I met someone last night that changed my life. He changed the way I see myself and my past. And because of him, I will do some things differently from today on.
What did this guy do to make such a profound impression on me? He knew me.
He knew who my family was. Almost better than I did. Specifically, he knew more about my grandfather than I did. About my grandfather’s place in my country’s history, about his success, about his legacy. And I sat there stupidly trying to remember the different people that I’m related to, whose names I can’t remember even though I grew up with them.
My mother’s father was one of the most successful prominent men of my native country. He has a hospital and a university named after him, among other things. He was known by millions of people. I remember him too and I remember the way my family loved him but I don’t know his first name, his history or what he did in his life that made him the man that he was. My own grandfather.
I said to this guy that it must seem crazy that I don’t know the details of my own family history. He said something that felt like a punch in the gut.
He said that it wasn’t crazy not to know your family, it was crazy for me with this family not to know my history.
I can’t stop thinking about what he said.
There are a lot of reasons that I didn’t embraced my family’s history or my cultural heritage. These reasons led me to flee from everyone and everything other than my immediate family and a few relatives.
I wanted to be anonymous. I wanted to free.
That was the most important thing to me. Freedom.
But the cost of freedom was that look I saw last night. The look that said how could someone from such a family not care enough to know it, embrace it, be proud of it.
Because of that look, I will change. I will learn about my grandfather and write down what I learn so that my children can know.
Know where and who they came from
I love life sometimes.
I mean really love. The kind of feeling that fills your whole body with tingles. When you can’t stop smiling and you don’t even know why.
The last few days I’ve been filled with a kind of joy that is surprising and lovely. I think entering the Christmas season definitely has something to do with it but it’s not all.
It also has to do with taking chances.
Taking chances on people. Opening yourself and your heart to strangers and seeing them surprise you by returning your kindness.
Seeing the good in people and the power of kindness.
I’m glad that I’m still able to do that. Even with my cynicism and sometimes jaded attitude about the world, once in a while I let my guard down and am surprised by the goodness of people and the world.
I send you a big smile and hug!
Golden Girls Fan