After spending time with mi familia in Mexico, parts of my spirit healed that I didn’t know needed healing. My idea was to spend my late father’s birthday in Aguascalientes where he was born, he would have been 59 this year. Being the spiritual person I am, I felt my Dad’s handiwork over my entire trip. I made so many memories with my family who loved and held him in the highest regard. It is one of the greatest inheritances he left me: a family that welcomed me with open arms so that I could stay connected to my roots and to him as well.
Being in the country where your familia lives, it’s almost as if your perception of life itself changes. And every time you go back, it’s like time froze and the familiarity washes over you. From the announcement of the gas man at seven in the morning to the scent of cigarette smoke in the air, it just feels like home. It’s amazing that a place we didn’t grow up in, can cause us to feel this way.
It is hard for others to understand the awkward position Latinx face existing outside the motherland. The ignorant hate of, “go back to where you came from” really makes no sense because we’re seen as outsiders there too. We will never get rid of the names like güero/a, pocho/a, or fresa; although they say it with love, it’s still an indication that we aren’t considered to be from there. I am so used to telling people that I am Mexicana; however, I am not because I wasn’t born there. In the States, we are descendants of immigrants and in the Motherland we are as well.
It is a difficult dance but one that has definitely skilled us in pushing for what WE want to call ourselves. If your identity is something that is important to you, forming a relationship with your heritage is a constant effort. There’s nothing like a good ol’ borrachera with the primos that bonds you together. Maybe it’s the delicious smells of your tia cooking while the house fills up with more and more familia. I’m sure those moments are the ones you’ll remember and make you keep wanting to go back.
I definitely have plans to go back this year and next year as well. I hope that everyone who is physically far from their roots are able to experience that belongingness that comes with being Latinx and proud.
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