Epiphany's Mantra

i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes
-e.e. cummings

7.17.2009

The Brown Sheep in the Family

by Epiphany

I know, I know - it's always the black sheep but not this time. That title was taken by one of my uncles whom to this day still thinks his family hates him. So, I am going with brown. I am always the odd person out in a room. That's me, in the picture to the right, yeah the brown one. The same difference that made me special also made me stick out.

It started years ago with my birth - surprise surprise. When I was young and lived with my mother's family, it was not hard to see the difference. I was the product of a mixed marriage and noticeably so. I had curly hair where as every one's was straight. I was treated as if I was the favorite and in that bore the brunt of every nightmare imaginable in order to fit into a mold high on a pedestal that no one could reach.

We moved back to the country of my birth, where I thought things would be better. Instead I stuck out again. Most people labeled me a foreigner, because I didn't look enough like my countryman to have been born there. We moved again this time to a neutral place with no family. There I spoke with an accent that folks thought was cute. Singled out once more I decided never to speak until I assimilated.

When we traveled to yet another new residence. I found there were more people with curly hair. Ah ha I thought, peace at last. But it wouldn't last, my hair wasn't curly enough to fit in. The amount of threats to set my hair on fire were enormous and by the time I was sixteen I made a decision to cut it all off.

I eventually grew up and started working. I found comfort in my difference, even tried out for modeling. Unfortunately, I was neither black enough nor was I exotic enough...starting to see the trend? I joined corporate America and was the only one in the building of my heritage, color, race...whatever you would like to call it. I don't believe it was on purpose, just there weren't too many people that look like me living in that small town.

How hard could it be to fit into one of the many labels that people dish out? I thought that it was easy, but all I found was unhappiness with myself and a lack of fulfillment. As I gained the wisdom necessary to travel through life on a bigger and better rainbow, I chose to settle in the most diverse city I could find. It actually worked. I felt at home at last and you know what, I was able to be me and finally celebrate my uniqueness that was funny enough - now the norm.

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