EMBRACE THE AMBIGUITY BY JAKE BELZ
Throughout my lifetime I have faced many situations of ambiguity. The feelings and life lessons encountered through ambiguity have molded me into becoming the person I am today. Facing ambiguity has given me the feelings of anger, fear, excitement, sadness, and many more. After overcoming the uncertainty and doubtfulness of the situation I feel that is very rewarding and offers life lessons that can be used to help benefit yourself and others.
As a child I was given the opportunity to live in San Juan, Puerto Rico. When I first moved to Puerto Rico I just had learned how to speak English. Knowing ONLY English was an issue in the classroom and making friends. Each day I faced the ambiguity of the Spanish language. Most of the students in the classroom learned Spanish as their primary language. Each day I would come home from school frustrated and sad that I could not communicate with my other classmates. I would wonder if the kids were making fun of me by calling me dumb based upon the fact that I could not understand the basic words they were saying. After some period of time, I could not deal with the uncertainty of the Spanish language so it led me into getting into a fight with one of the other students. My mother received a phone call and had to talk with the principal. My mother sat down with the principal and begged to keep me at the school because she didn’t want to face the embarrassment of getting kicked out of school and knew I could fight through the tough time to learn the Spanish language. The next day I was fortunate enough to have one of my classmates came up to me and asked me if I wanted to learn English from him. My eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. Three years later, I spoke a fair amount of Spanish and made a great friend. Today, I still keep in touch with my friend that helped me during my time of ambiguity. He now goes to the University of Michigan. Moving to Puerto Rico and dealing with the acclimation process was a perfect example of dealing with ambiguity and growing from that experience. I entered that experience understanding little about the Puerto Rican language and culture. But, though my experience and friendship with my classmate, I understood and embraced the challenge of adapting to a new country and becoming a more diverse, accepting person.