I hold that a strongly marked personality can influence descendants for generations.

Beatrix Potter

When I read this quote, I thought about something different. I did not grow up with my French heritage as an influence in my life. My parents were divorced when I was very young. I did not spend any time with my paternal, French, grandparents. My mother was adopted. Other than being told my mother’s parents migrated from France to Canada and from Canada to the United States, I had no knowledge of French culture. I grew up with my Irish, German and Scandinavian grandparents.

 Unexplainably, I have always had a natural affinity with all things French. When I first arrived in Paris, my heart recognized it as home. As I began to read about French culture and habits, I realized, in many ways, I was living a French life without knowing it. It just came naturally. It is a large part of who I am. 

I recognize this affinity with one’s  heritage is not shared by everyone. We can’t deny however, we are each shaped by our past . It makes me wonder why we can’t celebrate our indviduality? We are so caught up in our differences, we lose sight of the fact that that is exactly what we all have in common.

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