EMBRACE Who you are and where you are from. Your language and your accent.
Take that special part of you wherever you go...
My first language is Spanish but I feel much more comfortable expressing myself in English. As a Cuban-Puerto Rican family living in Orlando back when there wasn't a large Latin community like today, my mother always emphasized the importance of knowing both languages. She'd say that it was in my best interest to fluently speak, read, and write English and Spanish. She believed that I would have a greater opportunity as a Latina in the United States and around the world, whether it was for travel or to live. She always set my grandfather and her youngest sister, my godmother, as an example. They are fluent in many languages which has allowed them to travel around the globe for work and grow their family business. For me, it's never really been so much about what being bilingual could do for me professionally although I do see it's benefits. It's always been a personal interest and goal.
Each morning before school I'd watch Despierta America, an entertainment and news program that still runs today and when I'd get home I'd watch Primer Impacto, the daily news, as well as a series of TV novelas (Spanish soap operas). I remember sitting in front of the TV reading the captions aloud as if I was reporting or acting the scenes out. That's when my love of voice-overs began. As silly as it may sound, it's most definitely one of the reasons I was able to develop and maintain the language throughout the years. Of course, my parents played the lead role. We spoke Spanish with a splash of Spanglish when we were together. Aside from TV shows/movies I listened to a lot of music in Spanish and I spent just about every summer in Puerto Rico allowing me to practice my Spanish with my cousins as they would practice their English.
Now, I realize how much being bilingual has helped me get to where I am today. It's actually one of the reasons I was hired for one of my first real life jobs. It was a skill that allowed me to branch out and grow professionally, just like my mom used to tell me as a little girl. When I started this blog, I knew that I wanted it to be in English and Spanish. It's important to me that our posts are available to people who are just like us, going back and forth between English and Spanish and sometimes a little Spanglish too. I'm proud to be bilingual and I hope to instill the same pride in my kids so that they are able to grow up and express themselves in both languages as well.