As a Bilingual Latina, Spanish and English have always been a major part of my identity and define who I am as a person.
While I spoke English at school with my friends and teachers, Spanish was also spoken to and through me to describe my culture with my family in every way, shape and form.
I've always kind of flaunted my bilingualism and have never thought otherwise, however at some point while growing up, I came to almost resent the Spanish language.
I didn't resent the language because I couldn't understand it, but I resented Spanish because I had realized that it was a constant reminder of who I wasn't while simultaneously showing me who I could be.
I didn't belong with my family in the United States because I couldn't speak English perfectly, but I also didn't belong with my family in Mexico, because my Spanish wasn't considered the best.
I was basically my own little person of multilingual feelings.
For a while, Spanish became an ugly reminder I didn't fully belong in these two worlds that have always been like family to me.
It became difficult to know that I was constantly referred to as "The Bilingual Girl," or "The Girl who Speaks English and Spanish," because although that was true, being bilingual just wasn't enough for me to fit in.
Many people don't realize that being bilingual doesn't just come with a language, but it also comes with its own set of Stigma as well.
In America, being Bilingual is praised on so many levels.
People strive to be bilingual, but growing up with two languages hurts.
Not being able to belong into a community because you can't speak the language well, hurts.
Being known as that family member who "tries" to speak Spanish, hurts.
Yes, those are common struggles of being Bilingual, but man did they hurt while growing up.
I can now say that I'm more than just a Bilingual person.
I can proudly say that now, I do belong in both communities regardless of what other people think of me.
I'm more than just a Bilingual person.
I have two different cultures on my side full of knowledge and customs many people would love to learn about.
Being Bilingual shouldn't dictate you or remind you of what you can or cannot be. Embrace your differences and even when you feel like you don't belong in a certain place, trust me, you do.