Who Am I?

My Cultural Self
1. Who am I (race, gender, culture, sexual orientation, class)?
I am a Cuban American female, young adult. I identify with Southern California culture, consisting of English, casual attire, and mild change in weather year round. I am heterosexual and was brought up in middle class status as a practicing Catholic. Currently, my culture includes being a student who is financially struggling.
2. Which dimensions of my self are easy to own and embrace?
I can own and embrace my Southern California culture and language. I feel comfortable speaking English, driving around Orange County, going to the beach, and feeling at home in this surrounding. I can also embrace my heterosexuality.
Which dimensions of my self are not easy to own and embrace?
Right now my identity as a young female is not so easy to own and embrace. I find myself feeling meek and losing confidence when in front of ‘strong’ male figures. I become very cognizant of my self when around a group of males. I am also aware of my limitations around money in the area I currently live in.  I sometimes feel below others around me in Newport Beach because I am not as financially safe or have much ability for social mobility as a student.
4. Which dimensions of my self are the sources of my greatest personal discomfort?
A dimension of my self that is not easy for me to own and embrace is my age. I feel too young to be in the professional therapy world and too old to be dependent on others. Additionally, I feel hesitant to embrace my Cuban culture because I know so little about it and I look more caucasian than Cuban and I don’t speak Spanish, which people often ask when they find out my race.
5. Which dimensions of my self are the sources of my personal pride?
My personal pride derives from some of the areas I have find difficulty with. I also take pride in my young age, and reflect on how far I have come and the decisions I have made. I also respect and love my father so much. He is born and raised in Cuba and came to the US after Fidel Castro took over. Being his daughter and of the Cuban heritage makes me proud. I am also proud to be American and feel much satisfaction and gratuity to be a citizen of this country.

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