Hi my Reader Friends. My name is Jennifer and this is my space to explore the theme of acceptance; a theme that has continuously popped up in my life especially in the last couple of years. I spent most of my late childhood and teenage years playing field hockey–I even ended up playing for a Division I team in college. In 2011, my first conscious confrontation with acceptance began when I was diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome. After months of battling to remain in school, I accepted that school was not conducive to my health for the time being. I found myself lying in my bed at my parents’ house, wondering, “Who am I?” Almost everything I had defined myself by was no longer there, yet I was still alive.
In my quest to avoid loneliness, I began some low-key volunteer work teaching English to resettled adult refugees in my hometown. I was beginning to meet some of the most influential people in my life today; however, at the time, I only knew that I was meeting some very amazing people. People with stories that could break anyone’s heart, yet people with such joy in their smiles. Conventional communication was not easy as these individuals did not speak English and I did not speak their languages; still, we formed bonds through mutual acceptance.
I eventually returned to school and I combined my volunteer work with my academics, beginning intensive research into refugee identity grounded in a case study of the Bhutanese refugees of Nepal. These were the people I had already met- the people who had accepted me into their homes and showed me how to accept my situation with my head injury. My experiences have enamored me with the questions of who is the self and who is the other? I found myself lost, searching for acceptance–acceptance of my head injury, of what I had perceived as losses, of someone to accept me as I was at that moment.
I welcome you to my space of exploring acceptance and I thank you for reading.