I’m sure most of my friends won’t really remember this brief time in my life. Some will and will look back with smiles and some laughter. Some will say it never happened, because it was so brief and time does cloud childhood memories. Some will remember who they are and pick themselves out of this story. I remember it, because I wrote it down and then shoved it into a dark corner so I could forget it. Now, 37 years later, I’m pulling it out of the darkness, because I’m trying to understand who I am and the many faces I have worn.
Life as a biracial child was never difficult growing up, because I grew up in another country where racism was not a way a life. We were all friends, and spent our formative years seeing beyond color. I would have to classify it as a brief time in my life where I understood a type of heaven on earth. The only racial issues I faced happened over a few brief months because a young girl entered my life and made me doubt my life was reality. She had just moved over to Germany from the U.S. It was 1973 and there was still major fallout from the racism of the 60’s and the end of the Viet Nam war. People were angry. This girl in particular, convinced me I was a traitor to my race. Though I wasn’t sure what that meant, I discussed it with my father later that night. He told me to get those silly thoughts out of my head, ignore the girl, and forge ahead in life like I had been. I’m sure I didn’t really know what that meant either, but I made the decision to try being black…Whatever that meant.
I decided to start writing in a diary. The tiny key stuck out of the lock begging me to open it and write down all my secrets. Sitting cross-legged on my bed, I opened it to the first page and wrote. That is how the diary was born. Keep in mind, a confused, but intelligent 15 year old wrote it. I haven’t made any corrections that would change the context. I have changed names to protect myself from being sued or hunted down, but in the end it’s all from my perspective which might make it seem way more dramatic than it is. Nonetheless, it was my first encounter with trying to understand who I was then and who I was going to be in the future.
I’m still searching for that answer…