Citizen by Choice

I proudly became a US citizen in 2008, it was very close to my Birthday so I tease my friends and family by saying I reborn that day. I am also very proud of my Venezuelan roots and despite whatever is going on in Venezuela I will never deny my origins and my love for it and I will always feel Venezuelan and enjoy a delicious Arepa “Reina Pepiada” . One good thing is that none of my home countries are selfish so they let me hold both nationalities.

Since I was a little kid in Venezuela I was influence by the American culture not only because 3 of my mom siblings married Americans but also in Venezuela in general was influenced by the United States Culture. The oil industry facilitated people from Venezuela import a lot of goods and services from the US along with a short and inexpensive flight from Caracas to Florida made Walt Disney World the preferred vacation destination. I have being living in the US for more than 30% of my life and took me 30 years to became citizen, my kids in the other hand they didn’t have the opportunity to decide it only took them 9 month they carried both nationalities and hopefully later in their life they will appreciate more their cultural heritage. Living in Pennsylvania is a challenge make them speak Spanish however they need to understand that, “The limits of your language are the limits of your world” quote by the Austrian Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein so I hope they can expand to the Portuguese, French and Chinese worlds eventually. In the eyes of most of the people in the US we are just Latinos or Hispanics, OK for me. The polemic around this classification is a topic for another conversation. I enter to the US history late so I need to catch up, I didn’t grew up in the states so there are a lot of things that I need to learn, adopt and adapt and also improve. It is a very exiting journey to learn about my new home country at the same time complicated. I know colleagues and others who came before me that can relate to this. Starting from the weather that was never part of my conversation, now the weather determine the way I feel, live, work, etc including my budget depend of the season. It forces you to learn the principles of planning. Integration is difficult, “blend in” as they said.

There are more things that can bring born US Citizens and naturalized citizens together rather than take us apart, the love to this country, the pursue of happiness, the love to our families and hard work. I am part of the continuous changes in the US demographics, like others who came and stay long ago. Many more will come who don’t have opportunities or are persecuted and will be adopted by its generosity. It could happens like me, I love and believes in this country and decided to call it home by Choice but will never forget to look to the South and feel the smell from “ La rivera de las garzas, de las rosas y del Sol”

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on August 17, 2015.