Do you ever think about what you represent in this world? Do you ever think about how people, as a whole, perceive your personality, your background, your style, your language, and your opinion? I’ve been thinking a lot about how my individuality is recognized by others and how I can change it within one moment’s decision. The definition of identity is truly vague to my knowledge but I think it has to do with everything in your existence that relates to your physical, psychological, and cultural persona.
The people that surround my life label me as they see me yet I label myself through experience. My brain cannot obtain a sample of your history and digest through to create a perfect overlook yet it can take in the information that I witness and an idea of who you truly are can start to grow. When I think of Michael Marcel, the words, “funny”, “strong-minded”, and “caring” illuminate. When your father thinks about Michael Marcel, variation among traits will occur. When you think about your way of living, how do you relate yourself to the rest of the world?
Usually, the nationality of a person is a red flag for certain stereotypes and pre-judgmental observations. To one’s own self, this might represent a certain uniqueness and pride yet it can, also, provoke a sense of shame and anger. I know that you, as a Dominican/Italian, take great pleasure in voicing your quirked cultural way of living. Kobenhavn and Roskilde will forever morph my character. These two cities within the tiny country of Denmark are home to my relatives, my genetics, and the roots of my place in society. I can remember many instances of being reminded about the pleasant haven.
The death of my Mormor (Grandma) sucked all of the energy from my limbs and left me for dead. I realized that her passing shouldn’t be brought downward with sorrow but rather glazed over with past feelings of happiness. She went through hours of pain to produce Diana Rasmussen and in turn, Diana gave her a little baby girl named, “Freja”. A wave of change rose over my body and I understood that I would always be Diana’s daughter. I am confident within my fair, Danish skin.
I can remember how effected I was throughout my time in America concerning my cultural background and my cultural interests. People would widen their eyes as I spoke about my past in Denmark; to them, I was like an alien from a strange planet. In the now, I am criticized for my newly found triple life. I say triple because one part of me is Danish and I have an entire past within my motherland, one part of me is Italian but I don’t have a big affiliation with the country, and one part of me is very tied into the Hispanic lifestyle. I am ridiculed on a daily basis for the last part and I am identified differently because of it. By the Caucasian community, I am insulted on (almost) a daily basis. By the Hispanic community in our school, I am subjected to the label of “Latina Wannabe”. By the Hispanic community outside of school, I am seen as a very good person and willing to accept and try anything new within their country’s ways. By my parents, I am given odd looks as I sing along to “Mariposa Tracionera” and they wonder why their little girl suddenly turned Hispanic.
Recently, I have been subjected to an act of immaturity and ignorance. There is a guy in my grade that hates my lifestyle more than his own selfish loneliness; when I chat with the so-called “skin head”, I can hear him saying that my hands are grimy from touching the hands of Mexicans. It hurts my entire body to hear something so harsh come out of a human being’s mouth; he takes the media’s image of crossing the border, the drug cartel wars, and the unpaid taxes, and spits them back into my face. The other night, I was talking with David and he posted on my wall, “stop being so sad”. That was an inside joke between him and I; it had no concern with “skin-head”. The ignorant “skin-head” commented on the post and said, “Go back to Mexico”. I called you, crying a river upon the keypad, and complained about the words that had left a mark in my mind. Lack of knowledge can drive the process of identity onto a cruel path.
Every single piece of matter that inhabits the personal world around you has an effect on your identity. The tiny room in which your soul takes life form has an effect. The soil that sticks to the bottom of your feet as you take your first steps has an effect. The way you represent yourself is a lifelong process; you begin to mold your life as soon as your lungs fill with newly found oxygen. The cries that are let out during your first hours on the outside of the womb might travel through time and find themselves spewing out of your mouth thirteen years later because of ridicule over your skin color, musical taste, family situation, etc. Identity is everything and everything is identity. Is it really that simple? Yes, I think so.