My Story 2

My story ages 10-20

Growing up in the UK from the age of about 9 to 20 was a formative chapter in my life. English seamlessly became my primary language, not only shaping my daily communication but also influencing my dreams and aspirations.

When I think of this time images of skinheads, national strikes, demonstrations against apartheid, music by The Doors, and Kate Bush, The Rave dance scene, and movies such as The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and Blade Runner jump into the foreground reminding me how these things formed my impression of the world outside my home and family.

The theme of belonging took center stage during this period. I grappled with questions about my place, the compromises I was willing to make for a sense of belonging, and the social groups that resonated with my identity.

My happiest moments unfolded in the warmth of family gatherings, surrounded by extended family members, shared meals, movies, and late-night conversations. The togetherness of these occasions allowed me to lower my guard.

I didn’t love to read until I read the book, “I Am the Cheese” by Robert Cormier which left a lasting impact on me.

From then on exploring literature became a means of understanding diverse perspectives on life, love, and loss, providing a counterpoint to my experiences at home.

I started reading romances, the classics, and a few racy books during my mid to late teens. I read books by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Albert Camus, Carlos Castenda, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Jean-Paul Satre, Erica Jong, and Jackie Collins to name a few.

As my teenage years progressed, existential questions about purpose and the prospect of an arranged marriage became prominent themes in my introspection

These teen years in the UK were transformative, shaping my identity and prompting a deep exploration of self, belonging, and purpose. I knew I had to make a leap of faith.