Between Two Worlds
My mother is Cameroonian. My father is from Italy. I was born in France. I grew up in Québec.
Being one of the only biracial children in my social circle, I remember feeling often misunderstood and different. It was as if I did not fit in any of the categories offered by society. The white people at school made me feel as if I was black, and with the black people, I felt as if I was white. It was as if I was in a different class, a subgenre that no one had ever mentioned to me. It made me feel rejected. I was less “popular,” and I was treated differently.
In school, it was particularly difficult because I couldn’t find my place. My classmates didn’t miss a day in reminding me that I was different from them; sometimes by laughing at my hair, my name, or my origins. My identity was always under attack.
I remember asking myself: “Why me? What did I do?”
The mocking and injustice that I experienced while I was young were often left unpunished, and sometimes even encouraged by laughter. I remember asking myself: “Why me? What did I do?” I felt extremely alone and even wondered about my existence. I wondered: “Why should I exist if it is only to suffer?” Over time, hatred grew in my heart. Hatred and cruelty are common defense mechanisms for human beings. It’s normal. It’s human. But when I understood that love is stronger than hatred and that I didn’t have to be a “victim,” things started to change.
I was able to perceive the differences which make me beautiful, but I needed the strength and support from my family and friends to do so.
Sharing and talking with people from different nationalities and backgrounds from mine made me realize how much value there is in diversity; it taught me to learn to accept myself as I am.
These experiences changed me and helped forge my personality. Now, I know who I am. I also understand that each challenge we face prepares us for our purpose. Everything happens for a reason.
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