Being a child of two wonderful parents, who came to Europe to give their children a better life than what they had themselves, put a lot of pressure on me as a young adult but it also led to a lot of confusion about my own identity.
I used to be a hard working and good student, someone who always tried to please the parents and the own ego. I used to work hard in school, which was a school with a very small percentage of foreign kids. I was one of those few. As such you always had to work harder than the rest, you always had to explain yourself and your goals. I had many people making fun of me, there were teachers discouraging me and laughing about my goals to become a doctor because of my background. I should not try too hard as I would end up as a cleaning lady anyways (same as the rest of my race).
Having a big family, and many family members whose only goal in life was competing with others, was more than exhausting. That means that not only rassist teachers at school and mean kids on the streets gave me the feeling of being worthless as a teenager, no also family members told me many times that my dreams were too big and too crazy. That no one ever in our family had achieved anything on an academic level, even though who seemed to achieve something failed aftewards. Why should I?
I was confused. I was not allowed to become who I wanted to become. No one ever believed I could achieve what I wanted to. I lost my motivation, my goal in life and my selfconfidence at a very young age.
Except of having no idea what I was able or allowed to become, I was also torn between three cultures. My parents themselves were born in another country than their parents’ original countries. That means that even my parents grew up between two cultures. Me, myself was born in a totally different country than my parents or my grandpartens. A country of extremely different culture, language, norms and morals than what my parents taught us. This led to a never ending effort to adapt to and fit in one of those cultures. There was always this urge to belong to something.
Later in my life I started figuring out it was not a culture an nationality or a race I was trying to belong to, I only needed people who also had no attachement with one or the other culture. People who did not have to identify with a nationality in order to identify themselves.
Vegetating in a state inbetween the two identities I was emotionally unstable always trying to find out who I really was…even though the answer was not where I belonged to but with whom I surrounded myself to feel complete and sufficient.
“We know what we are, but not what we may be.”
― William Shakespeare