The Beginning of Your Story

“Welcome to the beginning of your story!”

This has been the opening line to each email I’ve opened this past week. The fall semester has begun and now I am officially a college student.

To say I have handled this transition easily would be an understatement. I feel completely lost in a sea of people and ideas. I knew this was going to be different from high school, but I really wasn’t ready.

Before me is an endless road of possibility. I have the chance to reinvent myself without any pressure.

A fresh slate. No hurt from the past, no familiar faces.

Just me.

This first day has been strange. I walk around trying not to look too much like a freshman, but also remind myself that literally no one else cares how you look.

Currently , I am sitting in the hub of the university: The Memorial Union. This place holds a strange atmosphere. It is unlike a cafeteria, even though it pretty much is. I’m sure I’ll seek refuge here many times form the disgusting heat that will not just leave.

The next few days are going to be interesting and full of loads of anxiety, but I’m curious to see how they go.

Alright college, lets do this.

Wait, You’re A Latina ? 

There is nothing more confusing than being a mixed kid. 

When I was little, I was the only girl at church with darker features. Everyone else had blonde hair and bright eyes. 

At first, this didn’t bother me. I thought I was the coolest thing being half Puerto Rican. When you’re small, race doesn’t seem to exist. You’re just all people together that look a bit different. 

Once I hit the age of 10, race began to be real. All my peers began to talk about it because we now knew what it meant. This is when life became confusing. 

I have a white mom, but a Puerto Rican dad. What was I? My school records said Hispanic, but everyone said that I was white.  I had no clue where my identity was.

By 12, I was at the awkward stage that we all wish was buried away from the world. I had gone through a school year of torment and now was even more confused about my identity but I was also angry. 

I hated how I looked. I wasn’t like the other girls who seemed to have it all. Their golden locks always so pretty and their really cool looking eyes. I felt so plain. 

I tried everything to fit in with the super preppy girls. They had the life I thought I wanted . When I entered high school, I still had no real idea of who I was. I just had an image I was trying to replicate. 

The voices in my head would constantly remind me of the ugliness and self hatred I had towards my body. It didn’t help when I entered the great big world of boys . Those girls blessed with locks of sunshine and brilliant blue eyes seemed to catch the attention of boys all the time. I didn’t attract much at all. The voices told me very clearly ” look at them, they’ve got the full package, you’re just the ugly duckling silly!” 

Seventeen  is when things began to shift. I was rebuilding myself again after another very rough year. This time around, I told myself I was sick of the lies. I wanted to be authenticly me. 

This started with looking to my past. I found so many amazing ancestors, from both sides. My pride in my heritage grew rapidly and suddenly, I didn’t see being mixed as a burden. 

I have stories of resilience threaded through my history. The white side has some of the first United States citizens and  pioneers . The Puerto Rican side has slavery, immigrants and native islanders. 

Now, I live with pride. I’m in love with the heritage I posses 
Being more aware of my heritage has brought a new found sense of fight to me. Seeing the injustice breaks my heart and the fight for immigrants makes me remember the family that came to the United States for its dreams and freedom. 

I’m blessed that I can see both sides. This mixed thing isn’t as confusing. I know for the rest of my life I’ll struggle slightly but, I’d rather know that I’m something wonderful. 

Reguardless of what group I feel I belong in , I’ll always know that I’m a melting pot of strong willed people and that is no where near confusing.