I can't tell jokes in Spanish so instead I wear a muzzle

Wearing a muzzle...   Wearing a muzzle...  I wear a muzzle. 

Its hard to think that I wear a muzzle in conversations as I am so outgoing, so grounded in my purpose. And yet I do wear a muzzle in my conversations with extended family. 

Its more than a muzzle. Now that I think about it.

It's a muzzle with a straight jacket. But let's just call the whole thing a muzzle. 

I am a fluent Spanish speaker. I should not have to wear this muzzle. 

"So what!" screams my otro yo! The other part of me that fills me inside with doubt, mockery, concern. Don't get me wrong. That part of me is totally useful in helping me keep my mouth shut from time to time and we've made friends. I get her.

But sometimes she gets cocky and just puts the muzzle on before I can get a word out. Or she leaves it on too long. And then the rebellious part in me rips that muzzle off-- right when the dam of conversation building up in me is about to break.  

Its a dangerous game these two play. My true self just laughs at the game of Russian roulette they play. And me, I am left searching for what to do. 

I speak fluent Spanish. I am super social, lovingly sarcastic. Hella funny.

"So What!" 

I can't discern jokes or make them in Spanish. Jokes are so important in Colombian life - they are practically a rite of passage. I can't tell them or get them in my family's native tongue and only like two people get my jokes in English and they are not here. So I sit there unsure of what to say. I feel uneasy in my own skin - like I could crawl out of it and that would be easier than staying in this awkward moment. 

Ooh, wait. I can tell that joke... in Spanish. But...what if my face doesn't say -- this is a joke. I will need to announce the joke before I even tell it - just in case no one can tell I am about to tell a joke. 

"Well, that's not funny." -- drum beat in the back. 

My self-critic is so active. Okay - so no jokes. Now what?

Maybe I should tell them I wish I could tell and get jokes in Spanish. Maybe they could help me? Maybe we would bond?

Checking back in to the conversation. Hey look! The moment has passed. They are back on baby pictures, again and who's walking. 

A sigh of relief and wait... what's that. Another part of me shows up to remind me this is another missed opportunity.

I speak and hear fluent Spanish. I am funny. Hella funny. 

"You ready now." 

Yes.

I guess put that muzzle back on... voluntarily. 

One thing is clear. I am not practicing patience or mindfulness.

I am simply wearing a muzzle.