My life is like a rollercoaster ride, you don’t know what to expect. Because of all the experiences I had throughout my life, my background has defined me as a person. Every story is unique, but I believe my story is meaningful and can be used by many people. My family has experienced many hardships since I was born. These experiences include no money and violence. My uncle decided it was time to experience a better lifestyle. He was our sponsor and petitioned for my dad and all his siblings to come with him to the United States of America. His brother sponsored my dad, and his children were automatically sponsored. We finally reached the US five years after many years.
Since then, we have changed our lives to follow the American lifestyle. Although it was an amazing experience to escape a third-world country, I still faced problems in the country as I’m ‘different. Two of the biggest problems I faced were racism and anxiety about my siblings and mother staying in Jamaica. We aren’t used to racism happening or experiencing it growing up in Jamaica. Our motto is “Out of Many One People”, which means everyone is treated equally and citizens are one. Since my arrival in America, I have been treated differently. When I was first enrolled at middle school, the counselor wanted me to enroll in ELA. This is a class for non-English speakers. My parents and I told the counselor repeatedly that I was fluent in English because that is what we grew up with. Another thing that happened was when my school students started making fun of my accent and even my skin color.
They would often make fun of how different I was to a regular African American. I felt very insecure walking through the school halls or when I was about to give presentations in front of my classmates. These judgements made me resentful of my culture and I began to change my speech style to fit the American norm. As I grew older, I noticed that my accent was slipping away and I wasn’t embracing my culture as much as I once did. Because I was determined to not allow bad influences to change me, I began to speak the way I normally talk. These experiences taught me that it was okay to be different and that you can embrace your heritage and who you are. My culture influences me, but it is also what motivates me to succeed in school. My mom is my biggest motivator to succeed in school. She has given so much for her children.
Because of the violence in my home, I worry about my mother and other family members. My motivation comes from her. One of my goals is to sponsor my mother and my siblings to travel to the USA and live the life I envisioned. My mom is also my motivation. Every time I feel like giving in, I think about why it is that I do what I do. When I think of my mom and the smile that I want to put on it, it motivates me to fight for what I want in life. My character is nothing without my meaningful past, even though some experiences can be like being on a roller coaster. Every person has a story, but my story is what makes me unique. My life would be incomplete if it hadn’t been for the difficult times in my past.
At the beginning of my childhood, I can recall feeling happy. From the time I was one year old, there was no major event. My fraternal twin and eldest sibling were my parents. Growing up, I was always a mommy’s girl. I was always close to my mommy. My father’s absence did not impact me much until later in life. Every single one of them taught me something that I will always remember. I was able to trust everyone at that age. I never felt loved by anyone. I trust others well, but I had trouble trusting them in my later years. I learned that people can deceive. Erikson stated that infants can gain hope if there is a good balance between trust and distrust in his first theory. This gave me more faith in the possibility that everything around me would be fine.
It is important that parents discipline their children. This is how you can learn from your mistakes. Although I was not a troubled child growing up, I did make a few mistakes. I wanted to be independent. To show my mom I’m mature for my age. My mom would often see me wandering off in public places. She would panic if it was less than two feet away. New York was a different place than Virginia. My mom kept me in the house because I wanted to play outside and go somewhere. It was not safe to go out on the streets. I was too young to understand her view. I wondered why we couldn’t go outside as we grew older. It made me feel guilty. It felt like I was being punished for trying to see the world around.
Erikson’s fourth theory, Industry vs. inferiority, was something that I struggled with. It was difficult for me to adjust when school became more than a playtime. New York’s school system was completely different from Virginia. When I first moved to New York, I felt like I was actually learning something. I used to take speech classes when I first arrived here. This is something I struggle with every day. Because I couldn’t pronounce certain words, I found ways to communicate what I wanted to say. It was strange because I used to go to speech classes with people three grades below me. Although my speech was better, I still felt different than the other kids in my class. This made me feel inferior to my peers. However, I realized that it was impossible to compare yourself with others. Everybody is different.
It was difficult for me to create my own identity as a twin. We were always compared together. From our childhood to middle school, we wore the same clothes. It was a long process before I could create my own identity. And it is still evolving. I was afraid to be who I really am. I knew what I wanted, but was afraid of what others might think. That was when I realized my struggles with identity. At that age, girls wanted to be like one another. It didn’t work for me. I could not be like them. The desire to experiment with many different selves must be balanced against the need to choose one self (Kail Cavanaugh 2017, p. This is crucial for the young mind. Insecure and self-conscious throughout my teens made me feel insecure. People are under a lot pressure to live up to a standard. Positive reinforcement from teachers and parents is essential. You will never find your true self if it isn’t you.
As a youngster, I didn’t care much about being in a relationship. I was focused on my fast food job and school. It’s an amazing thing to be able to share your journey with someone. Both the bad and the positive. A healthy relationship is good for your mental health. While I would be happy to live alone, I prefer raising my family with two parents.
I fear the future. Although I know what I want in my life, I am not certain when or how it will happen. Although I am a successful professional, I often think back to my childhood. My mom worked multiple jobs. My mom would work multiple jobs and I would only see her occasionally. It’s not her fault, but it still affects me in some way. It’s important that you find ways to help the generations before you. My education and knowledge will be a benefit to our society.
At this stage in my life, I don’t wish to dwell on the past or what I should have done. I want to be happy with the life that I have lived. I don’t care what happens to me, as long as I am happy with my family. Although I had to overcome many obstacles, I did not let it define me as a person. It didn’t affect my future. I was able to grow stronger through my stages of life. Over the years, I found myself. The person I am today is something that I am proud of. My children are happy, and I have made a positive difference in their lives. I will be able to rest easy knowing this. Knowing that I made an impact on this world will be what I die.