Defining our Identity by our own terms
Its a weekend agin and I have to be honest I was not entirely sure to be happy or panic at first when I woke up to the sound of the kids playing, shouting and combating about in the background as usual. From a quick glance at the window and my own speculation of the coming weather I knew that this entire afternoon is best spent in the citys head library where they not only have loads of children’s activities but also have a cosy play corner surrounded by comfy soffas, pillows and other energetic playful kids that will definitely entertain my two ruthlessly play loving lively kids. As much as I love them and love to play with them, sometimes I just have to find ways get them entertained while I do some work at the same time. The Library is a good place for that
When they are at this calm but activities field corner though, I know from experience that they are so curious and bussy with their own amusements that they not only ignore me but throw me away as if I was some tired old broken toy. Unless they get into trouble with other little riots like themselves, they want none to do with me. Luckily today seams to turn out to be one such day. By now I have learned to use this to my advantage so good thing I brought my lapptopp with me to do some of my own work in the background sipping latte typing.
Luckily there aren’t many parents here today so I can sit quietly and continue to tapp on my lapptopp like a maniac without receiving judging looks thrown at me for not being an ”adequate” parent. ”Adequate parent”!? What is that ? Why do I have a feeling that most non white parents have this mildly unease and subconscious fear of being judged by the white norm in public places? Or is it just me? I often feel that most foreigners or non whites have this obligation to prove and be adequate or in some other-way be accommodating or adjusting to the norm that someone else have created for us. Off-course this must have come from years and years of the adjusting process that have been going for a duration of time now among the diasporas. Adjusting to the so called white norm that is.
For a while now I have wondered what ”adequate” really even means and why should I bother to be bothered about someone else expecting that from me? Because in my memory as a young immigrant child in Stockholm it hadn’t just been two different sets of the meaning of the word ”adequate” in the dual cultures that I grew up in but many other ones. Especially when I recall my entire neighborhood at that time. We lived in a suburb where immigrant population was high and it had always been different standards of parenting styles alternating from the Swedish norm but at the same time that we were all adjusting and assimilating to gradually as time went.
In fact I remember as a very young child sitting on the subway with my family wondering and asking my dad as usual a number of irritating questions as some (maybe annoying) kids sometimes do. (And in my family I must have been that one type of kid) Anyway I remember vividly how shocking the new norm that I had arrived to was in comparison from what was ”normal” in my world before. I kept wondering how funny people looked and acted like in this new country, little did I know the people of this country were also looking at me with similar wonder?
It was a wintery december in the middle of the eighties and as a newly arrived child I consistently and curiously asked my father often with deep sympathy and vague sadness in my heart why and how almost all people in the train we sat on were always so incredibly white? And had so very sharp noses? And such very thin lips? He and my mother just laughed at me and explained simply that this is the way people look like here. But I still doubted and was a little resistent to believe them. I thought that I will prove them wrong soon if I just find and discover normal people like me again around somewhere. They must be somewhere
Maybe people like my grandpa and grandma or my uncles my aunties my friends and cousins, but couldn’t find any, even if turned around every person and took a proper look at them. Surely the entire country can not be affected by a disaster of looking like this I thought hesitantly? Mom and dad must have been mistaking? But eventually I learned to accept that the only brown people who I will see that looked like me/us here were some of those that my family visited or were visited by regularly. But the norm as my parents said was what it was.
And reminiscing with a smile back on the past now just made me realize that the word ”adequate” Is not only outdated and irrelevant for my becoming of me but also doesn’t apply to this generation at all. Not any more and not in the same way. We are not adequate and weren’t meant to be adequate. We were made to think that way. And in this context, It isn’t just an old ghostlike irrelevant word from old memories. But the word ’adequate’ as well as the word ’norm’ are both unnecessary for us today right here and now. It is up to anyone to decide and define how to singlehandedly or collectively reshape themselves and create new norms without specifically adhering to any other norms.
Thus knowing ones true ’self’ and ones identity is so so so very important to us all in order to do that. So get busy living, getting to know and defining yourselves as well as getting the kids to do the same before anyone else or any other words are used to define you and yours. Realizing this also makes me and understand why I have chosen to follow my inner intensions and go on my own path to design forth my coming collection that I am creating with the intuitiv need to redefine my own identity. This way I can also add to all of you with my ancestral cultural Identity. I call it an expression of self love and self definition. I look forward to show the final work soon and hope you will like it too. But for now I like to encourage anyone who is on their path to self love and self definition. To keep going until you get there ! 😉