Boricua de Corazon

Just as we dutily welcome family into our homes, so too must we take in their stories.

Dear reader, reunions para mi familia are something of an intergenerational trades show. We exchange wares in the form of our experiences — ma’s from El Bronx, abuelita’s from La Isla de Encanta, mine from El Valle de Silicio

A cut of early 90's home videos from my summers in Maunabo.

In these moments, our identities coalesce. Imagine multiple generations of authors writing identical stories. Of you, for them. For you, of them. These authors, with their eyes and their hair and their mannerisms and their surnames that are also your’s.

The literal and proverbial gaps that exist between mi abuelita and myself can be bridged by our story. To be Boricua de Corazon is to be a bridge.

We all, as POC, must choose to maintain our bridges. Our bridges allows us to channel our shared contributions and discern from our past mistakes.

Our bridges fuel our intuition and highten our purpose. When my grandmother raised three daughters on her own, that became my story. When I embark on my career in tech across the country, that becomes her’s.

Our bridges also remind us of our past ugly and our obligations to be better. For example, I must accept a shameful history of toxic spousal abuse, substance abuse, etc. In doing so—as a cisgender male—I come to realize and recognize much of this was at the hands of our family’s men.

Boricua de Corazon reminds us of the important differences between disowning one’s history and disavowing it. We’re doomed to repeat our ugly if we don’t accept nor own up to it.

Pride and culture can be such nuanced things. It is certainly so much more than the flag-waving. Or the Puerto Rican boxing gloves hanging from my rearview mirror.

I may only be a generation removed from the Island and just under three decades old, but I’ve lived many lifetimes. And I feel emboldened to carry our torch. I want to take my family places they’ve never seen nor could imagine. And I want to repay them for giving me the depth, the strength, and the purpose that made it all possible.

One day, I will thank them in their native tongue. For now, I will let my actions speak.

We are all finite and limited by our own humanity. And the gaps between us and our people will continue to grow. Let’s maintain our bridges—our own Boricua de Corazon. We need more of each other—past, present, and future.

By internalizing each other’s story, we will eternalize our own.

Note to self: Delve deeper into the racial parallels of macOS’ Learn Spelling and Ignore Spelling…