Accents

There is this thing about accents. When I look back I have never fallen for anyone who didn’t have an accent. Majority of people I dated had accents. My ex-husband had an Argentinian accent in Spanish when I met him. We met in Barcelona and we spoke Spanish and I used to be attracted by his accent.

When I moved to US the few people I loved or was in love with had accents. My best friends had accents. Thick and beautiful accents that made them stand out. When I heard them speak they were brining a new perspective to the topics they covered. They made mundane things interesting. They made boring things new. I wanted to hear them speak just for the sake of the accent.

Accents were like clothing. Some were made out of silk, some bore the heaviness of nordic wool, some were honest and breathable like cotton. All made one look intricate and memorable.

And yet, my own accent always bothered me. I thought it made me sound ugly and shallow. I worked with a speech coach. And then I worked with another speech coach. It taught me to speak slower, but my accent survived all the coaching. People, random people, would tell me that they loved my accent. And I would not believe them. I would think they were just being nice. I was embarrassed by my accent for the major part of my life. By my accent in any of the languages I spoke. I think, all the immigrants, we feel like this at one time or all the time.

I was working with a lot of immigrants lately and it struck me that I often wanted to talk to them because of their accent. I enjoyed how it sounded. It was beautiful. Like listening to the waves of the ocean. Like nature. I was talking to an Azerbaijani woman a few days ago and as I was listening to her I was conscious that I received pleasure hearing her speak because of her accent. And yesterday I made some small talk with a guy from our gym, he was from Eastern Europe and had a distinctive thick accent. I kept up with the small talk because I liked the sound of his voice. His haircut had personality as well as his accent.

As I became conscious that I loved the accents of others and may be I liked them because of their accents, I realized I was ok with my own. My accent is my personality. Trust me, there are people out there that love your accent! Don’t get rid of it. Enjoy the sound!

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