Moving from one place or culture to another can be a difficult transition: we are away from the family and friends who have always known us, everyday tasks can become our biggest challenges and it can be hard to find anything that feels comfortable or familiar. In this process, though, growth and vibrant life can also be found: we love and are loved by new friends, we are shaped by other perspectives and we understand there are depths to ourselves we could not otherwise have known.
Here, Brittany Jacob who has made her home in Southeast Missouri from Houston and Washington, DC shares about her native culture, her new culture and what she’s learned in the transition. Here’s to letting life be a process and all the things we learn along the way.
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Moved from Washington, DC, to Carbondale, Illinois, in 2016 to work as a reporter for KFVS12 in Cape Girardeau
What is something that surprised you about the new culture you are a part of?
I was surprised to see the warm, welcoming and hospitable people here in this region. Not to mention, very surprised about the barbecue. Texas is known for its barbecue, so let’s just say my standards are really high, but the Heartland did not disappoint me.
What is something you miss or are proud of about your native culture?
I really miss the food and my family. When I’m home, I barely have time to visit friends, because my family always has a lot of planned events, dinners, etc. We are a close-knit family. My grandfather and grandmother (A.K.A. “Momo”), Mom and aunts are always cooking. We break bread together very often. Being raised with a big and tall brother and three giant male cousins, the food options are plentiful.
What is a challenge of moving to a new culture? What is a joy of moving to a new culture?
I graduated from Howard University, a traditional, historically Black University. Moving to a new part of the country forced me out of my comfort zone and exposed me to groups and people I would not have the chance to normally meet. It’s a joy stepping out of my circle and my community because it gives me the opportunity to understand people in a new way. It gives me the chance to learn about new ideas and concepts or find awesome similarities with people who may not look like me. I want to thank KFVS for affording me the opportunity to report in the field and trusting me to anchor every weekend, because that’s another place I connect with amazing people.
How do you incorporate elements of your native culture into your new culture?
I love to cook and dance, so inviting friends over to try my cooking is one of my favorite pastimes. It’s a great conversation starter and an experience I hope my friends never forget!