Get In Where You Fit In: A Silly Identity Crisis

An interesting essay/article we came across on Latino LA, originally published on Spicy Cilantro about a mixed child growing up with divorced parents that re-married and growing up feeling a “bit different” and not exactly fitting in anywhere.  The writer also touches on the music she listened to, who she dated and other circumstances that isolated her growing up.  It’s an interesting little blurb but interesting to see an outlook from a child growing up in multiple worlds.  Do you think these things were a gift or a curse for Lisa Serna-Mayorga?  Article below


“I’m Different, Papa! What, Who Am I?”: Growing up in the middle class neighborhood of Curtis Park in Sacramento, I  was surrounded by quaint Spanish-style homes filled with middle-class Norman Rockwell families and tree-lined streets where children would ride bikes without a care in the world. Even as a young girl I recognized that I didn’t look like my friends– I never knew what or who I looked like.

I attended a small catholic elementary school a few miles away from my home where most of the student body resembled me– brown hair and brown skin, but I always felt like the odd girl out– a half breed born to a white mother and a Mexican father… they were divorced and I had a second mom and a second dad. Whose child was I really?

Elementary school is filled with memories of the school fall festival and spending hours at my girlfriend Mitzi’s house listening to Madonna whom I thought was African-American for about six months. OK, I was also a confused teen.

Now, high school was another story. All girl’s catholic high school– need  I say more? My school was the keeper of all vatas locas, homegirls, sistas and some amazing Philippinas. I never felt more out of place. I was a half breed with a father who happened to be the one outrageous local elected official to outlaw cruising… can you imagine?

And I could never explain my love for N.W.A. and Dr. Dre (my favorite song from the Chronic album was “Bitches Ain’t Shit” to my parents. It was a super confusing time. I was never Mexican enough for the Latinos and I sure as hell was never white enough for the Anglos.

And when it came to dating… well I knew one thing: I had to date someone who looked like me whether Mexican or African-American. For me, I wanted to be with someone who understood what it meant to be a little different. But let’s face it, in high school guys didn’t really care what my ethnicity was… I was cute, the mayor’s daughter and could get free concert tickets for just about anyone… score!

I tried so hard to get in where I fit in and frankly it all seems like a silly identity crisis now. Now, as 40-year old wife and mother, my only identity crisis is convincing my teenager that I was once a cool chick.

Such is life.

Lisa Serna-Mayorga [via Spicy Cilantro]

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