Rayvn Dunkley, like many college students and biracial people, explains what it's like to feel lost.

Lost In the Middle

Lost. A textbook definition that merely means the inability to find one’s way. The fear of not knowing where one belongs. At the end of the day, we have to be the ones to “figure it out.”

There are a couple of ways the word lost can be in reference to. For instance, it can be a loss of possession and or property. One can lose in a game and or battle that could potentially prevent them from moving on. There is nothing positive about the word lost because it always takes away hope, optimism, and the things one has built up just to break it all the way back down.

“If you ever feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower bomb, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.” (Author: Masaru Emoto, 2003)

Growing up, I myself have experienced the fear of belonging and feeling lost. This primarily is due to being interracial and just simply not knowing where I fit into this world. My siblings are all Hispanic while I am just White and Black. I think because of this very reason they never connected with me or tried to be as active in my life. Often times I felt because we were not the same race that, I was not a part of them and more of an outsider than anything.

No one ever tells you the struggles that one might face being of two races and the having to conform between both of those sides. When I would go around the Caucasian side of my family I have to conform and bring out the White side of myself. The same goes for the Black side of my family. I just wish there were a detour and or roadmap that could allow me to be both without being too much of one side or the other.

Over the years, I definitely have had an immense battle of trying to figure out who I truly am, and who I want to be. I have dedicated my life around loving and caring for others that in the process I lost me. I lost the one part of myself that I thought would never disappear. Rayvn, an innocent, sweet girl, who could never be anyone but herself. Unfortunately, given the circumstances that I have been accustomed to, I have had to alter and change her.

Advice that I would give to others that are in the same situation I am in would be to genuinely love yourself, embrace the two or more races that you have, do not let anyone diminish or change you, and lastly, be the best that you can be because you only have one life to live, so live it.

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