Embracing Who You Are

At work last night, I had the pleasure of assisting a very nice gentlemen plan his upcoming trip to Disney World. When I found out he was from Houston, I mentioned that is my hometown. He was delighted. He went on to say he could tell. He detected a slight Texas twang in my voice. This is very common when I’m either tired or angry. I was tired. There was a time when I would have been embarrassed to be told I have a Southern accent. It tends to be looked down upon in our society, as if it makes you beneath everyone else in some bizarre way. Now, I have learned to embrace it with pride. Yes, I have an accent.

There are a few other things I had to learn to embrace as well. One was my height. I’m 5’2″. I wanted to be taller. I used to daydream I was around 5’6″ or so. Shortly before I entered my 20s, I began to like being petite.I knew my days of growing were over, and this was the height I would be for the rest of my life. I saw other small women, from Sally Field and Lisa Bonet, to Bonnie Franklin and Jasmine Guy. Each was adorable, with their tiny frame. I fell in love with being little. I wouldn’t be any taller were I given the chance.

My features are very Hispanic. I’m part Dominican. I was often approached by people who would speak Spanish to me, assuming I was Hispanic. When I could not respond, they looked confused. At a doctor’s office when I was a teenager, an African-American nurse practically demanded I was Hispanic, until my Mother stepped in. When she saw the fellow African-American woman, she looked dumbfounded and embarrassed. She did not come back. While Mom found it amusing, I was outraged. I found it offensive to be taken for only one race when I was mixed with several. I guess I wanted to be seen as mixed or multiracial then, which was unheard of at the time. Today, more people like me are defiantly and proudly embracing their entire heritage, refusing to be shoved into just one box. I am among them. I am a mix of African-American, Native American, and Irish.. and Dominican. A man speaking Spanish approached me a few weeks ago. I did not become offended. I politely let him know I could not understand the language. He then began to speak to me in English.

You can waste the rest of your life hating who you are, how you look, but nothing changes. It remains the same. There are some things plastic surgery cannot amend. Once you learn to see yourself as the unique person you are, the more positive your life will be.

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~ by kmnnz on October 14, 2012.

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