I am getting to a point in my current relationship, amidst my budding writing career, that I feel a weird aversion to bragging about my accomplishments to my partner, to my family and to my close friends.
Part of me feels like they should see my accomplishments because they are visible and I am pretty visible in a few circles, that they should at least make an effort to be a part because I am a part of those networks. But another part of me, the part that is really getting to the heart of the matter, knows that I just have a general sense of responsibility to not become too proud of myself.
Pride is one of the seven deadly sins. The Church has a blanketed approach toward putting people of all races, ages, abled or differently abled, genders, etc. into these ethical frameworks that sees no color and sees no difference in people. On the surface it would appear that the Church is post-racial, but when you dig deeper, Christianity as we know it is extraordinarily white and male. Jesus along with every other character in our childhood Bibles are generally depicted as white; God is depicted as male; Mary has no real agency and is impregnated non-consensually.
So when I am told that pride is a sin, as a brown Latina immigrant living in the United States being indoctrinated to act white (read: right) through Christianity and behave white (read: well) as imposed by the fine print in my green card (ei. Good moral person), I begin to want to be a little prideful.
When I get that degree I was not supposed to get: I become prideful.
When I talk back to a white cop who tried to see if I was undocumented by getting a look at my license -- yet he said he stopped me because he said he thought he saw I wasn't wearing my seatbelt -- I get to be prideful.
When the organization I started makes demands of an even bigger organization who is perpetuating racism stereotypes of Latinxs, and they listen, I get to be prideful.
When I start making a living wage for writing angry truths, I get to be prideful.
Yet here I stand, silenced, in front of family and friends and a partner who wants to know what I am doing; I am scared that I will threaten their own realities with my own thriving one. I am scared that these accomplishments will create a distance between us because suddenly I am proud, as if I am better than them, but I am not. I have been proud of them for what they have had to go through to get to where they are. However because I am female and brown, I feel obligated to hold everyone's possible resentment in my hands as I manage my pride.
I have to turn that pride into humility and I resent it. Because this sexist and racist indoctrination of what it means to be Christian and what it means to be a good person forgets that for women from MY country, living in THIS country, the hoops we have to go through to get to you are astronomical. And the hoops that a trans-person, or a differently abled person has to go through are also astronomical, and when we make it we have to wait for someone else to praise our accomplishments as if we cannot ourselves acknowledge the sweat and tears it took us to get there. I mean, we should know better. We how hard it was for us, but for some reason humility needs to be our stance.
Pride is our ego, and our ego must be trampled.
But telling brown, female, differently abled, black and LGBTQIA persons the same thing you have been telling white males is NOT Christian. It is oppressive and equally damaging. It keeps us shackled under the prisons of the Church that regulates our accomplishments through their pre-approved responses.
All the time, I have to turn that pride into humility and I resent it.