Monday, August 31, 2009

“I felt like such a foreigner”

The text message stayed in my mind all afternoon. I had received it earlier in the morning. It was sent by my sister Gina, who is currently in Washington DC, studying at American University as part of an exchange program.

A foreigner. Gina who has been in this country since she was 14 months old. Months. Gina, who graduated Valedictorian, ran cross country, Interned at a bank, and goes to Santa Clara University. A foreigner. Gina, who danced ballet, who is a major in American Politics, who as a child loved macaroni and cheese. A foreigner.

This thought just doesn’t check in my mind. It’s like I am trying to place a cube block into a circle slot. It does not make sense no matter how hard I try.

What can I tell her? That this feeling of being an outsider will pass? That the nagging feeling, the one that tells you don’t belong anywhere, is temporary?

Should I tell her that as you get older, and the more marginalized you become, the worse it gets? How it seems as if more and more you are becoming detached from the culture you grew up in, the culture you love, only to be left with a muddled identity crisis?

How do I tell my younger sister, that despite the fact that she feels 100% American, she will never be 100% American?

I can’t

“Thanks to this shit, we feel like outsiders everywhere. It’s not you”


  1. Inside and outside are interchangeable. The problem is when not being allowed to inhabit one of them fully serves as an excuse to disregard your life. So, you go out and meet others in secret spots and realize that you are already home. You just have to watch your back.

  2. Today a german kid told me that the assignment we had for journalism class must be easier for "you americans" and honestly today, i felt the sting that you might have interpreted yesterday. "you americans." the words haunted me for quite some time. i don't feel american. i refuse to be labeled as an american in a country that rejects me. dad always says don't be spiteful of the country give thanks to the country, but you know what? i give thanks to God. just God. i don't know if that's a bad thing. i don't think so. my concious isn't going off. so i give thanks to God and keep trying my hardest while i'm here with an uncertain future. there's only one thing certain in my mind, ya estoy harta, and all in all i kind of dont want citizenship. i think i just want the most logical way out of here. i now know for a fact i want to settle in another country.

    i need to talk to my parents. have a real good long discussion. because i love them. but i can't stay here.

  3. i think that this is the story of my life....i do not feel at home anywhere. i do not know if that is by virtue of my situation.
    i guess my home is the margins.

    anyway thanx for the quotes on my page...