This morning I walked up the subway stairs toward work and recognized how no one looked like me. There wasn’t one Latina on the train or the busy streets (Granted, I didn’t ask the ones that could have been). It got me thinking how much I’ve never felt like I belonged where I was.
I always remember being in school in suburban Atlanta and not being American enough for the group of friends I kept and never being Latino enough for family. English was my first language and my accent had a funny twang when I tried to speak Spanish. I always felt stuck right in the middle and that was a tough place for me to define and feel comfortable in. Even in NYC, the most diverse community I’ve lived in, I still didn’t feel like I was at home. I wasn’t hipster enough for the crowds in Brooklyn and not posh enough to fit in with the Manhattanites.
It got me wondering whether I would ever find a place to call home. Is there a place on Earth with people much like me? Doubtful. And why do I want that? Why do I feel the need to belong anywhere? I can make a home wherever I want. And I don’t need to fit a crowd. These days, given the diversity in relationships and ease of travel, there are bound to be a bigger mix of people everywhere I go.
I decided it’s time to let go of the need to belong somewhere. I am uprooting myself again and won’t have a place to call home for awhile. It’d be miraculous to find a new home and a place I want to settle in but it’s not what I need or want right now. I need to disrupt the age old belief that belonging somewhere or to some group makes a place a home.