Brick House

October 21, 2010
By , garden city, NY
Look up ### on urbandictionary.com and you will find,

“The kids who live in ### are extremely stuck up and think that they are better than everyone because their Dad is CEO of some fortune 500 company or plays golf with Donald Trump. Very preppy and all of the kids there are freakishly good at lax.”

I always figured stereotypes were true for a reason, simply because the majority of the people in that designated group act in such a manner. But that’s the key word, majority. What ever happened to the people that don’t quite fit into that cookie cutter category? No, I am not white, wealthy, or remotely skilled at sports. But I did define myself in a community that made me believe at a young age that different was unacceptable.
Many outsiders look at ### through a very blurred lens. Sure, they can see the vague outlines of big houses and secure streets, but they are missing the microscopic details. Behind all the extraordinary homes, you can find my unimpressive abode, nestled right on the border of ### and ###. Growing up I felt exactly like a small mediocre home amongst daunting houses. Frankly, I was the outsider. I had dark skin and black hair, where as all my peers had fair skin and light eyes.
So, as any misfit pre-teen would do, I sought out an easy solution to my troubles. Step one was to dress according to the status quo. Surprisingly, I was successful in
convincing myself that Uggs, skin tight Abercrombie shirts, and overpriced plaid skirts were fashionable. Step two was to detach myself from every aspect of my Guyanese and Sri Lankan heritage. Finally, step three was to speak and act generically. At the end of this drastic transformation I was no longer myself. Admittedly, I was a carbon copy of everything that initially deteriorated my self esteem.
It was not until one fateful day in 9th grade, when I looked in my mirror, that I discovered this fact. I examined myself in that mirror for a long while, pondering the distinct differences between my present and former self. I was ashamed at my synthetic and in genuine exterior. The most disappointing part was the fact that my naked wrist was missing the traditional Buddhist bracelet that was defining to my religion. How could I stoop so low to actually reject my own culture? Although seemingly insignificant, this moment turned my entire life around.
As of that instant, I have decided to embrace my combination culture rather than reject it. I am proud to be of Guyanese and Sri Lankan decent because nobody else in my community is. Essentially, there is no need to be that generic stucco house a couple of blocks over. In fact, it’s more rewarding to be fulfilled with a humble home. It doesn’t matter what the exterior of that house is made of, whether it be worn down shingle or luxurious stone. All that matters is the soul that’s within it, the heart that makes that house a home.





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