This goes a little bit with identity. In a sense that, my response from people asking me of who and what am I is what determined if I was going to be accepted by those who are asking, and the other people around.
I appreciate the people in Japan not making me feel like an outcast, and accepting me like family, but it's not something I had appreciated before, just because it was normal, not highlighted, and so it was nothing to be recognized.
I appreciate it more now because, I now have learned, from living in America, that there are many incidents where people are made felt like an outcast, like they don't belong, like they are not accepted.
Even I have experienced that in the states, for 6 years, and I can't imagine going through that for all of your life, plus, in the country you call home.
I expected my experience in America to be more accepting and loving as much as what I had already experienced in Japan.
Yes, I already felt accepted in Japan, but I for some reason was expecting more in America. Not that, I thought there was space of 'acceptance' that I felt like needed to be filled in, but rather, I thought America would show me a grand version of acceptance that I had never experienced before.
The reason being;
- My parents (especially my mother) has indirectly taught me how people in America love on one another, whether if its relatives or friends. Hugging, at the time, was very over affectionate for me. Thus, I remember thinking (from a Japanese child's point of view) my parents move a lot in expressing themselves, as well as making a huge smile when laughing or in times of having fun. Furthermore, every time I would visit the states and visit my family members, my family members would perform such affection and expressiveness as well.
To me, that was America.
Where all of this affection towards one another is shared just among anybody, in which is done when you love someone.
Anyways, the point I am trying to make is to say is, I was excited to get to know what it feels like to be in an environment where I look the same as everyone around. Therefore, I thought America would make me feel accepted on a whole 'nother level in which I had never experienced before, not to mention;
- I am American citizen
- I am black (which means there are people around that look like me)
With that said, I think the anger and disappointment, still today, comes from that the opposite happened. That, I never expected to be accepted by those who don't look like me (Japanese people in Japan), and to be left out by those who look like me (black people in America)
and that, my background (being a US citizen) didn't matter when I was in Japan,
but yet, my background (being from Japan) was forefront when I was in America.
...and the internal conflict continues.