Integrative Approaches to Mastering Wellness

I am 'me'

Aug 09, 2022

I recognize that my appearance precedes me. 

I know that when some people see my name in writing, they aren't always quite sure what to think, and may question my ethnicity, gender, citizenship, way of life, and so on.

I am "me." I'm not scary, and I'm not weird. (I am, however, a little lovably quirky.) 

I stand with one foot in American culture and one foot in Indian culture. 

I love pizza and I love paneer. :) 

When I was little, I was made fun of because I was vegetarian. I was in 2nd grade. I didn't understand why that even mattered, but the damage was done: I was 'different.' There weren't many of us Indian kids at my school. I was born stateside, but this sort of rhetoric made me think that I'd perhaps feel more at home in India. However, when I went to India for the first time, I found that I was even more of an outcast there than here. I was the "American" child.  

I know that many of my friends and family who are first and second generation Americans can relate to this. Sometimes it's a struggle to bridge the gap between two cultures - for instance, balancing family values versus individuality; tradition vs pop culture. Sometimes, there is no gap at all (is there any culture that does not love food??) 

Stereotypes still exist. Day by day, year by year, we  chip away at them as we learn more and more about culture and diversity. The only way to learn about each others' cultures is to speak about them.

And the only way to learn about you is to tell us about YOU. 'YOU' are not solely defined by your culture, family, upbringing, geography, morals, religion, or interests. These are processed and filtered by you. The amalgamation of them as they reside within you - this is your unique signature. No one brings these all together in the same way that you do. While some things may never change (ex: ethnicity), other pieces, like your thoughts and beliefs, can evolve and grow. (An example might be some of the beliefs on gender roles that your parents and grandparents passed down to you.) You have the ability to analyze some of these deeply embedded, seemingly innocent beliefs. You have the power to choose what to embrace, and what is no longer working for you. 

What are some beliefs that have been passed down by culture, society, or family that have empowered you? What are some beliefs that have been passed down that have limited you?

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