My whole life, I have felt one foot in and one foot out. When I go to visit my cousins, I am the American cousin. When I hang out with my friends here, I am the Latin friend. I have always had a difficult time figuring out where I belong. And it makes me mad when I'm referred to as the American cousin. I don't feel like the American cousin! Everything I do feels like it identifies with the Latina and Arabic roots that I have tried so hard to discover and assimilate into my life. I realize that many people will say that this in itself is American....that it is a melting pot. But there are so many things in this American culture that I don't identify with and that lends itself more to my lack of definition.
And it goes farther than just identity...I never believed I was smart. I used to get to frustrated trying to explain things to people. I would assume that I was dumb, that I couldn't get my point across because I was too stupid to make myself understood. Now, I realize that I was too smart. I was explaining things at a level that I understood and no one was there with me yet. Not until I gave a lengthy explanation with details did they catch up to me. I'm not saying this to pat myself on the back. This realization, while powerful, had been a struggle as well. It is strange to one day wake up and realize that a belief you held about yourself for so long is not true.
So here I am, at the advanced age of 38, still trying to figure out where I fit in...and often times I just say screw it...and do my best not to fit in. I don't listen to the music I'm supposed to, or dressed how I'm supposed to, or work how I'm supposed to, but now I'm beginning to wonder if I am sabotaging myself in the process. I spend alot of time checking myself....asking people if I am correct in my conclusions. Asking for opinions and sides. Life is passing me by and I'm not grabbing on. When push comes to shove, I know I am capable of doing it. I'm not necessarily regretting my decisions, but maybe I'm wishing I had done more with the outcomes. I think I'm wishing that I had taken better advantage of what I was given and what I had to offer. And if that is the case, how do I move forward...how can I get over the fear and inertia that comes with it so I can move forward and be the me that I am supposed to be? How do I start taking the steps that I need to take to reach my full potential? I wouldn't say that the potential is locked, but I would say that it is compartmentalized away and I only bring it out on special occasions.
So the question is, how do I get myself to realize that every day is a special occasion?