It was my birthday yesterday. I've been alive for 23 years now. My birth was long and painful, or at least that's what my mom says. I had big black eyelashes and gigantic dark blue eyes. My name was Marina and I made sure everybody knew it. Now my eyes are no longer blue and I only cry when somebody hurts my feelings. The story of my first 23 years has been both tragic and thrilling all at once. When I tell people my life story they seem to either not believe me or just feel sorry for me.
Being a mixed-race person with an "interesting life" is pretty exhausting though. Imagine dreading the question "where are you from?" every time you meet new people. You literally stress about that one question for hours before the encounter and completely lose your footing when they finally ask.
"I'm a mix... no, I grew up both in California and in Slovakia... haha, actually it hasn't been part of Russia for over 20 years now... oh, that's coz my mom's from El Salvador."
Exhausting. It seems that no matter how old I am I will always have to answer those questions. They're part of my complicated identity now. If I'm lucky, they won't ask any more questions about my life or relationships. That's when things get really ugly. I hate to talk about it.
Now that I'm 23 I'm going to try and mix up the rules when it comes to who I tell what and why. If someone wants to know the whole life story they're going to have to ask me after much more than one drink at the bar.
Maybe it sounds negative, but I think it's time to start putting up walls. My teens were all about being a blabbermouth who trusts everyone. Now I'd like to make the changes so that I can be sure my mid twenties are all about quality experiences.