In the world we live in, it can be difficult to find ourselves while trying to keep up with the images that our society portrays (via television, social media, magazines, YouTube, work, school, etc.). How skinny is appropriate? How should you dress? Act? Additionally, individuals, especially children who are biracial or come from different cultures, may find it difficult to fit in anywhere. Does that make them different? Of course not. We are all unique. Just because we all look differently, it doesn’t mean that we don’t all have a heart, mind, and consciousness to be kind to everyone around you, regardless of their race or culture. Embrace cultural diversity because remember, we are all human.
Poem: Who Am I?
I don’t generally write poetry, but I wanted to share this poem (not a traditional kind) I wrote in high school. Bear with me if it’s bad. I wrote it in high school. My English teacher loved it. I think she enjoyed the confused biracial teen aspect of it. I was at a period in my life where I was trying to find where I fit in. I added the last two lines as an adult.
I remember being half-Korean and half-Puerto Rican and born in the U.S., but I wasn’t sure who to be friends with because I didn’t feel like I fit in. I was often asked why I couldn’t speak “my language.” What exactly was my language? I was called “chinky” (so you will see it in the poem) because of my eyes, but I had tan skin. I didn’t fit in with the Asians or the Hispanics. I looked more like I was Filipino, so I thought maybe I should hang around them. Most of the Filipinos spoke Tagalog, and I didn’t. That was a struggle. To complicate things, I dated an African American boy throughout high school. There were times that I was asked, “Why are you trying to be Black?”
Ultimately, I had to dig inside myself and find who I was at my core. What were my likes/interests and goals/dreams/ambitions? I focused on my core and surrounded myself with like-minded people, regardless of race or culture.
Who am I?
Some say I look Asian, but people wonder why
I can’t speak another language.
Does this make me not Asian?
Who am I?
Because my father is from Puerto Rico
And my mother is from Korea,
Am I supposed to like beans, rice, and kimchi?
What is “Amercian” food?
Who am I?
Am I supposed to be friends with Korean people
Because I have “chinky” eyes?
Who was given the right to decide where I belong?
Who am I?
I say I am a strong half-Puerto Rican, half-Korean female
Who is American.
I do not need to speak Korean or Spanish to be of descent.
Who am I?
I am who I choose to be.
My opportunities are endless if I do not let society define me,
And I manifest the brilliant characters within myself
That identify who I am:
A leader, a teacher, a parent, a wife, a nurse, and a comforter.
Who are you?
Five Tips to Help with Cultural Diversity, Biracial, and/or just Finding Yourself
- Focus on your core values and goals. If you are grounded in your beliefs, make decisions that won’t sway away from them, regardless of outside influences. You are in control of your future. No one will care about your future more than you will. Always have goals. When you accomplish goals, set new ones. We can always learn and grow. Spend your energy on your goals, and you will attract like-minded people.
- Find like-minded friends and mentors. Outside appearances or cultures don’t matter as much as what is in a person’s head and heart. Are you kind, honest, loving, strive to be your best, etc.? However you choose to live your life, that is exactly what you will attract. Embrace those friends and mentors who are like you, regardless of culture or race. These like-minded friends and mentors will push you to accomplish far more than you ever dreamed you could, and you will do the same for them.
- Ignore ignorance and negativity. Just know that you will NEVER make everyone like you. EVER. Don’t waste your energy on negative influences. Please, use your energy on positive and productive goals in your life.
- Smile. No one can take your sunshine away from you. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, a forced smile can change how you feel inside. You will be happier with yourself and the world if you have a smile on your face.
- Succeed. We will all be judged a lot in our lives. That’s a negative aspect of human nature. There is nothing we can do about being judged. You do have control over your success. Regardless of your culture or race, everyone can succeed. That is a positive quality in human nature. Set your goals based on your core values, ignore negativity, surround yourself with positive like-minded people, smile, and go succeed. That’s it.
What Has Been Your Experience?
Was I the only confused teenager out there? I eventually came around, but it was difficult figuring out where I “fit” in. I realized that I “fit” in where I wanted to be. I had the choice of who I wanted to become. I attracted and sought out friends who supported me, and I supported them.
Do you have any personal experiences with cultural diversity or multiracial influences of “fitting” in? Or what about general experiences of trying to “fit” in? Was there anything you did that helped? Please share in the comment below.
Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful day! (P.S. The featured image photo is Jy, my second son, when he was one.)
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