The first language I learned growing up was Spanish. I didn’t learn English properly until I was about 6 years old. I grew up living with my grandmother and my grandfather, who to me, are like my second parents, and they didn’t know English, so I was taught to understand and speak Spanish. In Los Angeles, my home town, especially in my community, there are probably more people who speak Spanish as their first language than there are people who grew up with English as their first language, so I don’t see myself any different than most people. As time went on, and I grew up, and got new experiences, my Spanish began to start becoming less Native, so I wasn’t speaking it as well as before when I was younger, because in school, most of the kids spoke English only. The only people i really talked to in Spanish were older people like most of the people who went to my church, and people like my Uncles and Aunts. Back then, I honestly didn’t understand how awesome it was to be fluent in two languages, and I took my ability to speak Spanish for granted. Now that i’m in a different place where Spanish is a language that’s rarely spoken, i feel like because i know how to speak it fluently, that its as if i’m part of a different kind of social group than I was before, and as time goes on hopefully I can fully understand the benefits of being able to speak Spanish, because i know from personal experience, that people who speak Spanish love to speak it, especially when they’ve just met another person who can speak it.