I wanted to take a post to reflect on myself after my birthday week. In 1991, 26 years ago today I was less than a week old sitting in a hospitable incubator fighting off jaundice since I was born premature and a little yellow due to liver issues. While I was still acclimating to consciousness outside of the womb, before I could make sense of the utterances the big people who can walk and talk were making, I was mastering the art of breathing.
Before meeting my Mom and seeing the people I came from, I was a blank slate. I had a name but did not know the reason why I was called it. Before I even knew the word Mom, I began to create a bond with the one who brought me into this world and the one who would nourish me when I would cry out in desperation. My favorite quote is “Mother is God in the eyes of a child” (Silent Hill) as it shows the appreciation for a perspective at a time we can’t even form memories.
Before I could say any syllables, I met my Dad without realizing his role in my procreation, and my whole hand could only wrap around his thumb. Along with two sisters who would help shape the person I would become by enforcing a sibling dynamic that would ultimately make me the youngest of three, the Golden child. (Their words, not mine).
Before I realized my parents hailed from El Salvador and we’re born and raised under entirely different circumstances, speaking another language for one. Before I knew what it was for my mom to be Baptist and my dad Atheist. The difference in philosophies, why I went to church but my dad could opt out.
Before I realized that the double “l” in my last name made a “y” sound because that’s how it’s pronounced in Spanish. Before I realized what race was and how we related to the greater society at large. Before I created my own opinions and making friends with diverse backgrounds.
Before I ended up getting accepted to the best public University in the world after my parents made the trek from San Salvador to Texas and Florida, respectively. Before I was conscious, I was just a new brain learning to maneuver the intracacies of this journey called life.
I believe we all start off as such, as a blank slate that is shaped by our experiences and surroundings. That our nature intertwined with nurture eventually shapes who we become. Our nature being our natural disposition from our genetics that causes us to be either energetic or calm and how we respond to things, erratically or composed. Whereas, our nurture comes from our interpretation of the actions and lessons from our parents, relatives, house, neighborhoods, schools, teachers, peers, and general people we interact with as well as the philosophies we encounter and those we choose to embrace. Since at the end of the day, all of our perception is due to our brain interpreting the different stimuli presented to us and processing it accordingly. We are all brains, sitting in suits of flesh supported by bones and muscles. We are all just brains, trying to get by and enjoying what it is to be alive.
Happy Monday! Be kind and be safe.