From Within My Own Heart

I am from a Melting Pot,

An array of culture and traditions

Hardwired into me since I took my first breath.

I am from a state

Of "yes, ma'am", sweet tea, and "y'all"

In a country as mixed as I am,

3000 miles away

From where my last name was born.

My life is a swirl of international music

And exotic spices,

Me in the middle of a hurricane:

Balancing the rules of two different worlds;

Deflecting the lies and hurt people throw like darts;

Keeping myself open and secretive at the same time.

I am from a land

Where I can always do better,

Told to me by myself and by others.

I was raised by "work hard, play hard".

Get it done.

Never quit.

Aim for the moon no matter what;

Miss and you'll land among the stars.

I am from comfort,

A tail of privilege swinging behind me,

Bashing through my obstacles;

From the rule

You work hard to get what you want.

Nothing's free.

Nothing's easy.

I am from both great joy and great pain,

Where what doesn't kill me

Makes me ten times stronger;

From periods of rage at no one but myself

To pride for my heritage, my religion.

I am from within my own heart.

My essence, my core

Is eroded by the peach-scented, sun-kissed South Carolina breeze;

Decorated with designs of a land of green, white, and saffron;

Cradled in the gentle, firm hands of teachers, students, parents;

And inscribed with word upon word

Of passions, love, hurt, pain,

Dreams that are broken and dreams still living.

I am from poetry.

I am from music.

I am from a girl who held Midnight in her arms.

I am from dreams.

I am from culture.

I am from religion.

And I am from me.

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