High school was different than college. We had all grown up together: we knew each other, even if we didn't particularly like each other. There was an understanding that I was not like the rest of my peers beyond the color of my skin or that of my mother. But I was also different for other reasons that seemed to matter more. I was an intellectual. I am musically inclined which contradicted with the sports narrative in which I grew up. I truly thought college would be better. I would fit in in such a community of incredible individuals with similar devotion to their studies, and their specialties. I anticipated finally feeling like I was a part of a community of people of similar racial/ethnic background with whom I could share my pain and my narrative.
I was wrong. Everyone here decides their relationships and self-identity based on the identities of others. This makes sense, no doubt. Unfortunately, most people do not consider the identities of biracial people, like myself. I am racially ambiguous to others or decidedly something I wouldn't self-identify as. For others like me, this can be a challenging social task. To travel each day in a society that doesn't explicitly NOT accept you, but one that isn't very encouraging of a dual identity.
Over the past few months, many questions and thoughts have crossed my mind as I navigate these murky and unsettling waters. Here are a few of them:
1. ¿Quién soy yo?
2. Who am I?
3. Where do I belong?
4. How do I know if I belong?
5. What does it mean to be multiracial?
6. How does a mother and a father of different cultures and different races explain to their children what its like to be something they themselves do not truly understand?
7. How does one live in a world that describes itself nearly exclusively by race?
8. Am I Latina if I'm not fluent in Spanish?
9. Am I black if only one of my parents is black?
10. Who do I chose to identify as? Which side to I accept more than the other?
11. Is it even possible to be two things?
12. Who will accept me for me? Who will truly love me?
13. Who will understand that I don't want to be this confused?
14. Why does the world function this way?
15. Why am I a token to some and a misfit to others?
16. Is it okay to be vulnerable?
17. Is it okay to be depressed?
18. Is it okay to simply be a human being, to fit in nowhere?
19. Is it okay to love everyone?
20. Is it okay to be Alexandra Medeiros?