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  • Writer's pictureAuthentic Essential

I am NOT my nationality

Updated: Apr 19

“Where are you from?” is one of the first questions people usually ask me (and admittedly, I have asked the same more times than I can remember). This is most likely largely as a result of having lived in a few different countries, while looking somewhat Scandinavian, but speaking British English. Somewhere along the way, I developed a script to answer the question: “I’m half Finnish, half English, lived most of my life in Finland, but also Canada and England, and I was born in Belgium, but I now live in Portugal.” What a tiring routine that became, and I took no joy in the explanation of it. Perhaps that was because early on, I noticed that my nationality or where I live wasn’t truly who I am



Brace yourselves for the overused underdog statement, but “I never really felt like I fully belonged anywhere” is applicable here. I could be saying that to sound melancholy, but in reality, it’s the opposite. I think it was one of the few things that allowed me to be in touch with my being since a young age. By not attaching myself to any one place or cultural identity, I was able to appreciate them all and know that I would still be me no matter what my passport said or where in the world I lived. And without wanting to say the clichéd quote, “Home is where the heart is”, it allowed me to see that home truly isn’t a place, but a feeling. 


Now, of course our cultures shape us, but mostly they shape our minds/egos, not our beings. This doesn’t undermine the value of our cultural heritage, but as we often strongly associate culture/ethnicity/nationality with identity, understanding that we are more than that opens the opportunity for a stronger connection and unity with all human beings. When we realise that we are all the same, judgement fades and we see everyone as equal in value. 


Questions: How has my nationality/cultural background shaped me? Where or when do I feel the most like “I belong”?


Affirmations: I find belonging in my being. I am connected with all humans, and equal in value.



Yours Authentically,


Vanessa

1 comment

1 Comment


Rose Constantine
Rose Constantine
Mar 28

❣️😍

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