Some people have said to me that I have Sofia Vergara’s accent and Kim Kardashian’s exotic looks. It’s easy for people to approach me, as I have a constant smile on my face, except when I’m “randomly checked” at the airports and being shoved aside like a criminal by their TSA reps. But other than that and regardless of my looks I’m someone who is a magnet to others. And I still don’t know the reason for such an unexplainable reaction.
Now, being or looking exotic have many advantages. But also many disadvantages as well. You either fit in or you don’t. My personality fits in well, but sometimes my looks or my accent doesn’t quite work well into fitting in with certain people or groups. For example, each time I visit Puerto Rico, I get asked, “What are you?” To which I’m inclined to reply, “Human of course!”, “I’m not an alient” (Pun intended)
It is so frustrating that even in your own community one is a foreigner, a total stranger. All because one may sound or look a bit different. I get asked that a lot, if I’m from Puerto Rico or Dominican. Other’s assume, rightfully so, that I’m probably Indian.
Here is the thing, I’m part Puerto Rican and part Indian and some other part of me must definitely be African, but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself in that other topic. TMI! (To much information) (*chuckles)
However, my accent is totally, utterly Spanish. I love the British accent though. If I lived in the UK I would probably be able to learn that sexy sophisticated accent. But I’m stocked with my mixture of Penelope Cruz, Sofía Vergaras nasal accent instead. That is exaclty what comes out of my mouth whenever I speak, and I can’t control it.
My brain on the other hand thinks I’m Anglo. In my mind I have this pretty nice American news anchor female accent, that is if Mariah Carey was a news Reporter .
My present concern is more of “Who am I? ” I know it deep inside. I have this reassuring inner voice that assures me everything will be alright. And that I need to stop being insecure about being Multiratial. We are on the tip of the 20th Century and people still concern themselves over such trivial issues. But they are not as trivial as they should. We made them important. Our biased humanity made ratial issues the center of the attention. Now I’m under a spotlight because of that. Someone greeted me today this way, “Hey Níggerhow you doing? Do you work in this building?” There were two odd things about it: 1. He said “nigger”. a) He was a Caucasian male. 2. I’m not black and you don’t go around calling people nigger. 2. He thought he was being friendly. He wasn’t it. That’s not nice. You are professional, a Security Guard, act like it.
I ignored the remark, simply said, “What?” He continued talking like a chatter box, repeated his question, without the insulting N word, showed his yellow teeth and complimented me on my shirt. I was surprised to such an odd behavior thowards me but somehow everything was fine. I thanked him for the compliment. And wished him a nice day too, he did the same and left with a wide smile on his face.
I felt like yelling at his back. “I’m not Nigger. I have a name and that’s not it.” Back in school I had some problems with few friends about calling me names based on my skin color. I was confused. I thought I was just a regular Puerto Rican, but for these group of children I was an Indian or someone who was part African and Dominican. If I knew for sure that that was the case it wouldn’t have affected me. But since I never met my dad nor his family, my anguish and speculations about me being half Indian, Native American, or African American made me angry. To this day I don’t know if I’m part Indian or if I’m part Black.
My husband and some of his friends have somewhat confirmed the suspicions, that I’ve kept hidden inside of me for a long time. They think I may be part African American. And there is nothing wrong with being that regardless of some of my own family members that had this terrible wrong old idea that being of color or a darker skin isn’t the ideal or the “typical Spanish beauty standard”.
And to my family, I was the exotic creature. The little Indian. Try and think Pocahontas with a suntan, or a lighter version of Halley Berry. And What does that matter? I always asked them. No logic answer. It affected how I view them and how I viewd myself. Because I began to feel the outcast. Like I was somewhat different. Not the ugly duckling but the little Swan who belonged somewhere else.
People and the media lies. They tell you what matters is the inside, and how you feel about yourself. Your confidence. Not if you are skinny or fat. Black or White. But in reality not everything is black and white. There are gray areas too. I happened to be and feel like a gray empty area.
I wish I could find my true self, know the whole truth about my paternal family. But taking an online DNA test for those sites that tells you have such and such percentages of many races, mostly Eastern European, is not the solution for me. My mother is no longer in this world. So I may die one day still questioning “Who am I?”
I can truly relate with the adopted and homeless children who have no idea of who they really are. A lot of these then have probably a particular way of defining themselves. And they are happy with that, with no issues or problemas about their racial background. But I’m not. Because I am an answer seeker. And I had enough. I had to speak up about. It’s something that I should’ve dealt with years ago. But recently the fact and fear that I may become sort of an “allien” in my own country, without fully knowing the truth about my existence and past is completely hunting me. Maybe one day I may find closure. But I’m not there yet.