There’s an article circulating around about 7 things no one tells black girls about their 20’s. A friend shared it with me saying even though I’m not black that a lot of it could still apply. And it did, but I felt as a Latina there were some things missing. So I decided to make my own list and share with you what no one tells us brown womyn about our 20’s. (And no I didn’t accidentally put a Y instead of an E in womyn)
1) That when you are the only person (or one of a few) in your workspace that speaks Spanish you will be called upon to do more than your job title asks, particularly if you happen to work in a space where there is a need for a Spanish interpreter and vise versa. It’s a privilege that of course you take on but usually feel ill prepared to do what they’re asking you because you weren’t trained for this
1b) That if you have a Spanish surname or look remotely Latina you will be assumed to speak Spanish even if you don’t. And again you feel ill prepared for the very awkward situation of explaining, “no I do not in fact speak Spanish”.
2) That your bilingual-ness will automatically create a bond with people who also speak your native language. You may not even work in the same department but ya’ll find each other like a dog on a mission
3) That code switching isn’t being phony it’s necessary for your success.
4) Often times you’ll feel like the odd man out wherever you go. At work you’re the only Latina, at home you’re the only one that went to college, with friends you’re the only one who seems to not have their ish together. Or you’re the only one you know interested in the hobbies you have, or the only one who you know that dreams big. Trust me when I say no one really knows what they’re doing, we all feel a little out of place, and you’re exactly where you need to be. There is a lesson the universe is trying to teach you right now.
5) That you’ll feel the pull of career and family even if you don’t have kids. Eyeing that job with a lot of career mobility? It’s 100 miles away from home. Wanting to stay near family? Nobody in your background is hiring without 20 years of experience. Add kids to the mix and the pull is 10 fold
6) That every time you start to get into the blissful state of “things are going alright” ghosts from your past will come knocking trying to pull you backwards. Ex-boyfriends, ex-employers, ex-friends, past trauma. They are ghosts for a reason. Handle the situation and then leave them in the grave.
7) That you need to go out and live once you leave the cocoon that was high school. Travel, live on your own, eat strange things, cook a meal, and watch it all burn, make friends, keep in touch, lose your religion and then find it again. Our parents will never approve 100% with everything we do. But this is YOUR life and if you don’t take a risk to find out what you like and don’t you’ll be living someone else’s plan. Someone once said to me “You have to make your own dream for yourself. Because if you don’t have a dream, someone else has a dream for you.” That’s not always with your best interest at heart.