S/O to Haiti, pvd, & New York City

S/O to Haiti, pvd, & New York City

I visit Haiti every time my mom talks to me.

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I am Haitian before I am anything else. I am Haitian…but I've never been to my family's part of the country.

Except for once. When my parents decided early that I needed a connection to something automatically embedded in me, in my DNA, because it wouldn't be embedded in the world around me. when confusion got together to affect me negatively, I would be safe...

Automatically. Something that can't be dismissed by anyone, even myself.

I was baptized in Haiti. But I was born miles away from that scene

Of rebirth, forgiveness and energy.

I will forever be grateful for that moment. It was the beginning of my spiritual journey. in fact, I believe it was hard to see before that. It's something I hold onto when others try to define me and where I belong.

When others try to act concerned for my wellbeing and my roots.

"How can you claim a place you've never seen?

What connection do you have to your homeland?

Where are you supposed to be?

Can you say something in your native language for me?"

Don't tell me to disregard my parents. The immigrants. That instilled my instincts, my beliefs, everything that I was able to see and achieve

At a young age

being Haitian was all I knew how to be.

I've been to Haiti, maybe not literally or traditionally, but I've been to Haiti.

I've been to the border, where Haiti is present on both sides, unapologetically.

I've been to bateyes in the Dominican Republic, where Dominican- Haitians speak kreyol first and everyone just asks questions later.

and I visit Haiti every time I see my grandmother, my aunt, cousins, nieces, and nephew- my family tree has made it a collective effort for me to never forget where we have been, in order to appreciate where we are now.

I visit Haiti every time my mom talks to me. Every time I looked in the mirror in middle school, traced my face with my fingers, wondering where my place is in this space- why no one in my class has the same teeth, lips, and hips.

My parents did a good job at bringing me to Haiti while still living in PVD. And showing me things that would've been harder to see without them. Without my family.

I wouldn't know how to act when someone asked me

"What's your background?

Where are you from?

How do you view the world from your eyes? Seeing as you claim things you've never seen, or been before."

My parents taught me to turn the other cheek. Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, you are with me. always.

To those I've never met, those I grew up with but have now disappeared, & those that influenced me beyond compare.
I know who I am, who my parents are, I respect those on my family tree.

But now,

I see so much more & I claim so much more. My culture, homeland, & instincts soar.

From everything around me,

Everyone here is my family.

In America, I like the way I see.

I see….as a Haitian intentionally born into being affected by American history

Daily.

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An Open Letter To My Unexpected Best Friend

You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better.
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“It's so amazing when someone comes to your life and you expect nothing out of it, but suddenly, there right in front of you is everything you ever need."

-Unknown

Dear Unexpected Best Friend,

You were the person I never thought I would speak to and now you are my very best friend. You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better. I can't thank you enough for everything you have done to shape me into the person I am today. You've taught me what it means to be selfless, caring, patient, and, more importantly, adventurous.

You don't realize how much better my life has become and all because you came out of nowhere. I didn't see you coming. I just saw you on occasion, and now I can't see my life without you in it. It's funny how life works itself out like that. Our unexpected friendship filled a hole in my life that I didn't know existed.

I don't even remember what life was like before you came along; it most likely had a lot less laughter and spontaneity than it does today. I can call you about anything and you would drop whatever you're doing to help me in any situation. You know when I need encouragement. You know when I am at my best and when I am at my worst. You always know exactly what to say.

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Woman Has Told Their Best Friend

I couldn't have found a better friend than you if I tried. We balance each other out in the best way possible. You are most definitely the yin to my yang, and I don't care how cliché that sounds. Because of you, I've learned to stop caring what people think and to do my own thing regardless of any backlash I might receive. You are my very favorite part of what makes me who I am to this day.

It's as if I wished up a best friend, and poof — you appeared right in front of me. I am so beyond blessed to have you and I wouldn't trade the world for all our memories. Thanks for coming out of nowhere.

Love you forever and a day.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Medders

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What It Is Really Like Having Sisters Close To Your Age

While having siblings close to your age is pretty amazing, there can be a lot of issues that can come with it.

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I come from a family of 5 people and 1 dog. I have 2 sisters, Grace and Caroline. We are all pretty close in age, Caroline being the youngest and 3 years younger than me.

My sisters and I share a bond like no one else, no one can replicate it. When you have siblings close to your age you have built-in best friends, and since they are around your age you have the same interest, or at least, enough so that you can do things that other siblings cannot. Examples of this would be seeing R-Rated movies and going to the mall without too much complaining, along with being able to shop in the same stores or even share clothes. Grace and I sometimes even split the cost of a shirt we both like.

We even overlap friend groups! Which is not much of a problem for us, Grace and I are both in music programs which overlap enough for us to have the same friends, which is great for when one of us has a sleepover, the other can join in on the fun. Caroline, however, even though she is seen as the sporty one of the 3 of us, she still has a lot of friends who have similar interests as Grace or I, giving us a lot of the same friends. It's nice not to be considered the "cool older sister", I am just like the rest of them.

While we do fight a lot, we make up really quickly, because most issues we have are stupid sibling fights: who gets the T.V., what to have for dinner, what movie to see. But it is always fun because there are 3 of us, which means majority rules, something we tend to go by most of the time depending on the situation.

Having 3 teenagers in the house can be a handful for our parents though, when you have three teenage girls going through puberty at relatively the same time, it can be grueling, especially when you are all on your period at the same time.. (yes, that has happened before) (and yes, it sucks). While I am on the topic, let's say a prayer and a thank you to my dad for dealing with 5 girls (including the dog, obviously) because he does a pretty damn good job at dealing with all of us.

When we were younger, we always had a play date even when one was canceled. We all made up songs and dances and would perform them for our parents. We even had a band called The Halsey Sisters (AKA the female version of The Jonas Brothers) where we had a hit song called "We Got The Heart and Soul". It was a hell of a time. Let's just say the music video for that song is, interesting to say the least.

At the end of the day, I wouldn't switch my sisters for anything in the world, they are my rocks, and I wouldn't want it any other way, Grace, Caroline, keep doing what you're doing, because you're pretty damn awesome.

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