Where are you from?

It’s a bit complicated.

I’ll, tell you, but it’s just that i’m still figuring it all out. 

We all seek to be someone. The topic of identity is one that seems to pervade all things, all of being. The whole world is related to who we think we are, or wish to be. And of course, our identity is in relationship with the whole world. 

Identity changes, it is a chameleon. self-imposed, freely chosen, self fabricated, and still, it isn’t. We haven’t chosen our identity freely, we haven’t constructed it on our own terms. One thing is for sure though, it changes by conditioning, circumstances and by necessity throughout life. More often than not, this happens while we are completely unaware of it.  But what if we could become conscious of our conditionings and of the situations that churn our identity? 

The fact that identity is not static, is hopeful. It means that we can create the person we want to be. It means we are free to be whomever we want. But first, we have to realize and understand that we are not free, before we can be.

Where do you come from? This is the singel most frequently asked question i have gotten. So much more common than ”what is your name” not to mention the rarely asked ”do you want to play?”  (among other socially inclined questions). There was the truth, and then there was The One correct answer to the question. It’s complicated. Here’s the short version.

I arrived in Sweden from Canada where i was born, a visiter, but stayed as a refugee from the Middle East. It wasn’t my choice. I was a child, old enough to understand, but too young to question. It was just the roll that was handed out to me. My life changed overnight. Although i do have roots in the Middle East, i had no experience of a life there. My stories, where the stories of my well intentioned relatives. My own, were casted into exile, in wait of forgetfulness. What happened? The constant presence  of confusion and attentive alertness, side by side. From innocence to being robbed of a voice and of identity. Multiple clashes of ethnic cultures, traditions and stories, glazed in a thick deep layer of shame. The intentions were only good, however, we know which road is paved with good intentions, we know where it leads … When a human being is not permitted to be whom he or she truly is, that signals unworthiness. So, you see, the thing about my identity, felt somewhat troublesome. 

I sought answers on a quest through psychological theories, biological explanations and the social phenomena of things, from the east and from the west, in the literature, and in the arena of reality. My life is filled with events and stories about a girl, a woman, a human being, a pilgrim soul in quest of herself. Searching for an identity in many different costumes and situations.

Who am i? What am i? What is permitted? We all ask ourselves these questions occasionally in various places in our lives. These questions are important. They call for freedom. 

I made a decision to reclaim my story, my identity. And like taking those first stumbling steps as a growing child, it sometimes is a wobbly, unsteady journey, scary at times, but hopeful and exciting. Something forgotten is being unpacked, something new is unravelling, something a little more like myself. Less isolated, a bit more courageous and in touch. This transformation, comes with growing pain and unanticipated friction, but it’s a conscious effort, an awaken venture. I am hoping it leads to clarity and peace, for me and for those whom i cherish and love around me.We grow and awaken, not for ourselves only but for those we love and for our community, 

Where do you come from? Who are you? Who do you want to be? But mostly, where do you feel at home?

// Love Alex

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