Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Being the first generation in America it was difficult for me to fit in, I tried by observing others.  I was very worried about being the odd one out as a child. Growing up watching the Brady Bunch and My Three Sons, I had certain expectations of what it was to be an American.  I remember being in Kindergarten and having an old german lady as a teacher who was not very nice.  I don't ever remember her being kind or thoughtful.  I did not speak any English when I started Kindergarten in Chicago, but after a few weeks I was fine.  But I will never forget feeling like I needed to learn to be like the others.  Maybe then the teacher would like me.

Funny thing is, Chicago in the 70's  was a huge melting pot in itself and we had so many diverse ethnicities that it was hard to define what an American was.  We all were either Italian/American, Polish, Arabian, Mexican, etc. And most all of us were first generation, we all spoke two languages. But I remember not wanting to be singled out and I remember a many lonely days on the playground not being able to speak to anyone, just watching.

After 40 something years, I still find myself trying to find my way in this world.  And the only thing I want to be and strive for is to be kind.  I don't ever want anyone to feel the way I felt in Kindergarten, isolated and afraid.

As of late, I have forgotten that child.  My thoughts have not been self-less, or kind.

And what it comes down to,  is going back to basics of being surrounded by people who inspire me to be that kinder, better person. I need to remember about  the first kid who left their comfort zone to speak  and play with me in that playground back in Chicago.   That is what I need to remember.  What I need to think of when I think cynical thoughts.  I want to be that kind, giving, self-less person. Somehow she got lost under that concrete turtle in the playground.

At times, I hold my friends closer then my family. And as I reflect upon those "wonder years" I understand the why.  I found acceptance.

I write this not so much as to share with the world but to remind myself that I am still on a journey.

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