The concept of struggle, which is frequently connected to difficulty and adversity, has significant relevance in the context of personal development and immigration. People build resilience, uncover their selves, and traverse transformational events by overcoming obstacles and dealing with adversity. By studying how it manifests while growing up and immigrating to the United States, this article seeks to reinterpret the idea of struggle. We may comprehend the transforming impact of struggle and its part in forming one’s identity more fully by drawing on personal experiences, interviews, and other sources.
The subject of struggle is explored from numerous aspects and perspectives in Jennifer De Leon’s book “White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, & Writing.” The book explores a variety of subjects connected to race, society, and writing. Still, it focuses on the struggles that people experience as they negotiate their identities, deal with cultural expectations, and discover their position in the world. The experience of being an immigrant or a descendant of immigrants is one of the aspects of hardship covered in the book. De Leon considers her life as a Guatemalan-American woman and her difficulties balancing her two identities. She focuses on the challenges of fitting in, language hurdles, cultural acculturation, and the attempt to belong in a foreign land. De Leon illuminates the difficulties experienced by immigrants as they work to construct a new life and develop a sense of stability via her tale.
The book also explores people of different colors’ struggles while trying to find a place in academia and the literary community. De Leon discusses how she felt alienated and out of place in academic and educational settings with a predominance of white people. She thinks about the difficulties of being a writer of color, dispelling myths, and the significance of representation in the arts. These debates show the continuous fight for equitable recognition and opportunity and the structural obstacles and prejudices that underrepresented voices must overcome.
The struggle is a recurring subject in Ng’s book “Little Fires Everywhere,” which is masterfully integrated throughout the story (Ng, 2020). The plot centers on a diverse cast of individuals as they negotiate questions of identity, parenting, and the quest for independence and self-discovery. The characters deal with various difficulties, such as the need to live up to social standards, the intricacies of familial relationships, and finding one’s place in a tight-knit society (Ng, 2020). Ng shows the intense, frequently contradictory feelings people experience when exposed to the internal and environmental factors that determine how their lives are shaped. The challenges portrayed in the book function as a springboard for the character’s personal development, forcing them to face their anxieties, make difficult decisions, and eventually carve their pathways in the face of adversity (Ng, 2020).
Growing up in [your country of origin], I endured several hardships that developed my character and inspired my trip to the United States. I experienced language hurdles, cultural adaptations, and a feeling of displacement. Upon arriving in the US, mastering a brand-new dialect became an incredible feat, and my struggle to communicate successfully affected my self-esteem and made it difficult for me to connect with others. Struggling with verbal communication led me to seek out ways to improve my fluency, such as taking classes in different languages or participating more frequently in exchanges and socializing with people who speak primarily English, and with a combination of hard work and not shying away from uncomfortable situations, I eventually became fluent in the language and formed meaningful social bonds. Overcoming the language challenge has helped me grow personally by expanding my horizons and allowing me to participate more fully in a broader community.
The challenge of adjusting to new cultural norms was another struggle I faced. Adapting to a new nation’s social norms and cultural practices is one of the challenges of moving abroad. Even routine activities like going to the store or public transit took much work. Nevertheless, I learned to appreciate the richness of diverse cultures via diligent observation, engagement with locals, and openness to variety. My viewpoint was widened by my effort to adjust to a new culture, and I learned to appreciate and understand the perspectives of others as a result. The sense of displacement and longing for familiarity also contributed to my journey. The pain of separation from loved ones, familiar places, and past experiences might initially seem overwhelming. To feel at home in a new place, I had to investigate who I was, how I defined “home,” and who I connected with. Over time, I understood that home is not a building but instead the people we surround ourselves with and the communities we call our own. The stress of uprooting turned into a chance to strengthen my character, show fortitude, and build a new network of friends and family.
During our chat, Maria, an immigrant, enlightened me on her early years and journey to the United States. She described the present moment as an exciting and nerve-wracking turning point. She had to leave everything familiar behind as she moved away from her homeland, including her family and friends. Not communicating was one of the most challenging aspects of Maria’s transition. She struggled to express herself clearly since her communication skills were inadequate. This obstacle, however, drove her to enroll in English lessons, put in extensive practice, and spend significant time in environments where the language was spoken. She eventually mastered the language and culture to function generally in either.
Maria had to deal with a new language, culture, and way of life. This gave her an additional set of problems since she had to deal with customs and standards that were new to her. Nevertheless, she slowly adapted to the new culture because she was determined and willing to leave her comfort zone. Maria’s trip was more emotional because she felt like she was out of place and wanted to be back where she was used. To deal with these thoughts, she had to be strong and patient. She actively looked for immigrant groups and did customary things that reminded her of home. Getting to know new people and making new friends helped her feel like she belonged at home, which made her feel less out of place over time.
When Maria reflected on her experiences, she realized that the struggles she overcame throughout her transition played a significant part in her development and her ability to adjust to her new environment. Her struggles made her question the veracity of her earlier opinions, go beyond her comfort zone, and welcome development. Her victory over hardship gave her a more profound awareness of her qualities and potential. Maria’s perspective on struggle has been profoundly altered as a result of the trip that she has been on. It is no longer exclusively linked with a problematic experience. Instead, she now recognizes that adversity is a notion that stands for maturation, perseverance, and the finding of one’s own identity. Her difficulties served as a driving force in her personal growth, helping her become more adaptable and empathic. She has come to understand the significance of adversity as a motivating factor in individual development and the quest for new chances.
In summary, the experience of struggles, whether it occurs during childhood or through immigration to a new nation, is a profoundly transforming one. We may reframe the idea of struggle via personal accounts, literary works like “White Space” and “Little Fires Everywhere,” and the knowledge gleaned from interviews. It is now acknowledged as an opportunity for personal development, perseverance, and the finding of one’s actual identity rather than being only connected with struggle and adversity. The difficulties encountered when growing up or immigrating provide chances for introspection, adjustment, and the development of new relationships. The challenges people face are stepping stones to personal growth, imparting priceless lessons in tenacity, empathy, and cross-cultural awareness. We may embrace the transforming potential of adversity and recognize its role in influencing our lives by reframing difficulty in this way.
DE LEON, J. (2021). White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, & Writing. The University of Massachusetts Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv1k139s1
Ng, C. (2020). Little Fires Everywhere (Movie Tie-In): A Novel. Penguin. https://doi.org/10.24036/ell.v9i3.109514