Maybe—that’s what I might start my response with. Maybe we can try harder, but not in the sense you might expect. While I think it's important to stay connected to our culture on our own terms and strive to keep a hold of the mad Spanglish skillz I still possess because I need to for me, I also think we need to take a moment to re-evaluate the big picture here. When I was in New York recording my #LatinoProblems advice segment for Latino USA, I had a bit of a cultural epiphany while having the "But I'm not Latina enough" conversation with a friend.
Maybe, I told her, we need to stop judging ourselves based on the expectations of others. Maybe we need to take a page from the New York Italians who may or may not speak Italian and may or may not still have family living in the Old Country. Somehow, New York Italian has become its own subculture and it's an identity people are proud of.
Just like the New Yorker with Italian ancestry, we straddle the cultural hyphen, but I think we do so with the added pressure of misplaced self-judgment. Why make ourselves feel less of anything when we are fully Latino Americans in the here and now? During Hispanic Heritage Month, let's take the time to learn more about and celebrate where we came from, but let's not forget to high five ourselves for where we are today.
Pauline Campos is Latina Magazine's #DIMELO love, advice, & relationship columnist. Send her a question here. Connect with her on her blog, www.aspiringmama.com and follow her on twitter: @pauline_campos.