Social Awkardness- Finding Faith in the Storm of Life

Growing up in Miami, Florida as a first generation American of Haitian Ancestors in my family. I learned quickly that in all areas of my life I would be the first and would also be the outcast in most circles. In a neighborhood with primarily African American communities where being accepted and understood was not a common trait amongst peers. My work ethic made me stand out, my family traditions and attire and social etiquette made me stick out like a sore thumb. In a high class, social conscious environment in Haiti. I would be considered the cream of the crop in the moral compass and leadership qualities set by my family. But in an impoverished community with no social and moral compass because of the catch 22 of constant criminalize laws due to poverty and racial profiling. I was considered trying to hard, brown nosing or as the kids would say “goody two shoes” and I look like a “boat” who ate “cat”. I still don’t know what was the etymology of these ebonic terms, or phrases but at the time they would add to the pain of being an outcast in a community that truly could not understand my culture and in their own cultures ignorance could not see how related we really are. At times I would grow frustrated in the ignorance all around me from the title of “black” on school applications, and census reporting and the lack of identity in history of African American Ancestry but through this despair there are moments in life. Where you are brushed with the reality that though it may be hard on your side there is always an even harder road on the other side. The phrase, “the grass is not always greener on the other side” became a reality for me in my transition into the military workforce. I was so excited to see the human diversity set in the reception of military service members, from diversity training to team building courses, and monthly and quarterly mandatory equal opportunity classes and training. I saw a moral compass of human equality being formed and I loved it. My first duty station would be the greener side to what I would perceive as a way of escape from a lesser greener pasture called America. I was stationed in Busan, Korea in the middle of rice fields and fishing docks. I was so eager to explore this land. Outside of caribbean traveling this would be my first time exploring lands that were not inhabited primarily by African descendants. As I stepped out of the base with my “battle buddy”(term- meaning a person that accompanies you on a trip) I walked out of the gate and immediately saw several children laughing and playing. They were of Korean descent. They spoke what I would know now as “Hangul”or korean language. They were between the ages of 6-10yrs old (The age will make you understand the story). I saw them stop playing with each other as I walked up. Unable to speak english they swarmed around us and starred intensely. I was excited thinking this would be a story I would write in my memoirs forever. As they stared intensely while we were in this circle they began to speak and then suddenly they made a comment as to referencing our native whereabouts. I couldn’t make out the term, I thought oh maybe they think we are beyonce, or serena and venus williams. Someone famous of course. Then the reality of there revelation would soon make me realize how the grass may be brown instead of green on this side. They began to scream like monkeys “OOOHHAHHHOHHAWWAHH “ and dance all around us as to refer to monkeys from the natural geographic show. After comparing there social comparison to human diversity. Korean Television was not diverse and the only color they would see would be nature shows and so the monkey reference was truly there norm. I was an alien in their eyes. While the humor in my eyes had me laughing so hard I almost didn’t make it to the restroom. The Social Awkwardness of that moment would bring me back to the soliloquy, I was reminded of my conquest to find a new normal and a greener grass and through this event was confirm that the quest to find social equality and human diversity would have to be first found in the pursuit of equality within self. I would have to find the beauty in who I was before any person could ever imagine the value within. In understanding the problem to Human Diversity I would have to search for the light in the dark areas of my life where I too have created inner prejudism of my social norms and outlooks. Mastering introspection would allow me to become the lighthouse for the ships that are in the dark. -Nikelcia Marcelin

adult architecture bar buildings
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child in blue and yellow jersey shirt with the two other kids
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