I hope you like profanities ‘cos shit’s about to get real
Hands up if you’ve ever thought:
- Yes, my parents emigrated here from another country but that doesn’t make ‘the motherland’ my home too
- Speaking of home – where the hell is it?
- I’m scared to introduce my boyfriend/girlfriend to my parents because they’re not the ‘right’ colour and don’t follow the same religion as my family
- I’m sick of not doing anything because Society may disapprove. I don’t know who this Society chick is, but she sounds really freakin’ dull
- How do I tell my Muslim family I drink alcohol without, y’know, a bounty hunter hot on my heels as a result?
- I never had the ‘how was your day’ conversation growing up. It was all: Are you home from school? Good. Now go make the chapattis
- I get that family’s important, but did my parents really have me just so they’d have someone to take care of them when they’re old? So that makes me, what? An involuntary nurse?
- Is this cultural confusion thing the reason why I’m still single?
- I’m worried I’ll never live up to my potential because I’ve always been taught that I’m second best (to literally everyone)
- My siblings aren’t like me at all. They don’t want to travel, nor do they have white friends. They’ve never been in a pub or had anyone not-our-ethnicity round for dinner. They’re traditional. And I’m, well … not
- And even though I’m not, I still love my family with all my heart. I just don’t dig … judgement
I’ve thought every one of those things at one point or another. I get where you’re coming from. I’ve been where you are.
And since I’ve been through it all and am out the other side, I’m here to tell you this:
You are understood
(by me – hi!)
In a world that doesn’t even try to understand you. Where most people assume your life’s made up of delicious curries, East/West conflict and avoiding arranged marriages (← ugh, clichés).
Or when you say: My mum isn’t racist, but she’ll wash a cup while saying a prayer if a white person drank from it – I know exactly what you mean. No explanations necessary.
And on this website, we get under the skin of all of that (amongst other things).
With all that said, now’s a pretty sweet time to introduce myself.
So, this is me:
I’m kidding (clearly).
This is me.
I’m Razwana Wahid. I sometimes sit on the floor and pretend I’m in a L’Oréal commercial.
Friends call me Raz. Family call me Razwana. You can call me … whichever one of those suits the amount of syllables you’re comfortable with.
I’m a corporate trainer (you can find out all about that over at my other online digs Relentless Movement), born in Yorkshire, England to Pakistani parents. I moved to London in my late 20’s and then to Paris in my early 30’s. I now live in (very sunny) Barcelona.
And in the entire time I’ve been on this here Earth, I’ve constantly questioned my identity and tried to figure out where I ‘fit’.
Through the arranged marriage, the rejection from my parents, the acceptance from my friends and the confusion in my origin, this question of identity presented itself again and again.
If you want to read more about that, click this.
Take a look around this website and you’ll see I write about:
You’ll fit in here if you’re like me:
And y’know what? I’ve news for you:
This in-between place you live in? It’s the making of you
Your in-betweeness – it’s your superpower (No, seriously. It comes with a cape).
You have the privilege of understanding both sides (with the right to sit black slowly in your leather chair, take a drag of your cigar and revel in all your privileged-ness).
You empathise with the journey your parents took first hand and you can see why they were judged when they arrived in this Brave New World.
You have the vantage point to plot the path for the next generation. You sacrifice so they can thrive.
You don’t need to choose.
So you’re not an in-betweener. You’re a firestarter. A force to be reckoned with. You’re Bold. Courageous. A boundary pusher and button presser.
You’re the one who’ll make the difference. And I’m the one by your side doing cartwheels while twirling sparklers, cheering your every move.
It’s high time we talked about that. Go here.