But before we take on the topic of the day…
The other day I realized that when it comes to adjusting to American life/culture, I often take the “kicking and screaming” lane – ungracious, overly critical, super sensitive, remarkably adolescent in thought, attitude and action.
photo credit crdotx (creative commons)
(if you are wondering about the Kenya/America link, you may want read our story here)
Anyway, the more I thought about my unpleasant attitudes, the more I realized that some of us tend do life/pursue dreams the same way.
A few steps into the journey, we begin to encounter the pain of dreaming.
Some of us immediately engage fight mode – we fight the process, dwell on the pains and angst of it, point fingers and stick out tongues – we become everything but gracious, grown-up, focused, learning.
At least for a season.
We struggle to accept that the main part of “success” is what we become in the journey, not what we achieve in the end.
I know that in the throes of change and culture shock, it often feels easier to compare, criticize, day dream.
All of us have a Jonah inside of us – brooding, unrelenting, furious that our “dreams” didn’t pan out the way we wanted.
Again, I know that not everyone struggles with change as much as I do.
But we all struggle with some aspect of it.
Do YOU struggle with change?
Back to the main story..
You know you are a Kenyan in Maryland when..
1. You expect the store (supermarket) attendant to walk the entire floor, looking for a product you couldn’t find.
2. You race across pedestrian crossings.
3. Everyone seems to talk into your face (most Americans love eye contact)
4. You expect the two guys loudly airing their views to settle the argument with fists
5. You think you can jump red lights because the roads are empty (who waits at red lights in the middle of the night!?)
6. You are shell-shocked when a perfect stranger shares the story of their life within two minutes of meeting each other.
7. Neat lawns make you think about business opportunities – weddings, functions e.t.c
8. You walk into Home Depo looking for bugler proof doors and windows
9. You keep breaking down the cost of life and items to Kenya shillings.
10. You go to the barbers and expect a shampoo, hair and beard work, massage, tea/coffee e.t.c – for a single (and cheap) price.
11. You avoid the “police car” even when you’ve done nothing wrong.
12. You want to offer a “helping hand” to the parents of that child having a meltdown at the toys section.
13. Statements like “Do you know Albert? He’s from Africa too” no longer aggravate you.
14. You like guessing which part of Kenya an African-America “hails” from.
Question – Have you ever lived in a different culture/state/city/continent other than your own? What was your experience?