BEING Young & Twenty Submission • Victoria

BEING Young & Twenty Submission • Victoria

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Victoria Heath
SAFAR The Journey
Age • 25

“My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 10 years now. Only recently, however, has our relationship been more defined and strained by our identities: He’s Pakistani and Muslim, I’m American and Christian.”

My 20’s has been a whirlwind of truths – and I’m only halfway through.

The most damning truth I’ve learned is that we are all capable of intolerance and from the moment we open our eyes to this complex yet beautiful world, we are taught to trust those who are like us and be wary of those who are not.

When I was 12, I moved to Saudi Arabia with my dad and brother from North Carolina.

Before moving, I can’t remember ever meeting a non-Christia or even a non-white person. As a kid though, the ignorance and lack of worldly experience didn’t really matter. I quickly adjusted to life in Saudi Arabia and even fell in love with it – and with someone, as shocking as that may be.

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 10 years now. We are high school sweethearts and pushed through a 4-year, long-distance relationship during college. Somehow, we even manipulated fate to both end up living as expats in Canada.

Only recently, however, has our relationship been more defined and strained by our identities: He’s Pakistani and Muslim, I’m American and Christian.

The latter half of my 20’s will be an exhausting trek navigating my family, my nationality, my identity and my relationship.

But I know I’m not alone, because we are all affected now by politics that have become so personal they are impossible to avoid. The key is to not only be true to your beliefs,  but to continuously seek education and rational optimism in order to trump the irrational fear and misinformation that has permeated our daily lives.

BEING Young and Twenty means realizing life’s truths, and choosing whether-or-not to accept the world as it is, or to challenge convention. I’ve chosen the latter.

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  • Allison

    Love this. Even the picture you have selected to show your purposeful choice to ignore our antiquated societal norms and follow your own path is beautiful! Love who you love! Follow your arrow!!

    • Jennifer

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Allison! I couldn’t agree more. I’m in love with Victoria’s story and the way she tells it here. “Follow your arrow” <33333