While I’ve tried to participate in challenges like Inktober before, I’ve never really stuck to them for more than a few days at a time.
So when I work up on March 1st to a post tagged #MarchMeetTheMaker, I was immediately intrigued: what do you mean I don’t have to create a new piece of art every day for a whole month?
The openness of these prompts by Joanne Hawker really inspire me to delve into my storytelling background and feel comfortable sharing my own story online–it can be scary to be vulnerable!
With that being said, the first prompt in the March Meet the Maker Challenge is story. Here’s my story:
I come from immigrants on both sides of my family.
My grandfather immigrated from Iran. My mother and I immigrated from Brasil to a small town outside the Bay Area in Northern California.
We had a home there in that town, but it didn’t feel like home. It felt like saudade, which kind of describes feelings of immense longing and homesickness (it’s one of those words without an exact translation).
But when we’d “go home” to Brasil, it didn’t feel like home either. To America, I was other. To Brasil, I was a “fake” Brazilian.
In the global literature classes I took in college, I learned that these feelings are common for the children of immigrants that grew up in America. It’s called the third space, and it’s a hard place to be. So much of identity is tied into culture and the third space brings on questions like: everyone has a home, where’s my home? Is home myself? Is it my own body? If so, is it okay to not like this home?
The thing that made it easier for me to navigate through this space was by having conversations with other immigrants, mostly through writing. .
In mid-2016, I went from college straight into an office job, where I lost that connection. So I poured myself into poetry and running a publication, waking up at 4am so I could work before work, then working at night, too…but then I got burnt out, and I had writer’s block.
And then I discovered printmaking. The tactility of printmaking, combined with the permission it allows me to give myself to disconnect—from the screens, from others—during the process helps me feel rooted and at ease with this home.
So, that’s my story.
What’s your story? What do you think of when you hear home?