Commonplace; Salimos de Aquí

Salimos de aquí
de un paraiso pérdido…
Salimos de aquí
de la perla privilegiada
de la sombra asociada
de la envidia caribeña
y de la estupidez isleña
de sentirse en menosprecio
por ser de aquí…

Y así salimos descalzos
y así aprendimos sin querer

For my final Commonplace for WRTG 101, I am going to dedicate my exhibit to where my heart resides: home.

I remember living in Puerto Rico. All of my life, the only thing I thought about was leaving, finally. Going off to better, bigger places and making my dreams come true. While I do not regret that at all, I wish I could have appreciated where I come from more. After I left for college was when I started really getting into the music from back home because I realized it was something I always had around me but never took into account. I guess you could say the music is my home away from home.

Fiel a La Vega write “Salimos de Aquí” dedicated to irreplaceable Puerto Rican pride because “this is where we come from.” With all of our flaws, faults, and complicated history, we are who we are; we would not change it for anything. One of the easiest things to know about PR is that no matter where we go, we show that flag off with pride. I failed to realize I am truly one with the pack until home was not home anymore, and culture shock was a real thing.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If I had to choose, I would still do my life like I am doing it right now. I am a girl meant for the big city and the hustle and bustle that is associated with New York City. But the beach runs in my veins; the smell of the ocean is second nature to me; the mofongo calls my name; San Juan at any time of the day will always be the best getaway; the need for revolution courses through me. I am one with the world, but I take Puerto Rico with me wherever the hell I go.

That is why I chose these lyrics. Because, as the words illustrate, we Puerto Ricans come from a state of mind in which we feel like a lesser people because we are from the island. I under-appreciated how fucking spectacular it is to be from an island, from a place where it is always a beach day, and everybody is family. The first part of the verse talks about the negative light that is given to Puerto Rico by Puerto Ricans. Then, in the last two lines, the perspective is shifted because it is saying, “By thinking like this, we learned without wanting to.” We learned without wanting to, to accept and love where we are from, for it is an unchangeable thing. With a whole new take on the world, I learned how to be Puerto Rican, how to love Puerto Rico, after I left Puerto Rico. You know that culture shock I mentioned before? Well, it is this concept in which you realize what your primary or inner culture is once you immerse yourself into another. These lyrics clearly allude to that experience. I personally know about the experience and identify heavily with what the song as a whole puts forth.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, and what Fiel a La Vega imply, Yo soy boricua pa’ que tú lo sepas. 

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