I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘culture’

The Good Fight

My two previous posts notwithstanding, I don’t tend to dwell on this element of our relationship: 

 

I must confess that there is one time I am given a stark reminder of our cultural differences. Any guess? I’ll wait while you think. 
Would you care for a hint? 

  
Our radio presets, naturally. 

I feel it’s important to note before I proceed that I do not believe in “white music” or “black music” in the stereotypical sense of music belonging to certain listeners. Of course music originates from different cultures, and even subsets of American culture, but all cultures share a need to express feelings through music. I do not think it is inherently bad that people like what they know. Problems occur when we are judged for listening to music that is not “ours.” That’s stupid. Know that when I write “his music,” I am referring to his preferences, not his culture.

I am happy to report that I really dig Adonis’ music. He loves Greek music, classic rock, and soft rock. He enjoys my music as well – soul, funk, Caribbean, classical. We share our music with one another, give our honest thoughts, and have fun taking turns. I’m thankful that our presets will likely never be something to fight over. I do wonder, however, about what our presets represent and how we will handle it as a family. 

Now, I can hear your palm slapping your forehead. “Joan. Maybe music is JUST music,” you think to yourself. But all of us come with all kinds of presets, and most of us think that they are good and worth keeping. Adonis can listen to greek music in my car all day but I’ll be damned if he changes one of my presets. I have a feeling he feels similarly. We are proud of who we are. Thankfully, as American ethnic minorities, there’s not the pretense of thinking that either one of us is “normal,” which, of course, does not exist.

I want my offspring to not just embrace both of our cultures but to be as we are, enjoying exploring outside of their box. I ask myself how I would feel if they rejected my presets. Would that mean they didn’t appreciate that part of their heritage? Am I okay with indifference? Would I be okay if it were the reverse, that they were not into anything Greek at all? All of those potential things perturb me, but not as much as the idea of them feeling like they have so many presets they aren’t comfortable anywhere. I am ‘just’ ethnically mixed (as opposed to racially, at least for the most part) and sometimes it is a fight to feel like I belong anywhere. I think one of the reasons Adonis and I work is because as an immigrant, he has had to fight for the same thing. We’ve found belonging with each other and it is beautiful. I will always fight for my family to be at peace within ourselves and to help foster environments where others are made to feel at peace with us.

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Thanksgiving, Day 6

1. Being a mixed kid. Not so much racially (though I do have some indigenous American and Indian up in there), but culturally. I think that experiencing both Black American and Jamaican cultures has helped me to be more open minded. Plus, two really legit Thanksgiving dinners.

2. Being the daughter of an immigrant. I come from awesome stock. Mommy came here after high school to make her life better, met my handsome dad and eventually had a really cute kid. Winning.

3. The academic calendar. I don’t think I can ever leave it. Lack of respect for educators notwithstanding, this girl needs an offseason. It helps me be stronger for the babies!

4. This boring ass elliptical. As I battle plantar fasciitis, it won’t allow me to be completely immobile.

5. The ability to blog while I’m on the boring ass elliptical.

6. The fact that my sport is so musical! I love the rhythm of my strokes, revolutions, and steps. It truly is beautiful!

7. Water. For drinkin’ and swimmin’.

8. Brooks. The running shoe people. My feet didn’t know love until they met the Glycerin and Adrenaline lines of shoes.

9. The fact that my mother is a runner. It is humbling that as she watched my love for running grow, she wanted to see what all the hype was. Now she curses the treadmill like I do! #roadrunners

10. Spin class with my evil Coachie. Fact: if you go to a legit spin class it will help your cycling.

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