22 Mar 2012

Amy: She Rocks

Journey to my Individuality

Individuality is a word I ran far away from until I was well into my college years. I spent most of my youth trying unsuccessfully to blend in and be just like everybody else. Problem was, I wasn't just like everyone else. I was different both on the inside and on the outside. Yet, no matter how hard I tried to hide my differences, my individuality struggled to break free from the reigns I was trying to impose on it.


In a majority white K-12 school system I stood out as one of the few black students. I tried my best to fit into the so-called white suburban Texas culture. I listened to country music, inserted "like" and "oh my gosh" into almost every sentence and begged my parents for a Mustang for my 16th birthday.


Among the few black students in my school I stood out as being a foreigner, a Nigerian or as they liked to taunt me, an "african booty scratcher."

I tried my best to fit into the so-called local African American hip hop culture. I listened to rap and R&B, tried to hide my parents strong Nigerian accents from my classmates and blasted the latest BET top 10 countdown hits as loud as I could while driving around in the Mustang my parents eventually bought me.

In my core group of friends who were in the "regular" classes I stood out as being in the gifted and talented classes.

I tried my best to fit in with my friends by trying to fail the gifted and talented exam in the 5th grade so I could join them in the regular classes, downplaying school in their presence and begging my parents to take me out of the public school and send me to a private school I saw in the phone book called the Honor Roll School because I felt that maybe everyone was "smart" there and I would fit in better.

What saved me from a life of trying to conform was traveling. Traveling opened my eyes to a world outside the stifling confines of my grade school walls. The people I met in my travels were so different, so unique and yet each and everyone of them seemed happy in their own skin. The taste of traveling I got as a young child tagging along with my parents to Africa, South America, Europe and the Caribbean was the tip of the iceberg for me. It planted a desire in my heart to get out of my comfort zone and see the world. I did just that in college and jumped at the opportunity to study abroad in South America. It was a life changing experience. For the first time in my life I just tried to be me and no one else. It was liberating. The best part of the experience was that everyone accepted me for who I was. I loved it. Traveling helped me to discover myself and to learn that no matter how different I am from my peers I still Rock!

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Thank you again Amy for writing this beautiful heartfelt piece.

Ladies don’t forget to stop by Amy’s blog, where she writes about life as a new mother and a young wife.

7 comments:

  1. totally inspiring
    http://www.sazistopsecret.blogspot.com/

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  2. What a lovely post. It's good to celebrate individuality and not try to just blend in even though I know it's hard to do, especially in our younger years. I stuck out in high school as being different and artsy. I was so happy to graduate, move away and broaden my horizons and just embrace me. :) xoxo

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  3. Awesome post. I am so glad you found "you". It is tough trying to fit into a mold that isn't your own.

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  4. Amy this was beautiful. It reminded me of myself, and trying to find myself. Unfortunately I didn't find myself till I reached my 20's, but I'm so glad I did.

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  5. This was awesome to read! i went through that phase of asking myself am i black enough BUT in the end...i just had to be myself and no one else. Great post Amy!

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  6. Absolutely awesome post, I love reading about how people find their own uniqueness.

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  7. Thanks for the feature TOI!

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