Friday, December 02, 2005

What is the Truth?

What is identity?

Identity = Haile + Marsha. It is Samra G! It's still JambaJuice, La Salsa, Grinders, and Italian Colors. It's chorus, soccer, and volleyball. Identity is loving harmony in all aspecs of my life: singing, but also physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is three special bracelets that I wear everyday on my left wrist, all presents from three special women. It is having soft, smooth, arms that I love that other people love. It's my digital camera... that I lost. Identity is making great pb&j's, and eating way too many. It is not being able to wait to be an amazing mom, wanting three kids, and looking forward to dressing them all in the cutiest, funkiest clothes. It's big, crazy curly hair, a funny ear, stretch marks on my hips, and a weird lisp thing. Identity is loving music and appreciating the arts. It's being a fine food afficionado. It is a terrible shopping addiction, unfortunately for my parents, particularly to expensive clothing. Identity is ADHD, ODD, John Muir Medical Center, bipolar, Colorado. It is loving too hard and, more often than not, suffering from the backlash. It is loving bright colors, but often feeling dark. It's the East Bay and HRS, Addis and ICS. It's everyone that I meet, everything I see, each thing I experience. My identity is reduced for many of you to an assortment of empty words t hat I strew together in an attempt to sew some sort of meaning.

Family. Home. Identity.

And what is the truth? Somehow all of these concepts have changed for me. I now realize how fickle they are, that they're constantly changing. I have known someone for only three months, and already she's my sister. As much as I love my home and am excited to go back IN ONLY 2 WEEKS, I honestly wouldn't mind staying in Addis for the holiday. And my identity? Who I am is always transforming as I learn and grow. I used to fancy myself as a woman of the world, but that was largely because I wanted to avoid defining myself as black, mixed, white, Ethiopian American; I didn't want to confine myself to some check-mark on a standardized exam. Now I realize how naive and ignorant I was in my perception. While I valued diversity and had traveled some, what did I truly know about the world? Attending an incredibly international school in Ethiopia opens my eyes to so much more, yet I still don't believe that I can fairly call myself "a woman of the world." Sure, it may be the easy way out, but when do we ever really know who we are? We have our body, our experiences, our morals. Yet each day brings us something new. We are always blooming, always adapting, never the same. I am Samra G! I am half Ethiopian and half white-American. I have lived my whole life until this year in Oakland, California. I have DNA and certain experiences that differentiate me from the rest of the population of this planet, but from there I'm just a sheet of paper. There are some things scribbled on me, some things that have been erased, still a lot of blank room for change. And you know, that's ok. That's ok.