We all grew up with abuelas whose favorite sayings sometimes left us at a loss. “What do you mean, “Crea fama y échate a dormir?”
More often than not, it’s those little Spanish sayings I grew up with that serve as tidbits of motivation. They capture so much in just a few words. And yes, English-language idioms do the same, but there’s something about the cultural connection that make them all the more real. ¿No es verdad?
Here are a few of my favorite sayings – the ones that get me by at work and home as a Latina-Americana.
Lo que está pa’ ti, nadie te lo quita. We stress and complain about the things – people, opportunities, ideas – that come and go, but we’re quick to forget Willy Chirino’s famous words. If it’s meant for us, it’ll be ours – with a bit of fate and hard work.
Borrón y cuenta nueva. Sometimes we just have to start anew. The past is the past, and dwelling on it can bring us down. Instead of focusing on mistakes or what could have been, put your energy in the present.
Cuando hay hambre, no hay pan duro. Why all the complaints? When we’re in a pinch, there’s no room for pickiness or special requests. Do what you can with what you have – right now.
No hay más ciego que el que no quiere ver. You’re only fooling yourself by ignoring what’s right before you. Ignorance might be bliss, but it certainly won’t make you feel any better to pretend you don’t know what’s right. Tackle problems – both in the workplace or at home – head on (but with tact, of course).
Para gustos los colores. You can’t please everyone. There’s no use in trying. Do what you know in your heart and mind to be right, and do it to the best of your ability.
Crea fama y échate a dormir. Your reputation will follow you wherever you go. Keep your word and mean what you say. It’s hard to shake a bad rep, and everyone knows everyone.
A donde el corazón se inclina, el pie camina. If you want it, go after it. Set your intentions and work toward them. You’ll get there with a bit of passion, support and hard work.
What are your favorite Spanish sayings? We’d love to add them to ours!