Feb 28, 2017
At times I’ve been embarrassed to speak spanish.
I’ve worked in the hospitality industry for close to 18 years and at times haven’t spoken spanish to spanish speaking guests on purpose. Because I thought they would try to ask for more and make me work more. Looking back it’s a decision I have regretted.
Dominican people that I have met have been warm and caring for the most part. The food and music is fun and lively. The women are incredible looking. Yet I don’t identify myself with the dominican people or environment I’ve grown up in. I look at myself as a kind of black sheep in that circle. I identify myself as a combination. The product of my environment and today an amalgamation of my interests. I don’t listen to spanish radio. I like dancehall music. I’m not very familiar with merengue or bachata. Seems I have stereotypes of what being Dominican actually is. What is an american? What is a jamaican or a russian? Aren’t we all combinations of something or another?
I should look forward to opportunities to speak with other spanish speakers. Slang or not, it would improve my own language. I’ve had an app for years now, which translates english into spanish. I have used it with the intention to improve. I would rather get better at speaking spanish than learn another language right now.
My mother said once, it’s sad when people do not know their own language. I agree, but I’m enabling not improving myself in that area.
I have yet to date a dominican woman. I’m open to it. Not on my bucket list. I take it where I can get it. Still don’t want to have children.
I loved growing up in washington heights during the 80s and 90s. It was about 70% safe. 30% dangerous. I’ve met great people there, and have had many great times. My aunt and uncle still live in the area. I do become nostalgic as I visit. I would walk from 168th street to 183rd street religiously. I lived on 183rd st and worked at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital Complex. I worked specifically in the Psychiatric building. It all comes full circle.
I haven’t visited the dominican republic in over 20 years. Others tell me it's beautiful, but dangerous. Bribery, corrupt cops. Warnings to not wear your nicest stuff when your out and about. I would like to discover my roots. I’d like to make my way there and check out the country. Add that to the bucket list.
Conflicting stereotypes or fear shouldn’t stop me from discovering my rich heritage. I love being Dominican and shocking people when I tell them where I’m from. It’s the same with my age. I don’t totally negate where I’m from. If it wasn’t for that I wouldn't be who I am today. I guess the conflict comes in I’m not being enough of what I’ve seen other dominicans be in my life, in my circle, my tiny world view. But why do I have to be that way? Why can I just be me? I love myself. I love where I’ve come from and where I’m going.
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