You Think You Know Me From My Name?

When I look in the mirror, do I know who I am?

The answer to that question is YES. But do you know who I am? Probably not….

That said, society makes it so difficult for me to understand who I am sometimes.  You may see me everyday, you may say hello, you may chit chat with me a little, you might like me or dislike me. But what cemented your decision towards me?

Was it my strong personality, my big smile, my name, my sense of humour or even because of my Nationality?

There are so many different reasons why you like or dislike me.

But Have You Really Gotten to Know Me First?

Since here in Canada, I’ve sent my resume out to different companies for a range of jobs. To my surprise, I learnt afterwards that because of my name, some recruiters thought I was of a different nationality and was expecting someone else.

How sad is this?

Even though your resume is impressive and has everything that recruiters are looking for, your name may be one of the first highlights and may be one of the reasons why you were selected for an interview (or not).

I have been told several times that I don’t look like a Jamaican. What should a Jamaican look like? There is still a stigma as to what a person should look like when they are from a particular country.

Is this Racism, Ignorance or Human Nature?

It is classified as, ‘Stereotyping’ But I think,

It’s Society. Society has created so many ‘single stories’ for us that we fail to move pass what it taught to us.  We fail to get to the point of creating our own stories by keeping an open mind, not getting caught in the web.

Growing up, we might question who we are and what we want to become, but as we grow older, we evolve into who we really want to be and not what Society wants us to be.  We form our own unique path.

A few days ago, a friend of mine told me, “I strongly believe that people’s personality never changes after adulthood.” I told him outright that I disagree. I told him that is just another pre-conceived notion.

My personality has changed within the last three to four years and that is a fact. I am a different person in the same body. I have been trying to figure out who I am for most of my life and still uncovering, but Lucky for me, I can adapt easily, I am open to change and I am not afraid to take risks.

Related: My Experience at Centennial College

However, this will not shift my focus from my career path and who I am.

Who am I again? I am kind, loyal, honest, strong minded, Christian-Minded, focused, goal-oriented, outspoken and fun-loving.

I’m a risk-taker, a wife, a mom, a friend, a sister, a niece, a cousin, a classmate, a mentor, a student, a teacher, a confidant, a support (a FoodGrads Campus Ambassador) among a ton of other things!

But if you are a microbe, a virus, a parasite or any type of pathogenic organism, you are gonna hate my guts.  Why? Because I am a Food Scientist!!!! What do food Scientists do?

Stay tuned for my next article…

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Author: Sashana Chattoo-Edwards

(Photo: Volunteering Team, welcoming New Comers to Centennial College – Orientation Day)

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