Sometimes I forget what a strange existence I’ve lead since…birth.
I grew up as an oddball; the black girl with the “Chinese” last name, who’s good at math and English. My non-stereotypical worldview and interests sometimes get me in trouble, and this is especially so online.
I’ve been accused of using a fake name—my birth name–on Disqus, been told that I was a white man using a black woman’s avatar on Twitter (language alert), been told to “go back to Africa” by my fellow black Americans, and been told to “stay out of Kenya” by some of the countrymen of my Kenyan family.
And just today I was accused of lying about my USAF background as a German (and Russian) linguist who was stationed in then-West Berlin in the 1980s and early 1990s. (It wasn’t the first time for this and, though I’m always hesitant to point at something and call it racism, it’s almost certain that when someone does not believe me when I say what I did for a living, it’s because of my outer coating.)
Am I whining? No I don’t think I am, though it’s infuriating to have others deny your very existence. Being a weirdo is fun and, though some might think it’s lonely, I enjoy being alone, for the most part—I have a low
stupidity humanity tolerance.
But, every time I start feeling just a little sorry for myself, one of the people who loves me, shows it and comes through for me—like our host and the person who recommended me for this gig.
That said, I want to show this audience my plaque from my first stint in Berlin.
Yes, I left one month before the Wall fell—worst timing ever. I watched the TV from thousands of miles away and spotted many of my friends stand on top of the Wall in merriment.
Such is this life that God gave me. I love it.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.
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