I have spent a number of years, half my life actually, immersed in cultures that are very different from the one I grew up in. In fact I would say that I have walked through life rather like a blank canvas, and everywhere that I visit or live, leaves a new color splattered across its surface. The blank canvas now is a mess of colors and I hope to add many more in my lifetime.
These different colors have shaped me and changed who I am. I have been blessed to live in a community full of people with colorful canvases and have not had to worry about finding a way to fit in. I have never had to hide the things that make me different, because the in community I am a party of, the difference we have only serve to make our stories unique.
The only place I have truly felt the weight of my difference is when I return home, to the place I was born. Now don’t get me wrong, that place holds its own special piece of my heart and has its own color on my canvas, but it is not a place that I truly belong. The truth is that I no longer belong anywhere. Multiple countries have a hold of my heart, so it does not belong to one single place.
All of the vibrant colors of these places have changed the way I see life and people as well. Every time I meet someone from somewhere new, my world grows even larger. Countries then become more than just a place on a map. they become real and precious to me. The flavors, sights, and sounds around me hold remarkable secrets of the cultures to which they belong. I hope that one day I will be able to taste, see, and hear them all.