I was way past my teenage years when I came to the United States of America. Like many before me, I had had countless dreams of being here, only to wake up and realize I was still in Ghana. I finally came to the US some years later, and then I realized I had to develop an identity fast before I was swept away from the current of the American society.
Many people feel like they have to adopt the way of living of the land they live in, and I have felt that pressure too. Most people go as far as to reject the language upon which they were raised on, and some even pretend they are not from where they were born into. I have, however, found myself in the middle, under a strict allegiance to where I am from, and a commitment to my new place of existence.
Everyday I wake up, I feel a sense of loyalty to myself, before I can commit to anyone else. I have found myself having to create a balance between who I am, and who I am supposed to be, yet, I am always discovered through my speech, name and appearance. My appearance is what distinguishes me from everybody else, yet, my society demands that I assimilate in order to belong. Anything I do that seems out of place makes me an outcast; not the type of outcast that has to forsake his roots, but the outcast who has to embrace a new environment first, in order to establish my identity.
I assimilated into the new culture, because this is my place of habitation, and the balance of who I was can only succeed if I understand how it fits into my new environment. I am still me, and my new environment only adds to the person I am every time I step out into the world.