Getting lost with in these pages as an early teen opened the doors to unfiltered emotion, understanding and duplicity. Through his story, I found mine. These words not only uncovered the underlying’s of my present but those which had yet to be lived.
Growing up in a predominantly black country it was easy to overlook the obvious. I was not unaware of the color of my skin, it simply didn’t consciously dictate the lens with which I had begun to understand the world around me. When I began university, I was met with a very different landscape; one saturated with people who visually held little resemblance to those whom had colored my journey thus far.
My father and I drove deeper and deeper into the hills of Pennsylvania. The air was mossy and foreign. With each second that passed by, my heart’s pace would quicken. As I let myself ingest the greenery which enveloped us, I found a fleeting security. Armed with a map in hand, in search of the town I would one day call home, I found solace in my naiveté…
Moving to the middle-of-no-where Pennsylvania was probably the first time in my life that no longer felt as part of the majority. Now, the norms were olive toned and spoke in foreign garbled tones labeled “Americanized”. They were completely consumed by their milieu, as I had been of my own. With each step, and experience I became more and more aware of the skin I was in.
I was homesick within hours of stepping on campus. From the first day of orientation, to my first day of classes I couldn’t help but gaze at their monotony. My dark foreign tone was sparsely sprinkled across campus. Which brought about slight discomfort as even those which resembled me seemed as distant as the Caucasians which made up the majority. I felt lost and exposed. I was alone in a pool of American students .I assumed their stares were as well intentioned as my own, as I couldn’t help but gawk at their mannerisms and philosophies while attempting to uncover their mystery.
While I was met with initial confusion and anxiety, my assimilation was seamless. As I quickly learned my discernment, education, and past experiences molded a fitting foundation. This became the natural step to my journey. Each step, a step into the unknown... Unaware of how intricately prepared I had been to a soak up and unwarily understand that which I was met.