FORM: please select race ME: erm…

So, this is a bit of a weird one.

Without delving too deeply into my unusual family situation, up until recently, I didn’t know what race I was. My dad never met his dad and so he grew up knowing only his mother, who is Irish.

I knew was that I was half English (from my mum’s side) and quarter Irish and quarter ‘something else’…

For years, I speculated as to what I might ‘be’, but I wouldn’t say I have features that indicate one specific race which made it hard for me to guess.

So I finally decided to order a DNA test from myheritige.com. It arrived a week or so later.

There were two cotton bud swab sticks that I swiped in the side of my mouth for 30 seconds, then popped each of them in a small vile filled with liquid.

My samples ready to send

I sent them off to the lab and waited patiently.

Almost a month later, I received and email confirming my results were ready. I was both nervous and eager to find out.

So I clicked on the link to my account and these were the results:

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As you can see, I’m quite a mix (if that’s PC to say)

I can’t say I was too surprised, being Asian has been ‘on the cards’ if you like, for years really. I remember talking to my friends about what I could be when I was in school and being Asian came up a few times.

The mixture of European ethnicities didn’t come to my surprise either, simply because of migration patterns of Europeans over the years makes it highly likely that if you’re white, you’ll be a mixture European races.

I was overwhelmed to finally know. It was weird actually knowing and no longer being a ‘mystery race’. I now don’t have awkwardly explain to people that I don’t know what race I am when my unusual features compel people to ask.
The combination of mildly foreign features like the brown curly hair and freckles juxtaposed with probably the broadest Yorkshire accent and dialect going, throws people, leading to the question, “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but where are you from?”.

I’ve spent years trying to figure out what race I am and its associated culture that I should identify with. I’ve always felt a bit lost in a way, because I saw not knowing where I was from as a lack of identity. I felt like I can’t identify myself properly just because I didn’t know where the hair and darker skin came from.

Much to my own and other people’s surprise, I actually have very little desire to investigate my racial roots any further than I already have. Why? Because I know my culture, it’s what I was brought up with and I needn’t look any further than home to find it.

Things Change

Thought šŸ’­:

Why is it we struggle to embrace the inevitable? Of course, I’m talking about change.

I like to think of change as a curse and a blessing in life- you never know what’s round the corner.

Sometimes, we find it hard to accept new people, new situations and the hardest of all- to let go of the old stuff (I’m pretty bad for this). But we can’t fight it and even if we do, it comes at the expense of our energy and most importantly, our time.

ActionšŸ—£:

You can’t ever really prepare for what’s coming, how could you? After all, the future only exists in your head *mind blown* but there are ways we can handle change better:

  1. Never be complacentšŸ›Œ: don’t get so comfortable in a situation and think its there to stay, because it might not.
  2. AwarenessšŸ‘: Simply acknowledging that nothing is concrete makes you so much more accepting when life throws unexpected things your way.

ConclusionšŸ“:

As the old saying goes, there’s only two things in life we can be sure of; death and taxes (lol) but I say their is a third- change.

Should we chase happiness?

Thought šŸ’­:

For the past year or so, I believed I should live everyday in the pursuit of happiness and that I should strive to make every situation happy, regardless of the circumstances. Because, what’s wrong with trying to be happy?

However, recently I’ve began to question whether we should aim for constant happiness. The reason being, I’ve found myself feeling worse trying to be happy all the time- because I can’t make every moment worth cartwheeling for (well,Ā I can’t anyway, I’m sure some people can). Again, setting unrealistic expectationsĀ for myself.

What should we chase then?

I watched an inspiringĀ TED video by Emily Esfahani, on why happiness isn’t the be-all and end-all. It gave me the answer I was in need of; we should aim to create meaning. According to Emily’s studies, living life meaningfully leads to more fulfilment than focusing solely on happiness.

ActionšŸ—£:

Think about how you can bring meaning to your relationships, work and all that you do.

To create meaning, we have to add value to what we do and make it mean something to us. Here are ways we can do this:

  • ListenšŸ‘‚– actually listen to what people say to you and interpret it, you don’t always need to jump in with an opinion.
  • Take notice of your environmentšŸ‘€– be aware of the space you’re in, appreciate it.
  • Stand up for your beliefsšŸ’„– fill your beliefs with passion and unapologetically hold them.
  • Ā Self- reflectšŸ™– no one persons’ experience of life will be the same, recognise yours and how you have got to where you are now, value your changes.
  • Believe in yourselfšŸ– remember, you are only bound by the limits you set yourself. Have faith in yourself and create what you want.

ConclusionšŸ“©:Ā 

Surprisingly, chasing happiness is not all it’s cracked out to be. Following what makes you feel fulfilled, on the other hand, is.