I really wanted to wear a costume to work today but no one else was dressing up, so I compromised by wearing this cool African dress (that came from NOWHERE that I can remember). I planned on having one of our sweet little African ladies help me with the head dress. When I walked into her classroom, she laughed like I had told her a funny joke. She was so enthused about my dress.
Most of the students thought it was cool that I dressed up but I was unprepared for the reactions of the African women. They thoroughly enjoyed my dress. One of them said that I was dressed up as a “beautiful woman”. I got to thinking about how much unwanted, traumatic transition they’ve experienced. Absolutely, most of them are incredibly thankful to be safe here in the US but everything is new here- new language, new culture, new food, new clothing, new mannerisms, new streets, new family structures, new careers, too much new. So they grasp frantically at anything familiar, even if it’s a crazy white lady wearing a dress that is faintly remniscent of their country on a holiday that means nothing to them.
I’ve spent too much of my life being scared to “settle down”. We never wanted to buy a house because then we’d be “stuck” here. We didn’t want to have kids because they would ground us here and we didn’t want to feel “stuck”. I’ve been so busy running away from being stuck that I’ve forgotten to be thankful for the easy life that I’ve had. In general, my life has been very vanilla and while I tend to think of that as a bad thing, there are others that want “normal” so badly they can taste it.
Today, I’m choosing to feel “rooted” instead of “stuck” and it feels pretty darn good.