Sometimes it is hard to be bicultural. Add to the challenges if you marry someone else that is from a completely different part of the world. Recently my husband and I traveled to Costa Rica and it was difficult to explain to everyone we met where we were from. I can only imagine once we have children how many looks, comments, and questions they’ll get. When I was there I wondered whether I should say I was Salvadorian (even though I never grew up there) because of my parents, or if I should I say I was from San Francisco, because that is where I grew up. And then there is my husband who could pass for Latino. Yet, there is something about him that wouldn’t fool some Latinos, who would instantly know he’s from another continent—he’s really from India. So we just decided that next time someone asks us where we were from we’ll just say planet Earth. The crazy thing is that the more the years pass and both of our families get closer, and we travel, we realize that our common language is love and an open mind.
Since my husband also has an MFA, and is in the creative field, we noticed that differences can actually be stimulating, invigorating, even. Sometimes institutions and narrow-minded families spew fear into the world, which is wrong because they are advocating that being different is a bad thing. I personally feel that being different is actually a good thing for stimulating the mind. In our singularities lies our fuel for both of our creative professions. We bathe in the bliss of our differences and celebrate our commonalities. See, we figure the more similar we are, the more boring it can be for two crafty souls. There are things I don’t know that he can teach me, and there are things he doesn’t know that I can teach him.
As a writer, it’s like an endless flow of creative energy! The brain can be a knowledge-fed machine, and being bicultural definitely feeds the monster with new information constantly. There is your family, and then there is where you grew up, and then there is your new family. Each place, each person contains so many stories, so many experiences and each place contains so much history. For a writer that’s got to be really cool! The aspects are endless.
And so my writer friends, I will leave you with a beautiful excerpt I read from Elite Daily on what smart people do:
It’s very easy to close our minds off from a learning experience due to the nature of the person delivering the material. However, an alternate perspective from an unfamiliar source can be a lot more interesting than annoying if you get past the natural urge to judge. Smart people are open minded.
They appreciate the value of other people’s opinions and do not let what they don’t know about a certain person hinder their ability to be thought provoking or amusing at the least. Smart people want every sort of interaction to be a learning experience, which is why they focus on the topic being discussed and its relationship with the entire outside world, not just with the person they are discussing it with.1