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Out of Place

If you didn't notice from my last article, "New Kid," I like to use music to explain what I feel, and I enjoy finding songs to help other brats relate to or feel like they are understood. This article's song is "Where Do We Go" by Lindsey Stirling. Military kids constantly move from base to base, meeting new people and being immersed in new cultures. It's not uncommon to have brats who are born or live in one country but are a different race than that country, and it's common for kids to be multiracial, creating even more of an identity crisis.

These situations have drawbacks, as we often feel like we don't really belong anywhere. In "Where Do We Go," the opening line goes, "We're sailing/We're sailing, aren't we?" It can feel like we float or "sail" between races or duty stations, but never truly fit in with one or the other. The next verse goes, "Now that I'm older, now that it's colder/ Life keeps on crashing/ Day after day, like a wave after wave..." When we get older, we may realize that we don't have a distinct race or culture, either due to our constant moving, being multiracial, or both.

I am tri-racial (technically), and I feel like I'm too black to be white, too white to be Spanish, and too Spanish to be black. As I get older, I realize that, while the people around me can call a culture their own, I, and other people like me (a military brat, multiracial, or both), can't.

All the time, I get asked: "Where are you from?" I hate that question. I feel as though I'm not from anywhere or belong to any particular place. Military brats are from all over the world, so how are we supposed to pick just one place? I love seeing and learning about new and different cultures, immersing myself in their traditions. Brats can feel left out and lost - some of us don't have traditional clothes, food, or practices. Maybe some of us do, but let's not forget about the brats who don't.

The last verse before the closing goes, "This hallway, I'll walk it bravely/And all the cliffs and fault lines in-between." To me, this is motivation to become more confident in who and what I am. I will bravely walk those shaky lines and perilous edges. I am learning to be proud of my heritage, accepting that just because I may not be fully one race, it doesn't mean that I am not any race at all. I'm a beautiful, prideful, glorious mix of all three.

We all struggle with our identity at times, and it's not an easy journey to go through. If you are currently struggling with your racial or cultural identity, know that you're not alone. I see you. Maybe you can relate to this song; but if you can't, that's okay. We all have our own ways of explaining how we feel, and we all have our own experiences. If music doesn't work for you, then that's alright. To each their own, right? At the end of the day, find something that you can relate to. Anything helps.


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