These last two weeks I’ve been wondering about myself a lot.
Me, as a being on this planet, as a living breathing person, born into a city, a country and culture that I never had a chance in choosing. These thoughts are probably due to the fact that I have been reading Judit Shklar and her essay on liberalism in which she returns to the core of existence for her political philosophy: to the human being. Don’t get me wrong, I am okay with being Hungarian, I will always consider it home. But having lived in the United States for three years and am nearing two in Germany, it is very hard not to want to peel this layer of myself off and become someone different. Not a foreigner.
This is a conflict I face every day and will be facing possibly for the rest of my life. It is something that you never really think about when deciding to move to a different country. You think about it but can never really be prepared for it because it is a phenomenon individual to each person. In the beginning I thought it was because of my insecurities with the German language and that it would be much easier if I could communicate in English, having a semi-flawless American accent. But I just started an internship where I work together with Americans and it just pushed my struggle to a new level of crazy. I am not an American. I can act like one, speak like one and maybe believe it for a little, but it is not me. Why did I think for a second that it would be easier?
How does one take all that they have learned about themselves in the last 20 years and construct a self from these scraps, a person that they could enjoy being? One that is confident to be different, doesn’t have to follow the norms to be able to identify with people and looks into the eyes of strangers instead of staring at their shoes. Someone who doesn’t preconstruct all their sentences before saying them.
(Original artwork from Daehyun Kim)