Changing the Culture Path
Life has challenged me numerous times, testing me with all manner of adversaries and taking its pound of flesh. Looking back, I find there is much I have to reflect on and my own unique life circumstances have gifted me with truths and wisdom beyond my years.
In my thirteenth summer, my life was forever changed when, after years of living in an African refugee camp and endless interviews and challenges, my family and I were finally chosen to receive refuge under the International Organization for Migration Program. I recall that during one particularly memorable interview, the Gentleman had asked me
“Why do you want refuge, and what do you want to do with that opportunity?”
Without hesitation, I responded,
“I don't want to die here, I want an opportunity to change the world.”
The year 2013 saw me making the decision to join the US military, which led to six years filled with tears, pain, trauma and growth, discovery. After my time spent in defense of my adopted country, I came to terms with the understanding that I had given enough of myself to others, and it was high time to heal the broken pieces that had been scattered into an abyss of hurt and confusion.
So, began my journey to healing.
I spent a fair amount of time figuring out and wondering what healing looks like for me; a proud African woman, a US Veteran who fought to protect the country who brought her peace and security for the first time in her young life. What does healing look like to an African Immigrant with a strong will to survive, torn between her love for two nations? On the surface, the truth is this: it looks Painful. It looks Uncomfortable, it looks heartbreakingly like Fear. It looks like Anxiety, Depression, and Hopelessness.