We have the habit of putting people in boxes since the beginning of humanity.
We feel the need to share a kind of special unity with others for selfish reasons.
That’s why I think racism and discrimination will never leave this world.
But how much do we realize that by creating and achieving that unity,
we exclude others and put a crack in their self image?
Or do we just not care? – rhetorical question –
Whenever someone asks me the common question: ‘Where are you from?’, I’m never quite sure what I should answer.
‘My mommy’s tummy?’
But then they’d just add ‘geographically spoken’ and I’d have to think about it for a while.
Where am I from? Where do I belong?
Geographically, culturally, mentally?
Like many other fellow foreigners, I’ve lived my whole life in a country where I don’t look like any of the stereotypes.
A good thing? I guess. Sometimes.
A bad thing? Often.
I’ve lived 21 years in an environment I wished I could’ve called home at some point. Sure I fit, but I never belonged. And even if I started to feel a little bit like it, there would always come something along that would change it. And I also went back to my roots to see if I could belong in my father’s place of birth, but I’m as much of a foreigner there as I am here.
But there are good things about being geoghraphically homeless. It forces you to look for
yourself in other places. It stimulates you to establish your home in values and normes. It helps you develop your identity in other aspects, in order to fill up the geographical gap.
So from now on, whenever someone ask me where I’m from;
I’ll telI them to ask me where I belong instead.
And then I’ll just look them in the eye, smile and say:
‘I belong to myself, only.’