What am I?

Sarah - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on September 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: question, race

This I believe…….

What am I? I grew up in San Antonio Texas knowing many different cultures and what I believed to be the melting pot I learned so much about in history class. I grew up on a booming side of town with White neighbors to the left and Black neighbors to the right and us. I am mixed with Mexican, Native American, Spaniard, and French cultures. I was in elementary school taking our annual state tests when I was filling my information out name, age, and ethnicity. I stopped at ethnicity. I did not know what to put. The choices were white (non Hispanic), Black, Hispanic (non white), Native American, Mexican, Asian, and other. I raised my hand and asked my teacher to help me fill this part out. She looked at me and asked were you born here? I said yes and she smiled and said fill in the Hispanic bubble. When I went home that day I wondered what is Hispanic? I asked my parents. They said Hispanic means that I am Mexican and Spaniard but American because I was born here. I did not understand what about my other cultures where do those go? How can this one word define me but not all of me? Why do my neighbors have their own bubbles but I do not? Am I so many things I am undefinable? If I was to just say I was Hispanic do I forget my other cultures? What do I tell people why they ask what am I? When I was asked the question what am I, I responded with Hispanic. About two years ago when I was applying for college one of the essays I got was to define myself beliefs, values, and morals. It was the what are you question that had confused me for so long. I went to teachers, my parents, siblings, asking them for help, what do I say? They could not answer for me because they are not me. It took me a week and half for me to write my essay and believe that only I can truly define myself not a bubble. This I believe.