Being a foreigner has had the largest impact on her life so far. She loves the

excitement of it. She loves the challenges the different cultures, languages,

and people introduce into her life. Learning new vocabulary, getting her

grammar corrected by her friends and laughing about it, traveling, exploring, and

explaining that Bulgaria is not the same as Bolivia, that Bulgaria is not situated in

Africa; learning to fit her whole life in a single suitcase, wondering what address

she should put down on her address tag for her next trip. She has recently

been going back to the past, to her home, she has been reviving memories

she thought were long forgotten. She often thinks about the coast, where she

was born and raised, a place full of freedom. A place where she can smell the

seaweed on the shore after a storm, the fresh fish and the French fries from

nearby restaurants. A place where she could sit for hours despite the annoying

mosquitoes and the chilly breeze. A place where the simple sound of the waves

and the sea gulls act as her natural tranquilizer. The place where she first

learned to say Goodbyes. The place that makes her tummy tingle of excitement

when she is about to say Hello to again. This is who she used to be. Who is she

now? Is she the girl with Southern French accent who buys baguettes from the

bakery on the corner every evening? Or is she the Moroccan girl who people

would stop and ask for directions in Arabic? Or is she the German girl who is

shopping for clothes downtown Hamburg with her friend? Or is she the girl from

Knoxville, Tennessee who loves cornbread, biscuits and gravy, and deep-fried

okra? She is all of this. This is what she has become: learning to make friends,

trying to adapt to a new culture and blend in with the environment. She used

to hate it when someone asked her where she was from when they heard her

accent: she wanted to become a real American, she wanted to be a real French,

she wanted to be a real German, she wanted to be a real Moroccan. She took

up all these roles and she was good at acting, more or less. But she has come

to realize that every time she has to go into a new role, she lost something from

the past She. She has been creating and destructing at the same time. She is

creating her present and future She, so she has learned to create her home and

feel at home wherever she goes. She is destructing her past She, so now every

time she goes back home she feels like a foreigner.