“I am an Indian-American kid on paper but does that mean anything? Like the hyphen, I struggle to bridge the gap between my two worlds.”- Hari Senthilkumar

Home. It’s where my heart is. It’s with the people I hold close to me. But as an immigrant, it can’t be confined to one location. My parents immigrated to America for the second time 10 years ago. Before that, I had been back and forth spending my infant years in America, kindergarten in India, and elementary school in Singapore. I had to say a lot of goodbyes to many newly-formed friends and the memories I had gathered. I always tore myself over wondering why my parents kept moving. It took me a long time before realizing that everything they did, they did for their children. They wanted the best education, best resources, and the best possible childhood we could have. Sure, they can be a little tough and hard at times but it will never compare to the sacrifices they’ve made.

Despite spending the last 10+ years in America, I still go through a mid-life crisis every day trying to figure out who I am. I am an Indian-American kid on paper but does that mean anything? Like the hyphen, I struggle to bridge the gap between my two worlds. Does my passport alongside my parents and family mean I’m more Indian? Or does spending half my life loving a country and learning about its history and embodying its values mean I’m more American? Not a single day goes by without the label of an immigrant weighing down on me. From the mentally-exhausting moments where I worry about my undocumented status waiting for my parents’ visa to be extended to trying to make a career & identity for myself while being unable to work, nothing comes easy and I’ve come to accept that. However, I wouldn’t be where I am without being optimistic about the future. So, I persevere knowing that I can make tomorrow be better than today.

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