The first impression is always the hardest


My name is Brenda Carolina Figueroa-Gonzalez. I’m a 25-year-old woman who maintains that life is a fragile bit of luck in a world based on chance, vodka should be a beverage a girl can marry, that we all secretly dress like hipsters and that nobody’s grown a decent tomato since 1963.

I’m from Mexico City and migrated to the United States when I was 12. I graduated from Adams State University in 2012 and now I’m in debt, eating cup-of-noodles while doing nothing with my degree like everybody else in my generation. After returning to the United States, and graduating college, I found myself living in Colorado Springs, a large-ish city surrounded by beautiful mountains and endless craft beer.

I never thought I’d be happy in the Springs, mostly because it never felt big enough. Mexico City was exciting, familiar, and comforting. I remember the mercados (markets) every Sunday, running through the colorful streets and sneaking leftovers for the stray dogs. I thought that was a good deed, but my parents hated it since the strays would end up following us home — I was also a child so what did I know?

Since then, I’ve learned an entirely different language, I adapted to the one-foot-radius bubble of protection that Americans are fond of, and I’ve learned to constantly forgive people for mispronouncing my last name (Fee-guh-ROE-ah). I mean, really? It’s not that difficult.

I’ve spent the best years of my life growing out my bangs, searching for a good bra and finding ways of traveling around the world. The bangs came and went, and I have Zooey Deschanel to blame for setting unattainable standards for women. (C’mon Zooey, there is no way the average gal can have those perfect bangs every single time.) To this day, I repeat the mantra: “I’d have to marry a hairdresser to have bangs like that every day” while watching "New Girl" — ugh. Bang envy is the worst.

I use to think the world wasn't that complicated; just add water and live. Then, along came Diet Coke, Channing Tatum and the cancellation of "Pushing Daisies" and "Firefly" and I guess I just had to grow up. I’ve learned the hard lesson of not becoming too attached to any TV show you love; it will undoubtedly be canceled or somehow “improved upon,” much to its detriment.

After everything I’ve been through, all the experiences I’ve had, and all the wonderful people I’ve met, I don’t think I could adapt to living in a metropolitan city outside of the United States again. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my culture and country and encourage everyone to visit and experience it, but let’s be honest, no one takes Mexico very seriously. It’s either seen as an overwhelming, polluted and dangerous country or a touristy party land, ideal for spring break or bachelorette parties (yuck). Many would be surprised to discover a truly beautiful country. Mexico City itself is relatively easy to navigate, with lots of museums and neighborhoods worth exploring, and offers amazing food at all levels from the endless street food to world-class restaurants.

As a Mexican-American who is a little bit more Mexican on some days, and slightly more American on others, I hope we’re able to find some common ground. I, like many of you, am not defined by just one aspect, such as race or where you are born. I’ll tell you why the Internet makes me insecure about my eyebrows, how overrated those twenty-something lists actually are and fill you in on my personal vendetta for the word “chica.” (Yeah, some A+ topics here.)

Am I a proud Latina? You bet! I’ve embraced my heritage and language, but that’s not all there is to me, it’s just a shade in the color-pencil portrait of my life.

So, let’s get acquainted and have some fun.

Brenda Figueroa-Gonzalez returned to Colorado Springs after graduating from Adams State University with her Bachelors in Mass Communications and is usually roaming the Internet, and often found downtown. Follow on twitter @loveliestladyyy, chronicling random thoughts on TV shows or cute animals and her crossing into the deep underbelly of food, fashion and craft beer.

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