Search for Identity in It’s Hard Enough Being Me

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Search for Identity in It’s Hard Enough Being Me In the essay "It’s Hard Enough Being Me," Anna Lisa Raya relates her experiences as a multicultural American at Columbia University in New York and the confusion she felt about her identity. She grew up in L.A. and mostly identified with her Mexican background, but occasionally with her Puerto Rican background as well. Upon arriving to New York however, she discovered that to everyone else, she was considered "Latina." She points out that a typical "Latina" must salsa dance, know Mexican history, and most importantly, speak Spanish. Raya argues that she doesn’t know any of these things, so how could this label apply to her? She’s caught between being a "sell-out" to her heritage, and at the same time a "spic" to Americans. She adds that trying to cope with college life and the confusion of searching for an identity is a burden. Anna Raya closes her essay by presenting a piece of advice she was given on how to deal with her identity. She was told that she should try to satisfy herself and not worry about other people’s opinions. Anna Lisa Raya’s essay is an informative account of life for a multicultural American as well as an important insight into how people of multicultural backgrounds handle the labels that are placed upon them, and the confusion it leads to in the attempt to find an identity. Searching for an identity in a society that seeks to place a label on each individual is a difficult task, especially for people of multicultural ancestry. Raya’s essay is an informative account of life for a multicultural American, because it is told from an actual multicultural author’s viewpoint. It gives the reader a sense that the information is accurate. It would be harder to accept the viewpoint if the author were for example, a white male writing about how a Mexican, Puerto Rican woman feels. As Connie Young Yu points out, information retold by someone who didn’t live the experiences is most often falsely perceived. Yu uses the example of white American historians writing about the lives of Chinese immigrants. Yu says that there is no accurate account for the lives of the immigrants, because they didn’t document their lives themselves. The little information that there is in history books only tells about their obvious accomplishments. There is no official understanding of their personal lives or feelings (Yu 30).

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