I don’t usually delve too far into current events. There are so many radical and obscure things happening in today’s society. It’s too exhausting and depressing to follow along with each issue.

I’ll occasionally absorb random headlines in passing though. And Rachel Dolezal's story definitely caught my eye.

Dolezal was infamously exposed by her family for living a misleading life. For years, Dolezal lived as an African American woman, despite the fact her biological parents are Caucasian. When confronted about the scandal, Dolezal said, “I identify as black.”

A few days ago, I was flipping pancakes and thinking about an upcoming family vacation (because that’s what moms do; we multitask). I was trying to get to the root of an illogical fear. Why was I on edge about a family vacation? Why was I so nervous about spending five days with people I’ve loved my entire life? Why was I anticipating uncomfortable situations? Why did I suddenly think my siblings wouldn’t understand me?

An unexpected answer popped into my head. Because I identify as Salvadoran.

My husband is Hispanic, a Salvadoran (from El Salvador in Central America). Spending so much time in close proximity to him, his family, and his friends has opened my eyes to values, lifestyles, and customs I had been unaware of for the better part of my life.

I’ve grown to appreciate these qualities — so much so that I feel it sometimes distances me from people who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing them.

But do I actually identify as Salvadoran? No, not really. I don’t look in the mirror and see a sassy Latina. I’ll never speak the language like a native. I’ll never understand certain beliefs. And I’ll definitely never squeeze this body into skin-tight jeans and four-inch heels.

In reality, I’m attracted to certain qualities commonly expressed by Salvadorans. I’m drawn to certain thought processes, attitudes, opinions, and beliefs.

Ultimately, I hope I possess those same qualities too. I want to surround myself with other like-minded people. I want to teach my kids to reevaluate what is important in life. And I hope someday, my kids will naturally gravitate towards people they can relate to — not because of their skin, but because of their heart.

This is yet another reminder that we all pay too much attention to the way people speak and the color of their skin. Identifying ourselves and each other solely by our race, ethnicity or anything other than internal qualities does a disservice to everyone involved.

I want to be identified as a compassionate, thoughtful, caring person. I hope my husband identifies as a leader, protector, and provider. I want my kids to identify as hard working, obedient, and grateful.

And I hope we can all figure out how to identify as human beings who love each other unconditionally despite our apparent differences.