Mexican-ness Identity Crisis

1 Jun

I have heard of this insane idea of blogging each day for 3o days. I thought “Wow! That would be fun but a lot of work.” This month I am up for the challenge! Not just 30 posts but 35! It’s a special number because it is how many years my presence has blessed this earth. Oh wait, I mean I’m blessed to be turning 35 this year!  So here’s post 1 of 35.

This blog originally began as an “Identity Crisis”. Struggling with my career identity and my identity as a wife and a mother, I realized a lot of it stemmed from my culture identity as a Mexican-

American living in Texas. The best way to describe it is the scene from the movie Selena. Edward James-Olmos, playing Abraham Quintanilla, shares how tough it is to be a Mexican-American. “We’ve got to prove to the Mexicans how Mexican we are. We’ve got to prove to the Americans how American we are. … It’s exhausting. … Nobody knows how tough it is to be Mexcian-American!”  (Just watch the whole movie, it’s one of my favorites!) 

Personally, I dealt less with Mexicans from Mexico and more with Mexican(-American)s in Texas. This felt a bit more tragic as we all lived in the same place but somehow I still wasn’t as “Mexican” as them. I didn’t speak Spanish or ‘know’ many Mexican traditions. (read my Story of  Qué) And you can feel really lost when you don’t know “who you are”. While I love  immigrant stories of Latino families that came to the US, my story isn’t one of immigration. I am third generation Texan from both my mom and my dad’s side of the family. Which means only my grandparents’ parents were born and lived in Mexico.

Honestly, I’ve spent most of my life feeling like a gringa learning about a Mexican-American family. And that is the honest to God truth. As time passed along, I had put this burden on myself to prove my “Mexican-ness” to others.

Maybe if I wear a Mexican Flag Badge??

Now, I’m in a different place. Now, instead of focusing on what it seems I may be lacking as a Mexican-Latina-whatever you want to call it, I celebrate all my Texicana-ness in Spanglish! (English with un poquito Español) Recently, it’s due to a large part of my online community that I have learned to embrace me just as I am. Meeting supporters from mommy bloggers, Latina bloggers, groups like LATISM (Latinos in Social Media), the Hispanicize conference and like-minded people on Twitter  has contributed to me becoming aware and confident of myself and my own “Latina-ness” or “Mexican-ness”.The more people I talked to about my ‘identity crisis’, the more I found that we actually have a lot in common no matter what their background. This makes me want to keep the conversation going!

It has been a moving, hilarious and crazy adventure exploring my “Mexican-ness”.  Thanks for reading and giving me a space to create, celebrate and share my culture. ¿Qué Means What? allows me to explore my culture with emphasis on justice, healthy living, education, family and faith. And I’m not just talking about lessons from the past but also what is relevant for the Latino community today.

Do you have an identity crisis? Or do you know who you are and celebrate your culture? Or how about a little of both?

post 1 of 35 … 

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4 Responses to “Mexican-ness Identity Crisis”

  1. TejanaMade June 26, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Our Tejana-ness is what sets us apart and I have struggled with this identiyt crisis myself. This Dual Identity of never being enough. I also have struggled with being bilingual and have yet to teach my kids spanish. I get reprimanded at every turn but I like you have no immigrant experience and the last people to live in Mexico was in 1800’s so yeah. I feel you.

    • mendezgonzales June 27, 2012 at 2:11 am #

      Thanks Jessica. I’m doing my best to teach the boys Spanish. My husband says he’s worried ,,, I sound like Peggy Hill from King of the Hill. haha.

      • TejanaMade June 27, 2012 at 11:14 am #

        LOL..not nice.

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  1. Get Real: Daily Blogging isn’t easy « ¿Qué means what? - June 30, 2012

    […] on post #30 of 35. Today is Saturday. I want to relax, enjoy my family, attend birthday parties and have fun at […]

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