I AM NEITHER AND YET I AM BOTH

I am fragmented.
  1. I am both Salvadorian and American, while also being neither of them. In El Salvador I am considered an American. In the U.S. I'm considered a Salvadorian. I have to try my fucking hardest to be the best at being both. My Spanish has to be impeccable, and I have to do my best to blend into American culture and customs.
  2. There were two moments recently that brought this to my attention. Both of them occurred in El Salvador.
  3. The first was a couple years back when I was in El Salvador with my family. My father was talking to my grandpa and for some reason the conversation turned towards me and my sister can he called us "Americanos." I was shocked and a little offended.
  4. I don't feel American, and I sure as hell don't look it. And yet, in the country where my roots are, I have been exiled. I have been labeled as someone who isn't one of them. It hurt, it did.
  5. The second was this December when I went to El Salvador by myself during Christmas. One of my cousins friends asked me "where you from?" He asked me because my Spanish accent didn't match that of a Salvadorean. I said "the U.S." For the second time, I was cast away.
  6. It's strange though because here in the U.S. my response is always "El Salvador."
  7. It's funny because today at the doctors my nurse was speaking to me in Spanish. She asked me where I was from. I told her El Salvador. Her response was I knew it. I asked her how.
  8. She said "your accent."