I am uncomfortable with privilege. I was born into it because I was born middle class in the United States, but I get leery whenever I think there’s a hierarchal separation between myself and someone else. It started the Christmas Break (or Winter Break if you so choose) after my first semester of college.
After graduating, I went directly into the work force. A bachelor’s degree, a teaching license, and no one to take care of except myself made me solidly middle class even in astronomically expensive New York City. There was definitely struggle when I had two significant and unexpected pay cuts switching between and even within schools, but in the end I made it. Scarred, but still moving forward.
Thus, I may be a doubly visible minority (black and female), but I would be lying to say that I don’t also have some privileges. Whenever I go abroad one privilege sticks out to me in particular: American citizenship. I am still processing it all myself but there’s something to be said about having access to currency that inflation does not severely impact; to traveling anywhere in the world without thinking twice about being denied clearance to enter a new country because of my country of origin; to being implanted (whether I intended to be or not) into a certain social strata in a new world simply because of my old one.
I don’t want to live in an expat bubble while here. I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity. I wouldn’t be taking full advantage if I did recede into a familiar, English-speaking only bubble.
Time will tell. And so will my Spanish.