Tienes que hacer cayo

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I was talking about life as a 20-something year old with one of my friends, Rebecca. I was filling her in on the good, the bad, the ugly.  Lamenting about how life is turning out a bit different than I envisioned 10 years ago.  In mid-sentence, my friend asked me if I had seen a guitar player’s fingers.

I said, “yes”.  Although, I was a bit confused as to why she asked me about a guitar player’s’ fingers.

What she said next sounded like it was straight out of a Disney character’s mouth.  You know the character that is sent to encourage the protagonist. She explained that the first time musicians play the guitar their fingers are tender and it hurts a bit.  After they play for a while, they build up a resistance to the discomfort.   Hard skin forms on the fingers and eventually, they play without thinking about the pain.

My friend’s dad told her that the hard skin that forms is “cayo”.

And in life,  tu tienes que hacer cayo.  You have to build a tough skin because life will knock you down.  You have to get back up and continue to live, fight and breathe another day.

Tienes que hacer cayo.

I was struck by her words. Here I was complaining about my journey when it is is in these moments I am making my cayo-my tough skin. My endurance.  In whatever journey you are on, whether it be gaining your dream career or learning Spanish, you have to develop a tenacious spirit.  Fluency in a language, life goals and other things may not come easy.  There are days when my dream of becoming a writer seems far away and unachievable… But I push forward.  I know that every set back is making me stronger.

The term “fierce” in my tagline is more than something cute to say, it is a call to action for all my readers.  The very essence of fierceness is determination.  You don’t stop.  You don’t quit.   When learning Spanish gets tough or you are having challenges achieving your dreams, you don’t fret…because you know your breakthrough is coming.  Keep studying, keep pushing and keep stretching.  Stop whining.

Tienes que hacer cayo. You have to get a thick skin, chic@.

© JELISA JAY ROBINSON AND BLACK GIRL, LATIN WORLD, 2015

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4 thoughts on “Tienes que hacer cayo

  1. Tina says:

    I am so glad I found your website. I just started on the journey to learn Spanish and you are keeping me motivated. Thanks

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