It’s interesting now that I think about it, but I have never wanted for housing. There has always been someone out there who has been willing to open up their home (and heart) to me when I was in dire need. And with each person I encounter, I get the sense that indeed, our paths are to some degree, already chartered, and that the ‘meeting’ had in fact been on the drawing board a gazillion years before we even happened upon this life.
Once again, I have come upon a unique living situation. And just as was the case in summer 08 when I stayed with a wonderful MHC alumna and her family, I am realizing that the MHC network and connection is a very special one. I won’t mention any names, but this lady is indeed a phenomenal woman. It’s been exactly a week since I joined her in her beautiful house, and I’ve already learned a lot about Mount Holyoke, U.S. History, African History etc. And although we are from two entirely different eras, there have been a number of instances where I could have sworn she was talking about my era.
Like most MHC women, she was one of the first to chart her own course in life – hers being African Studies at MHC. She then went on to work with the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, and given the time period (the 60s), it was definitely a brave feat. So we were talking tonight, and she mentioned how she and her fellow peace corps colleagues had some time to themselves one weekend and being girls, they were trying to pretty themselves up. While the ‘white’ girls were busy trying to curl their hair and get tanned, the ‘black’ girls were trying to bleach/ lighten their skin tone and straighten their hair. And then…then, they had an ‘aha’ moment where they realized that it was really unnecessary for them to try to change who they are. Here were the black girls, who were trying to be like the white girls, who were trying to be like the black girls…and vice-versa.
After my hostess finished her story, I just stared at her and said “It’s funny to think that the same situation is still true today.” Guess it brings another dimension to “history repeats itself,” huh? And then you wonder, how long are we going to deny who we are and miss out on ourselves while we’re busy ourselves trying to be something we’re not?
Photo Source: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v40/mexicomarti/DiverseWomen.jpg
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.