It’s been very hard for me to accept the word “white” as part of my description. It’s not that I didn’t understand my ethnicity, but rather that there was baggage I associated with that word in my mind.
It turns out that I’ve lived with a blind spot for a long time. I’ve adapted to it so well that I have been completely unaware of it and the word “white” has been the main thing hindering me. Like a bottleneck.
It hasn’t been easy to find words to talk about all this.
I was born in Texas, lived my early years in Oklahoma, and I moved to Mexico City at the age of eleven. Barely five months after the move, my youngest brother died in an accidental drowning at the age of three. This tragedy divided my life. It was the end of my childhood and severed all my connections to the past at a formative time. After that, I was fully immersed in Mexican society, schools, university, work; my identity was shaped abroad. It wasn’t until I returned to the U.S. at the age of twenty that I discovered that while I hadn’t ever been Mexican — I didn’t fit in here as an average American either. …
How to Use Words and Actually Communicate
Some of us work at expanding our vocabulary and using the right words for the right purposes. Whether writing or speaking, reading or listening, we pay attention to words and their specific meanings. Others of us swoop words together in a glossy concoction that paints a feeling or an idea we want to convey. The specific words aren’t as important as the overall impression.
Both have advantages, but the truth is that Concocters and Word-splitters have very different ways of viewing and talking about the world, and their use of words can lead to confusion, misunderstandings, fights, and resentment. …
can make all the difference to someone in crisis
“This is so dumb!” I said with a hint of frustration as my husband gave me a brief goodbye kiss and moved toward the door.
“I’ll pick you up tomorrow after work,” he replied as he turned away. “Listen to your tapes and try to relax.”
Cyprus was a no-go. I was going to be staying overnight in the hospital instead ‘for observation’. It seemed a little extreme. …