Thoughts on January's Theme:

I am an immigrant;
some of my roots are not grounded.

They are undeniably visible as I walk through this city. The culture I was raised in, the adjectives that were given to me at birth - which could easily be ignored while I lived on my motherland - are an undeniable part of my current identity. I am Turkish. I am Middle Eastern. I pass as white. I am not white.

I like to concentrate on my other roots, though. The roots I willingly tend to; the roots I clean and ground whenever necessary. These are the roots I am proud to have grown from, for these are the roots that were not necessarily given to my family and community, but chosen by one or the other, over and over again.

I am rooted in imagination.
I am rooted in observation.
I am rooted in deduction.
I am rooted in sensitivity.
I am rooted in human rights.
I am rooted in forgiveness.
I am rooted in feminism.
I am rooted in community.
I am rooted in generosity.
I am rooted in creativity.
I am rooted in curiosity.
I am rooted in resilience.
I am rooted in compassion.
I am rooted in literature.
I am rooted in logic.
I am rooted in philosophy.
I am rooted in diversity.
I am rooted in laughter.
I am rooted in dance.
I am rooted in loyalty.
I am rooted in diligence.
I am rooted in commitment.
I am rooted in research.
I am rooted in sincerity.
I am rooted in silence.  
I am rooted in contemplation.
I am rooted in accountability.
I am rooted in passion.
I am rooted in idleness.

I cherish each and every one these roots. As long as I keep them watered and fed, I shall never get tangled up in the roots I never chose. 

I am rooted in stories, songs, poems, and manifestos.

by Elif Eren