Who Would Have Known
I am standing at the Kiva Auditorium in Albuquerque, in the midst of 2,300 people and we are all about to become American citizens. This is one of the largest groups of people ever being sworn in as citizens at one time. We are from all over the world and we range in age, size and disposition but we are all there for the same reason: to become a Citizen of the United States.
I had been a Resident for many years and I had many rights as a Resident. However, as I matured (I did come to the States at the innocent age of 17!!) I realized that being a Resident, I did not have the right to vote and that it was becoming increasingly important to me what was going on around me and how I was part of what was happening. So I decided to apply for my Citizenship. I was very adamant about having my voice be heard as a woman and as an active participant in our community. I didn’t (and still don’t) want to be a community member who is indifferent, complacent or sarcastic. I wanted (and still want) to be the person who cares for the community and overall the country I live and in which I participate.
As the speeches and the American anthem go on during the ceremony, I have mixed feelings in my heart. Am I being unfaithful to my own country? As a kid I remember being so moved by our flag and from listening to the Mexican anthem. I bite my lip holding back my tears and then they start playing “The Star Spangled Banner.” I know they are singing about the beauty of the lands in the United States and this speaks to me. I have seen this beauty… in the landscapes and in the people. I console myself by telling myself that I have a big heart and that I will love both countries equally.
WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWN that after so many years I am still standing here believing in the same principles. I want to be an active community member, have a voice…but this time I feel the urgency to make the right decision about who I am going to vote for. I hope you do, too.
WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWN that at my age, instead of life getting easier, it has gotten harder. No, this time I’m not talking about my personal life! The economy of my business is as fragile as glass. It is vulnerable by the international, national and local economy. And it’s not just me who feels the challenges of life. I hear it all day long from my customers, my friends and my family. But at least what puts a smile on our face is that we discuss it whilst wearing beautiful shoes!!
WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWN…
*Mexico is one of the few countries that allows for dual citizenship.