What is my body?

Untitled, Undergraduate Work, Melissa Gamez ©
Untitled, Undergraduate Work, Melissa Gamez ©

This is the first post that I am pretty much writing from scratch. It is an exciting feeling because I feel like a “real writer” of things. Anyway, events of the past few days have brought up a number of feelings and thoughts, old and new, concerning identity. Essentially, I feel at times that I do not genuinely know who I am, even at the most basic of levels. I am referring mainly to my cultural identity. It is difficult in many levels, to admit that we simply do not know something, but it is much harder to not know something about ourselves.

At times, I stare at myself in the mirror, trying to read every pore, every line embedded into skin, as if it could tell me something new. I think, “What is this body of mine made of?” Am I just a Mexican woman in America? Am I part indigenous, part European, part African? (Yes, Africans had a strong presence in the history of Mexico. Fun fact!) Sometimes I want to take one of those blood tests that trace your genetic information to geographic locations around the world!

Maybe my blood has been everywhere I have never been.

But, the more I think about it, the more I feel like mud. Of a mixture of many colors to make whatever I am: light woman in the Winter months, and dark in the Summer.

I never grew up in a family where we actively talked about our people, and I don’t mean in the general sense. I mean our people, our family, who we are and where our bloodlines have flowed through. I am confined to supposed nationalities and current day borders that serve nothing more than a political sense of control. Why is this? I am thinking more and more about the answers to my questions, and the more I do that, the more I feel the need to step back. Further and further until I have to start way at the beginning to get where I want to be: the present. I wish we would remember to remember.

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