Quien Soy?

by Gloria Yasmín

Soy Chicana. Texan-Mexican to be exact. Texican if you may.

English is my second language, but growing up, I tried to hide it. Yet my love for arroz con frijoles and tamales ratted me out.

A second generation American. I, too, am proud to be an American. So much that I even tried to hide my Mexican roots. Even more so than those trying to cover their roots with hair dye.

“Pero tienes el nopal en la frente,” they would tell me. But I chose not to listen. I guess that’s where my love for makeup stemmed. I tried to cover up the nopal and my Spanish the best I could. But no amount of concealer would do the trick.

English was my public language. Spanish was my private language – for use at home only. That’s how it was the majority of my grade school years. But all of that changed when I grew a greater knowledge of my heritage.

Mis raices! Oh, how I had neglected my culture. I wanted so badly to belong to this side of the border. The side that I was born and raised in. Wanting nothing to do with my ancestor’s history. Pero bien que me recetaba la comida Mexicana. 

An identity crisis if you may. One that I lived with for a long time. One that I’ve overcome. I’m so glad that now, I am free of that complex and am able to relish in both my cultures.

Soy Chicana y tengo dos culturas. I don’t try to hide any of them anymore.

Although Español is considered a romantic language, I have a greater love for the English language. Such a great love that I never took a Spanish course, (hence many misspellings in Spanish) and that I graduated from university with a degree in English. Don’t get me wrong, I speak Spanish. I even speak Spanglish a.k.a pocho. For those rolling their eyes at me for admitting to speaking un poco pocho,  it’s a type of Creole so there’s definitely no shame in my game.

Once upon a time, I tried to hide the nopal en mi frente, but now, now I wear it as an accessory. I don’t leave home without it. I’ve made a whole cacti crown with it.


They tried to bury me, but instead they planted me. And I’ve grown since.

It’s safe to say that just as cacti grow, love grows here too.

Love for both my cultures.
Love for others.
And a love for all things cacti, puns, crafts, y mucho mas. 


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