework for a Hispanic/Latinx culture class, I came across an interesting definition to the word hybridity.

“Hybridity. A concept in Latin American, Caribbean, US minority, and Postcolonial studies. The term “hybrid” is commonly assumed to be anything of mixed origin, of unlike parts. While the word “hybrid” in various genealogies--such as linguistics or horticultural--in literary and cultural studies it refers to the idea of occupying in-between spaces; that is, of being of many, composite, or syncretic entities, new formations, creole or intermixed peoples, mestizaje, dingo.”

While this seems to be an innocuous definition, something that just sounds antiquated and overly wordy for no reason, I couldn’t help but stop and focus on certain parts of it. Mixed origin. Occupying in-between spaces. Hybrid.

This stuck with me. Something that’s been at the top of my mind lately has been my own identity. After reading an article recently about who they were as an individual, I began to think hard about what made me, me. Who am I? What separates me from everyone else?

One of my main identifiers is my race and ethnicity. Race: white. Ethnicity: Latina. On every form I fill out, whether it was a standardized test or application for college, I’ve always checked off both boxes. But I’ve never truly felt like I was fully a part of either–I’ve felt more like I’m living in an “in-between space.”

At UNC-Chapel Hill, a new club began called PorColombia, which raises awareness about Colombian issues and to also bring together people of Colombian descent in an area which is, without a doubt, very far away from Colombia. I went to the first meeting and felt so out of place. Everyone there either lived in Colombia, had parents from there or had been many times. Everyone spoke Spanish fluently, and the meeting was more often than not spoken in Spanish. I was lost. I felt out of place. I was confused. I felt wrong to be there.

My skin color is that in-between color. Not quite white enough to look white, but not quite tan enough to look Latina. I can’t fluently speak Spanish, but my family across the country can. I have family in Colombia, but I’ve never been. I’m just enough of both to just stay in the middle, in some murky gray area where my identity gets clouded.

I’ve always wondered what to really classify myself as. I feel like no matter which way I lean, I’m betraying some part of me. Am I really Latina enough to say that I’m both? Or am I too white to say I’m both?

I think about the family that I have–both the family I’ve met in California and the family I don’t yet know in Colombia. How much they welcome my parents and me when we visit, and don’t hesitate to make us feel at home. How just recently, one of my cousins tagged my mom and me in a photo that says “I’m the educated Latina you’ve been warned about.”

Regardless of how I don’t know Spanish fluently, or how my skin color isn’t quite one way or the other, I realized it’s not about those things. Identity isn’t some sort of checklist you can go down to determine whether or not you can identify as something. Not all Latinx people look the same. Some have skin lighter than mine, but that doesn’t mean they don’t identify as Latinx. Some can’t speak Spanish, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t Latinx. Identity is all based on you: your beliefs, your opinions.

It can be hard to keep this in mind as I go about my days. I still get messages from that club, and more often than not I can’t understand what they say. But at the same time, I know I still have that family support to remind me of who I am. And I’m proud of that. Even if I’m across the country from the rest of them, they still welcome me with open arms. Whatever I do or don’t have, it doesn’t make me any less than the next person.

I am who I am.

And I’m Colombian.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

21 EDM Songs for a Non-EDM Listener

Ever wanted to check out EDM music, but didn't know where to start? Look no further! Start here.

21 EDM Songs for a Non-EDM Listener

If you have been following me for a long time, then you know I write about two main things: relateable articles and communication media based articles. Now, it is time for me to combine the two. For those of you that don't know, I am a radio DJ at IUP, and I DJ for a show called BPM (Beats Per Minute). It is an EDM, or electronic dance music, based show and I absolutely love it.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

100 Reasons to Choose Happiness

Happy Moments to Brighten Your Day!

A man with a white beard and mustache wearing a hat

As any other person on this planet, it sometimes can be hard to find the good in things. However, as I have always tried my hardest to find happiness in any and every moment and just generally always try to find the best in every situation, I have realized that your own happiness is much more important than people often think. Finding the good in any situation can help you to find happiness in some of the simplest and unexpected places.

Keep Reading...Show less

6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me

This one's for you, Spock.

6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me
Liz Abere

Owning a pet can get difficult and expensive. Sometimes, their vet bills cost hundreds of dollars just for one visit. On top of that, pets also need food, a wee wee pad for a dog, a litter box with litter for a cat, toys, and treats. Besides having to spend hundreds of dollars on them, they provide a great companion and are almost always there when you need to talk to someone. For the past six years, I have been the proud owner of my purebred Bengal cat named Spock. Although he's only seven years and four months old, he's taught me so much. Here's a few of the things that he has taught me.

Keep Reading...Show less

Kinder Self - Eyes

You're Your Own Best Friend

Kinder Self - Eyes

It's fun to see all of the selfies on social media, they are everywhere. I see pictures with pouty lips, duck lips and pucker lips. I see smokey eyes, huge fake lashes and nicely done nose jobs, boob jobs and butt lifts. Women working out in spandex, tiny tops and flip flops. I see tight abs and firm butts, manicured nails and toes, up dos and flowing hair. "Wow", I think to myself," I could apply tons of make-up, spend an hour on my hair, pose all day and not look like that. Maybe I need a longer stick!"

Keep Reading...Show less

Rap Songs With A Deeper Meaning

Rap is more than the F-bomb and a beat. Read what artists like Fetty, Schoolboy Q, Drake, and 2Pac can teach you.

Rap artist delivers performance on stage
Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash

On the surface, rap songs may carry a surface perception of negativity. However, exploring their lyrics reveals profound hidden depth.Despite occasional profanity, it's crucial to look beyond it. Rap transcends mere wordplay; these 25 song lyrics impart valuable life lessons, offering insights that extend beyond the conventional perception of rap music.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments