Do I fit in?

Do I fit in?

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Happy elections week everyone, please don't forget to get out and vote. I wanted to talk a little about this lovely ensemble I put together for my sister's traditional wedding. I absolutely love this lace because it stands out and doesn't look tacky at all. The designer did such a good job putting it together. I especially love the fact that I can take off the wrap and it'll just be a regular romper. Best believe you guys will be seeing this lace dress again. Anyways, I feel because I am wearing something traditional, that its the perfect time to talk about culture.

It's so funny because in my years of living in this country, I have never felt I had to choose between being Nigerian or American. It isn't until now that I feel I am struggling with it a bit. I don't mean in terms of which do I identify with because I am Nigerian through and through. I've never felt like I had to talk a certain way or censor myself in order to feel heard or accepted. Now, I feel I have to think twice and pay attention to my audience before being myself which is very sad to say. We all communicate differently and what one group finds offensive, another will look at it in a different light. You see, I grew up mostly around Africans. I don't really recall having American friends even though I'm in the states. And some people might find it hard to believe but you'd be surprised how many africans would say the same thing. It was always my fellow Africans that would speak to me first, whether its at school, an event or whatever. I pretty much never gave it a second thought or paid close attention to it until now. It started bothering me that I didn't have "friends" other than people from my culture. I blamed myself and vowed to actually try to "fit in." Let me tell you, it has literally been an eye opener. It's actually harder than I thought it would be. I felt uncomfortable and really had to watch the things I said. In a nutshell, I wasn't being myself. I'm actually still struggling with this and I'm sure so many other people are as well. Otherwise, why would someone who recently came to America force themselves to speak in an accent that is clearly forced. In situations like that, I can't say I blame them. When people literally ask you to repeat yourself a million and a half times or make sly comments to their friends like, "If you can't speak English why come to America," why wouldn't you become someone else in other to fit in. So yeah, I know some people might say, I don't have an accent and I can fit in with Americans but to me its deeper than that. It's about connecting with people on a different level, its about trusting that your words are save wherever it was spewed. So I'm going to take a different approach and see where it takes me. I will be myself completely and whoever like it likes it and whoever doesn't, ohhh well. I will definitely be saying more about this later on in the future, I actually had something traumatic happen to me because I was misunderstood and it shook my core. It made me want to stick to what I knew but what good is that?  Sometimes we have to help open other people's eyes and get them out of their comfort zone. Remember, just because things aren't done the way you're use to doesn't make it wrong.