My experience in the United States has seen different paths and taken different directions, even though I still continue to be the ever-determined HeForShe advocate I had promised myself to be years ago.
During my first month (September 2016), life was so different like a child receiving breastmilk for the first time. Unlike the child who is free to express his/her emotions, I was forced to measure up and get things right; honestly this was a big battle in itself. From getting used to Google maps (which prevents citizens from really appreciating the beauty of roads and infrastructures) to been as independent as the word itself, I never stopped growing. I admitted that the country I had seen in movies was not the one I am in now but then reminded myself that I’m in the USA to learn as much as I can (professionally, culturally, socially and fashionistically if words could permit me) and return home to replicate key learnings. This prompt has not only helped me to see every challenge as an opportunity but has launched me into an adventurous world where I seek to test and grow my resilience, open-mindedness, and personal drive.
Six months down the line, so much has improved. I have acquired basic cooking skills, can initiate and maintain conversations during networking events, know my way around town, tested the waters of different professional training programs (across renowned states of the country), keep to deadlines and prioritization of tasks and voicing my sincere feelings when things are not right. Yet, I still find it hard to cope with the one million question- where are you from? Rather than perceiving it in an in exasperating manner (as I used to before), I now see that question as a means of telling people about my beloved and culturally-enriched nation I so dearly represent.
Hear my story 🙂