As I was writing this entry, it became more personal than I had originally intended. At first I thought my worry was a surface level one, but as I began to write more and more, I found that perhaps I have much deeper worries than I had thought.
It all started with the fact that lately I have been thinking about all of the things that are going to have to change in my life when I go abroad, and the one thing that I have been most nervous about is my hair. Because, contrary to popular belief, I don’t have long, silky blonde hair like my mother. All my worries surround the fact that I need a lot of moisture in my hair, since it’s on the dry side instead of greasy, and I can’t take the long showers to detangle it like I do at home, yadda yadda…
But I’ve realized something more than all of this. As a multi-racial female who essentially looks entirely black, I have way more worries about traveling abrade than this surface level crap. They are quite similar to the ones I have at home, except I’m afraid they’ll feel more pronounced. I bombard my mind with questions like “Will people talk about my skin?” “Will they hate my hair” “Will I ever feel accepted no matter how hard I try?” At least at home, I know there are a handful of people who will love me despite what I consider my flaws. But no matter how much I say that I am unapologetically me, I still feel like there are always eyes sewn to my back as I walk down the street.
I don’t know how used to people like me Italians are. My brother likes to bring up the soccer player Mario Balotelli and the racism that he has had to deal with despite being raised Italian. And if there is racism still here, in my own country, why would I expect anything different anywhere else? But I guess this is where I have to remind myself not to judge anywhere else based on America. America is full of its own issues and backwards ideologies and images of true beauty. It’s a baby country compared to most, if not all, others. It’s still learning itself and how to accept all of unique facets.
All I guess I really want is for this country that I have fantasized about to accept me with warmer arms than I feel my home ever has. The last thing I want is to feel like stranger. Better yet, the last thing I want is to be seen as strange. At home, I already see myself that way. It would only be more heartbreaking to travel five thousand miles and be treated as I do in America, as mediocre, undesirable, and weird.
But who ever said the grass was truly greener in first place?