I recently celebrated the 11th anniversary of my arrival in New York. Eleven years, is a long time. Yet, when you meet an 11 year old, you feel as they don’t know much about life and that the best is yet to come.
Of course I miss many things about my mother’s land: my family, my friends, the food… the ease at which one is quick to purchase a weekend in Rome or Budapest, or even New York. The health benefits just to state the obvious, four weeks paid vacation, the month of May… just to state a few…
When I tell people I am French, they look at me dubitatively, and ask why I am here. Like if France, was the most romantic and idyllic place on planet Earth. Well, my dear friend, I guess we always think the grass is greener in other side of the pond, don’t we?
The reality is that my love living here, right now; more specifically, I love the opportunities, to know there are there to grab if you work hard enough. Of course, there are opportunities other places, but for now, here is my home. Will I always love it? I do not know. It’s been only 11 years, and I might change my mind at some point.
Today, I am really comfortable with who I am and represent, and do not feel I shall refrain from comparing or criticizing things or people I find offensive, distasteful or admirable; However, it came to my attention that some of my rants bothered certain people, not because of what I was saying, but because of who I was… which could be understandable, I guess? One might feel attacked, looked upon, dismissed… Maybe I should stop complaining about not being able to find a descent baguette up in here? I mean, it does sound condescending, but perfectly fits the French stereotype I think you have of me, isn’t it right? I am just trying to make you feel comfortable since I refuse to disclose my “race or ethnicity”: now you can put me in a box (smiley face). Here I go again… just joking… not— bygone…
Bottom line, I love it here, and from now on, I think I will try to be a bit more considerate of your feelings people, cause I want us to get along and bond ❤
©️ Daphne Mia Essiet, 2015