There is no other bundle of people I love more than my weird little family. My mother has raised me in a way that affects me in ways I have yet to discover. My father straddles a sort of energy that I recognize in myself while my step-mother is able to be an adult and a friend in the most loveable way possible. My siblings each carry special traits that I love, adore and sometimes find unbelievable. I am so overwhelmed at how unique my little circle is and I'm so blessed to have so much love between each and every one of these people.
Get to know my fam before we become 23.
I sat with my results for a bit and that's when it hit me that I did not expect to have any of the results from the kit. I knew I'd be African... because, of course! However, I typically get coined as Senegalese by other African people, such as Fatty, who braids my hair, and others I've encountered.
Being Nigerian is starting to make a lot of sense. I met one of my best friends, Ade´, in 2016 who brought Nigeria into my life. I am continuously pestering her with questions about her childhood, experiences, culture, tradition and more. Had it not been for her and all her siblings having the exact same name, I would've never known about African prefixes in names, the various Nigerian tribes such as Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba, nor would I know how to say: 'mo nife re' (i love you). Beyond Ade´ I met Adamu, Ugonma, and Tosan who I also overwhelm with questions about their culture. My roommates Ugo and Tosan educate me all the time. For example, I learned that Nigerians can turn humans into yam when they don't like them or want to become rich - who knew.
As I sat with the results even further, I realized that I had no idea I'd be British and Irish either. European, yes, but I thought perhaps French. Being Irish came way out of left field for me, but I'm assuming that's where my some of my luck originates from.
I really do wonder whether or not our ethnicities have the power to influence our personalities and the paths in which our lives take form. Am I this hardworking because I'm Nigerian? Or was this a product of never being satisfied with my environment and feeling the need to change or fix it?
Am I lucky because I'm Irish?
Are my eyes really this slanted because I am .2% East Asian?
I'm not sure 23 & Me could give me those answers for certain, however, when I have a little chat with god, she'll tell me.
Can't wait to continue becoming 23 in St. Croix during February 2019.
Preparing to go home has been exciting to say the least. As I take on this journey, I felt like everyone should know where I'm coming from in order to have a better understanding of what I'm trying to uncover about my family and my past.
As we took on new homes, I took on new identities, passions, friends, schools, and more in addition to a family dynamic that shifted immensely. I felt removed from everywhere, as though there was no one place that defined me or I could relate to entirely. Too "American" when I originally moved to St. Croix and not "American" enough when I came to college.
Not fitting in anywhere has caused me to become incredibly independent, confident and unique. However, I do crave a solid foundation and in that pursuit, I hope to tackle the emotions that come with my past as I uncover more about my family.
We'll get into all of these emotions as I become 23.
Welcome to the birth of a new series that I've decided to create.
One of my goals for this year was to stop talking about creating and start actually creating the ideas that were in my head, starting with this one.
'becoming 23' is a video series platformed on IGTV and YouTube that highlights my journey through my family, ancestry and self. I wrote in my journal on my 22nd birthday that I wanted to explore my ancestry and by some miracle of the Universe I received a free kit as a part of a goodie bag. I took this to mean that I should just go for it - and while I have no idea when or how I'll make it to Nigeria, Ghana, Britain, Ireland and Asia, I'll figure it out.
When I received the results I was extremely shocked to discover that I was 40% Nigerian. After being taught in school that my ancestors likely came from Ghana, it is so interesting to know precisely where I'm from and now I want to know more.
I also want to know more about my family members and what they know about the ones who came before us.
Let's see what this journey unfolds.
I have a very interesting family dynamic. At this moment, I know that my mother's mother is from St. Kitts and my mother's father is from St. Croix.