Reflecting Back On My Upbringing And The Impact Culture Had On It Was A Disjointed Journey

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Reflecting back on my upbringing and the impact culture had on it was a disjointed journey. My growing up was insulated at times from other cultures and ethnicities, and heavily involved with other cultures at others. We went on missions trips as a family, served with my mom helping at risk kids in an after-school program she ran, and my dad even legally adopted my youngest brother’s best friend who was African American. I also attended heavily caucasian private schools from the time I got into Middle School until I graduated. Nevertheless, the significance of race and culture was never something I fully awoke to until after I got out of Middle School. One would think with all of my family’s interactions with different cultures there…show more content…
However, when I got into High School I began playing with teammates who came from different cultural backgrounds. I joined a club team my Junior year where I distinctly remember coming to our first practice and being the only caucasian player on the team. During the summer our team traveled to 5 different cities for various tournaments, and I remember having experiences where it felt like I was outside of my own body as I tried to adapt to a very new culture. This experience was partnered with a church experience I had while traveling with this team. We were at a tournament in California, and our coach took us to his home church. When we arrived, once again I was the only caucasian in the room. The church service was so exciting and emotional. Yet, there were times when I was highly uncomfortable because of the ways the people around me were experiencing God. During this service I was faced with my presupposition of what “church” should look like. Afterwards, I have no recollection of specific conversations I had with people about culture, nor do I remember any significant changes in my life. Nevertheless, I now realize my life before this experience was defined by a belief of “whiteness” being the norm and an inability to see the diversity around me (Sue & Sue, 2016).
Going another level down, I was also faced with an insecurity after these experiences. I felt inadequate to try and connect with my teammates and the people at my coach’s church, and I believe this
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