Today, I gave my words of wisdom, and as I am sitting here thinking about what I should blog about, I decided to share the words of wisdom I prepared for my students. I gave them 9 lessons, so I figured I would make a blog out of each lesson.
My first big lesson in life was trying to understand where I fit in the world. I grew up in a Hispanic home and English was my family’s second language. All we spoke at home was Spanish, and I only spoke English at school or with friends. Anytime I stepped into new spaces where I spoke Spanish and I met Hispanics who didn’t know my family or my hispanic background they would ask me, “How did you learn Spanish?” So of course I would respond, “ I’m from Panama”. then they would say, "oh, I would have never guessed that.”
This was an obnoxious question because I am Latina, so it was a part of my upbringing. But due to people's lack of exposure or plain ignorance about the diversity of Latinos, it was a common question I had to endure and unfortunately, I still have to deal with now. As a teenager I grew up with not feeling Latina enough because of the color of my skin. And there were times I resented the top Spanish-speaking TV networks for not appropriately showcasing enough women and men of color, and that is a large part why I don't watch Novelas today.
In my youth, particularly in high school, there were times where I also didn't feel like I was Black enough. I recall attending a Historically Black college tour and while I was talking on the bus to a peer, a Black girl turned around and said to me, "Why do you sound like that? You sound like a white girl!" All that to say, I hated these stereotypical boxes that society built for Latinos and Blacks. And due to not feeling like I was Latina enough or Black enough, I decided that all I wanted to be was myself. And so at a young age I decided that I had to love who I was, the sound of my voice, the color of my skin, and embrace all of the unique characteristics that made me Kayra. Because being me was enough.
Our society is filled with labels and beliefs about how we are supposed to behave and act because of our heritage, race, religious practices, gender, etc. The moral of this lesson is that all you need to focus on is singing the song in your spirit. Loving yourself and enjoying the ride. Laugh and smile along the way and bask in that you are not here for the game of what other's believe you should be.
Lesson #1: Be You and Nothing Else
Outfit Time: I thought this skirt would be a great piece to have for the holidays. I paired it with a gray turtle neck and an old vest that I had in my closet. I thought the vest would be an opportunity to incorporate the trend of wearing dresses or tank tops over t-shirts or other tops. Happy Friday!!