Last Monday, I found myself asked with a familiar question for a school project: What is your heritage? Of course I replied Irish, as I am a very proud Irish girl. But slowly, doubt began to creep in. Am I really Irish? My father has always maintained that he is 100% Irish, which I have always believed. But whenever I asked my mother what heritage she was, she always replied, ‘American.’ With a little prodding, she will admit that she thinks she’s Irish. But I remained curious.
So, on a car ride, I finally asked her: What are you, seriously? And the answer I got surprised me: German and Russian! And, a week later, I received a letter from my Grandmother- who is obsessed with family heritage- with a detailed family tree. I am 50% Irish, 20% Russian, 20% German, and 10% Polish.
Learning my past has made me rethink the way I look at other cultures and myself. Now I know where I get my thick eyebrows from! Russian, German, and Slavic cultures have always seemed very foreign and odd to me. But now that I know my heritage, I feel somewhat of a connection to them. Thanks to a random school assignment and one question, my views on myself and the world around me have forever changed.