The Secret Life of Coconuts

{Top: abercrombie kids similar, skirt: F21, belt: Guatemala similar}
So, do you guys remember how last post I mentioned that one of my best friends had been awesome enough to snap some photos for me? Well, here are a few of them! I think they turned out quite nice! Anyway, I won't bore you guys with too many outfit details since its not too different from my last post. Which, talking about my last post, I realize its been a FULL week since I blogged. There is a reason, though! We've been in the process of changing our Internet plan so for the past week we've been without Internet. Which nowadays feels like living a week without an arm. I know that sounds extreme, but its the sad truth. Thank heavens for unlimited Internet on my phone right?

Anyway, the belt I wore in these photos spawned a whole train of thought complete with railroad and passengers. The thoughts were THAT intense. This belt comes from my home country, Guatemala. For those of you who don't know, Guatemala is in Central America just below Mexico. Whenever my grandparents or aunts/uncles used to visit they would bring us little trinkets like this belt. I had never really worn it before but out of some miracle I spotted it a couple of months back and realized just how beautiful and detailed it was. I've been wearing it pretty much nonstop ever since. After wearing it for this photo-shoot I got to thinking about how lucky I am that I can get these beautifully unique hand crafted things when not everyone else can and how that's due to the fact that I was born in such a beautiful little country.

Thinking about my homeland got me thinking about my identity as a Latina and how in many ways it defines who I am. Would I still be Allexis if I wasn't Hispanic? Maybe. Maybe not. Being raised in a Hispanic home gave me the mannerisms and little ways of viewing life that make me different from the rest of the community I've lived the majority of my life around. The same goes for having lived 16 years out of my 20 years of life in Utah, though. Would I still be Allexis if I had stayed in Guatemala and never come to Utah? Maybe. Maybe not. Living here and assimilating with the United States culture whitened me out a bit, and if I went back to Guatemala I'm pretty sure everyone would think I act like a gringa. In Guatemala I would probably come off as a coconut. What is a coconut you ask? Its the slang term for white washed Latinos. Brown on the outside, white on the inside. It's kind of offensive. I find the term a touch offensive because I in no way think I'm white on the inside(not that there's anything wrong with acting white, the culture here is fun and unique), at least not completely, and to me the term kind of suggests a renouncing of the Hispanic culture. Which I would never do because I'm so incredibly proud of who I am and where I come from. Regardless, that is probably the way I would come across in Guatemala. Which is funny because here I don't quite fit in because of my Hispanic mannerisms but in Guatemala I wouldn't quite fit in anymore either because of the gringo mannerisms I've picked up.

This got me thinking that the mash up of both cultures has left me in a sort of no mans land. There's no true place for me anymore. I can mix in with either culture easy enough, but I don't mix in perfectly. I'm kind of like a vegan boca burger that way. Boca burgers taste enough like meat but they still don't taste quite like the real deal. The only people I feel like get me perfectly and that I feel like I can be my true half and half self around without trying to force myself to be 100% Hispanic or 100% white are my other fellow coconuts. My fellow brown on the outside but BIEGE on the inside peeps.

The life of a coconut is an interesting and at times hard one, but I wouldn't change it for the world. It's a life lived with a mix of two beautiful cultures. A life in which I get to speak Spanglish and say things like, "Mama este caldo turned out calidiuxs,". A life in which I grew up calling lotion cream until someone was kind enough to correct me (Lotion in Spanish is crema). A life in which I also incorrectly called cream cheese, cheese cream. In Spanish, cream cheese is queso crema so if you translate it directly you get cheese first and cream second. Cheese cream. It never occurred to me that the right translation was actually cream cheese. I bet I just ruined cream cheese for you all now by saying it so many times in the last few sentences. Try saying it now without it sounding weird. I just did and it totally sounds weird, and I also just confused myself as to which way is the right way to say it again. Cheese cream...or cream cheese?!? Anyway, back on track, a life in which I got to experience the unique activity that is camping. If I had grown up in Guatemala I'm pretty certain I would've never gone camping because Latinos? Yeah, we don't really do camping because, uh, why would you go sleep in a tent in the woods when you have a house? ;)

Anyway, if you made it through this monster novel of a post I would just like to end by saying that everyone/everything is unique and there is such a great beauty in the uniqueness of each country, culture, and person. Take in the world, and the unique beauty that can be found all around us! Tell me, what interesting contradictions have you come across? What makes you beautifully unique?

Happy Monday!

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