Maybe my cuñada was right when she responded a couple months back – “How old are you again?” – to what in my brain had seemed like the logical question posed of what path I should pursue – the nonprofit industrial complex or the academic ivory tower? [I sometimes wonder if the best answer is neither?]
I had been so utterly offended and hurt by her statement (if you’re reading this Smelo, you know I love you forever and ever), but maybe there’s something to it. Shouldn’t I have figured out by this ripe age of 40 something [yes 40 something y que], what I should be doing with my life? Isn’t everything supposed to have fallen into place by now? Aren’t I supposed to be rolling in the big bucks and be close to hitting the glass ceiling? Obviously not. Ugh.
I think I’m currently at a Xicana-at-43 midlife crisis. Yup, I said it.
When I subject all of this to greater psycho auto-analysis it may be that I feel this way because of the many sidetracks I’ve taken in life. Looking back and reflecting a bit, is it that I took a couple of wrong turns down the road? Is it that I got suckered into a higher form of tracking where most of the bright Xicana/o minds somehow end up in teaching? Dammit! Don’t all of those ‘what ifs’ have a tendency of kicking us in the pants?
The other day a student in class asked me the following question – “If you could do anything, what would it be?” With only a couple of seconds of hesitation I promptly responded – “I would write all day and night.” Yes that’s what I would do in the ideal nonexistent world my delusional mind at times resides in. I would write todo el fregado día. Pipe dreams of following the path of Anzaldúa, Cisneros, y hooks.
¿Pero porque no? ¿Que es lo que me detiene?
I have thought long and hard about what keeps some of us Xicanas firmly in place and after many years of contemplation I have arrived at the following conclusion – it has to do with the after-effects of being colonized people. Deeply buried inside the majority of us raza, there is a seed of doubt that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for us to pursue our dreams. And I’m not talking about landing what is considered a ‘good’ job, I’m talking about our real dreams, you know the ones that we keep hidden from most of those on the outside. I’ve encountered this situation many times – an opportunity shining before me but somehow I can’t and don’t accept it. Is it a fear of my own ‘success?’ Is it a grappling with a relentless battle to not somehow sell-out or be seen as a vendida? Is it that part of my colonized being that just can’t let go of what it sees as its set place in life? I think it’s all of the above coupled with a heavy dose of inner doubt and struggle. I’ve denied it for years but I’m now at the point where recognition is the only step forward.
So maybe this isn’t a mid-life crisis after all since these episodes are not accompanied with desires of buying a sports car and wearing leather pants. Maybe it’s a type of cachetada to the face reminding me that our time here is limited and so I better get moving on things.
Tales of a Xicana Feminist Heart here I come.
#lablogadora #xicana #midlifecrisis