I moved to the U.S five years ago and I was terrified. Sure, I had come before for vacations but I never really payed attention to the fact that I did not speak the language.
After graduating high school my parents decided that it was best for me to go to college in the U.S. I did not wanted to. I wanted to stay in my country with all my comforts and friends around. I had been to New York, Paris, Rome, Zurich, and many other beautiful cities but to me there was nothing like Lima.
In December, January and February the only concerns in Lima are to eat ceviche, play with the huge and cold ocean waves, experience the best sunset views with your friends, and party at night with your tanned skin and summer mood. From March through November, Lima is known for her gray days. Being so close to the cold Pacific ocean bring so much humidity that fog takes over the entire city. If someone wanted to know what it would be to live in a cloud, visiting Lima during this time is probably the best example for it. However, I always sensed it to be a very poetic season. People still goes out to enjoy the day and night, eating out is always an experience and winter simply increases the menu options with more “criollo” dishes.
Now that I look back, I realize how simple and beautiful my time in Lima was. However, as much as I wished to stay forever and live those feelings every summer and winter, life had other plans for me.
When you are seventeen most times your parents will make decisions for you that will suck, at the moment, but with time you might realize that some were the best decisions they could have made for you.
Now that it has been 5 years living in the U.S I find myself speaking the language, and even doing something that was and still is a huge challenge for me- writing. I used to think that once I would get rid of my accent I would be fully fluent in English. Now my accent is something I hope to hold on to for as long as possible, regardless of how much more I’ll come to speak English.
Today I am grateful with my parents for making that decision for me. Of course, I miss my city everyday but I would not change the course of things even If I could. I did not come to understand the impact Lima had on me until I moved to a culture so different from mine.
My accent is my story. I think that it is a reminder that I am not from here, that I have other roots, other experiences, other views. For many people accents can be annoying when they are hard to understand. I believe that accents are rather inspiring, they hold stories and cities much different from yours.