"She doesn't even respond to her name."
My 2nd grade teacher complained to my parents. It was my first day at school.
Every single teacher managed to butcher my name. My family and I had just moved to India. I recognized that nobody looked like me.
Being different is the story of my life.
I grew up in 3 continents.
Born in Ethiopia - Africa.
Childhood in India - Asia.
Adulthood in USA - North America.
I returned to Ethiopia at 15. I looked out the window as the plane landed. "Wow." I whispered, "everyone is black!"
I didn't realize how much I yearned for people that looked like me. I smiled foolishly at strangers in the airport. If they looked like me and spoke my language, they are NOT strangers!
But it took me years to understand the cultural nuances of Ethiopia. I was in high school when I first felt the need to belong and be understood. I soon discovered the love of my life. Psychology. Started as curiosity and blossomed to obsession.
I still can't get enough of books around identity and human behavior.
I moved to the US in 1999. "Could this be home?" I hoped as I experienced America. It has been 20 years and my definition of home has evolved.
Home is where my family is. They were the constant force throughout the recurring theme of change in my life. My family is the nature and nurture that molded the person I have become. Different.