It's raining. I wanted to go for a walk but it's really coming down. So I decided to listen to a podcast !
So while listening to this podcast on the Hawaiian language, and people who are trying to revitalize the language and keep it from extinction, I thought of myself.
I thought of this Who are you? activity I did with my colleagues on Thursday. I thought about all the things that make me, me.
I thought of all the things I am and all the things I am not.
This week, I was confronted with another I am.
I am a Puerto Rican who does not speak Spanish. People, a lot of people, look at me and hear my name and assume that I speak Spanish But I do not.
My mom speaks Spanish and my father spoke Spanish and so does my grandmother but I do not. And that has always been confusing to me and to everyone around me.
And I know why I won't and don't speak Spanish. When I was younger I would try to speak in spanish. The words would swirl in my head. It felt so simple flowing in my ears but as soon as I opened my lips and moved my month and tongue the words no longer sounded beautiful. They sounded broken and stuttered. My family would tell me I sounded like a gringa and laugh. It was the worst and my hurt sunk and I gave up.
Over the years, I've tried over and over but I always stop and give up.
Embarrassed about my accent.
Embarrassed that the verbs and other words don't flow.
But I think that listening to the podcast today might have inspired me to try again.