Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Be Yourself...

Have you ever tried to blend in? If so, you already know that it's difficult because as necessary as it is for an individual to belong, we all want to be known and remembered; and most importantly we want to matter. It is a struggle for many people in all walks of like but being an expat, it becomes extremely important. We, as wanderlust, an expat, sacrifice a lot to be able to extend ourselves into the hands of an upcoming opportunity while moving away from our country of birth but anonymity is not the price we are willing to pay. We’d still want to belong wherever we go, and whatever we do.

The move is often not a choice for many people but it is still in our hands to choose how we respond to the situation.
In the previous generation of Indian immigrants to the States, there were a lot of them who built a community of people around them that looked like them, ate like them and spoke like them, a very typical scenario similar to the one portrayed in the book ‘Namesake’ by Jumpa Lahiri.  There were two facet of every Indian-American, things we do outside the home and things do inside the home. Many folks still follow a similar pattern but it’s not the only expat lifestyle one can pursue.
Like I had said before, I grew up moving throughout India, starting new school every few years, making new friends, new home and new activities so I did have a better vantage point to prescribe this but anyone can pursue it, all you have to do is to accept who you are even in the midst of searching yourself.

There are a few things you’ll need to be prepared for and that is, stepping out of your comfort zone and letting other see you and not care about it. Don’t dissolve yourself, you have to remain a separate identity to be able to contribute something to the mix, if we were all bended into each other, the world would just be a big giant muck.
Sharing from my experience, one of my very first group of friends were much older than me and I loved hanging out  with them, going out to happy hour and having them over at my place to try experimental Indian cooking. I realized that I might be a Generation X but since I was raised in India by Traditional parents, my outlook matched really well with baby boomers. But then again technology was such an important part of our lives that connects us to our roots back home, I’ll feel right at home with the Millennials.
If you notice what I just did; I first boxed myself in stereotypes and then stepped right over them. And this is how I personally deal with change and embrace it with open arms. I use boundaries to identify with people but don’t use them to limit who I’m and so far I have been successful at it.

I guess my philosophy to deal with change is to not lose the essence of who I am, deep down and then roll with the rest. I decided to share my experience in the hope you’ll find your own way and not try to blend in and become insignificant at the cost of losing your own self, your self-esteem


  1. Once I hit 40 I realized that people are just going to have to accept me for who I am.
    This is me like it or not.
    Not to say that I am always comfortable with myself, but I am trying :)

    1. I agree with you Mary Jo, most times people hide behind the fact that they are different for their own lack of accepting themselves as they are… it was a learning process for me for sure :-)