Yep, I did, I gave myself a name, Jamerican! Like (hopefully you hear all assurance in my voice), I was supposed to be born here. Now I don’t take that last comment lightly, because when you really think about it, we do not choose where and to whom we are born. Consequently, it may be fair to say that some of us were lucky, and some of us were not so lucky! Where and to whom you were born has never been so real!
I have been cultured all my life and it was not because family members exposed me to different people groups, rather it is because I did not “listen” to my family and I enjoyed the company of many colors! Most of my school years were at diverse schools but I am thinking my mom chose that route because they were academically solid schools, for which I am grateful for her wisdom to do so! Another perk though was riding through the hood every morning. Like the real gangsta hood, southside St. Pete where all the action happened. I feel like I always knew the vibe, I felt at home. And I am sure some of that is because it was home, I was just separated by a huge chain link fence, and I had to leave around 5 p.m. when I was picked up most days. I was a latchkey kid.
Here is the thing, our school days and school community make up most of a child’s home life (in terms of hours spent) and when this is considered it is understandable why many children felt more at home when they are at school. And especially if being raised in a dysfunctional home. Our school years are so important, those years are so formative, but that is not what this post is about. But this is also why I home-schooled my children for as long as possible. This is also why I forfeited nice handbags and regular vacations, with only one income, and the decision to stay home and raise and educate my children. Today, zero regrets! But that is not what this blog post is about either.
The latchkey environment consisted of going to the school cafeteria when the final end of the day bell rang, where we did homework or played board games. Sometimes there was a game of soccer going on outside in the field, more affectionately known here in Jamaica as futbol. I enjoyed going outside for those games. I had a crush on one of the star players! I felt like I was a queen! If only someone who mattered would have told me then that I am a queen and always will be! (another blog post) This was the time that my girls really became my girls. This is where I starting understanding different cultures, at latch key. And my girls were all different colors! I am so grateful I went to the schools I did!
I know I was not born Jamaican and I am hardly a citizen. Still, there is something worthy and valuable about what takes place to gain citizenship, sadly many do not place value on their citizenship and in some more oppressive cases, understandably so. However, it has singly-mindedly been the oppression that stops humans all over the globe from moving to places where there are opportunities to live humanely and still enjoy their own culture while enjoying that of their host country. Why is this such a hard thing to come by? Why is it so hard to decide to go live in another country where you were not born. 6 months is not possibly enough time to make a life, I mean who can afford to live in one country for 6 months and the next for 6 months, then repeat, not many people can manage to maintain this life. And I do not want to either.
I listened to a video (I am still looking for it!) on the history of citizenship and the passport. The gist of the video is that a passport is really another federal scheme to make money and control the masses. To keep tabs on “their” people, and for overall control of the state of the union (if you will). It may have been rooted in some aspect of protection of one’s own people, but immigration and citizenship seem to have divided humans more than bring them together in a humane manner. I mean we (as Americans) know nothing about the people we go to war with! That seems so strange to me! (Avoiding this rabbit trail for many reasons.)
But it is love that does break down barriers, barriers especially expressed in your childhood days, barriers mostly related to race and class. Yet one thread most closely seen in just about every culture is the marriage union, and behind that union is two different people who have chosen love. Marriage is the picture of love that crosses all bounds and brings two people together.
No one would have thought me to be living in a cookie-cutter community and trust me, some days it drives me nuts! But for now, for this one year that we have committed to, I am… yes… living in a god-forsaken cookie-cutter house where literally every house has a TV on the same wall that you can see from the street during evening walks. Jamaicans don’t really use AC except maybe and for some, at night when they sleep so they leave their front doors open. So because of this cookie cutter temporary lifestyle, we will call it, I must do something different.
The videos below are where we are at so far. My next post will show you how I have intentionally set my space up to feel balanced and different. Please excuse the messiness, the videos below are intended for the before and after effects. I did complete one room mostly, which is not captured here so stayed tuned for the next part of the journey of a Jamerican in an American cookie-cutter scheme (this is what Jamaicans call communities).
The checkered top table is made and sold right here in Jamaica! If you are interested in purchasing one get in touch with me, I would be more than happy to connect you with the artist.
As you can see we have also added a pup, his name is affectionately known as Andrew! Also the name of the Prime Minister.
The driftwood was found in Morant Bay, and it is becoming the dining table base. The mudroom has in fact proven useful on rainy days, and as you can see remains muddy!
Music: Beautiful People, Ed Sheeran and Defeat the Struggle Album, Popcaan.
#Love #Learning #Therapy #driftwooddiningtable #racism #citizenship #jamaica #immigration #schoolagedchildren #childhood #culture #Homeschooling #relationships #workingwithlittle #interiordesign #classicism #Marriage #designing #schooldays #cookiecutterhouse #Writing