Pursuit of Happiness

Co-editor in chief shares reasoning behind the success of her interracial relationship

Ajla Selimovic, Co-editor in chief

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My life took a complete 180 when I got involved in an interracial relationship. In almost every aspect, I became a different person. Take me back two years and I’d never think I’d be who I am today.

When I speak of my relationship, most people that understand the strict upbringings of Bosnian children ask me about my parents. ‘Do your parents know?,’ ‘How’d you tell your parents about him?,’ ‘Do they let you see him?’ are just a few of the many questions I hear.

I’m very well aware that most Bosnians hold a strong sense of heritage and are not pleased when they hear of a member dating outside their race. However, the Bosnians in my parents’ generation lived a completely different life in Bosnia than the one I live in America today.

I attend one of the most diverse high schools in the state of Iowa. I live in the United States of America, in the 21st century. Not 20th century Bosnia. I can’t, nor will I ever, be able to share the same mindset as those that grew up in that setting because of my life here in America.

To be completely honest, I think that leaving a guy just because your parents disapprove of him for his race is complete BS. Why should you give up a possible eternity of happiness for your parents’ lack of understanding the high diversity and interracial acceptance in the states?

In the year and six months I’ve been with my boyfriend, I’ve had to give up on both close and extended family members and close friends. This is not because I prioritize my boyfriend over those people. It’s because I prioritize my happiness and right to be with whom I want.

I choose to walk the path of freedom and happiness. I won’t allow that narrow, outdated mindset of family and peers to keep me from doing what means the most to me.

I choose to look far ahead of that path and imagine my future and what it looks like when I don’t let others determine my happiness. It takes a strong sense of maturity and responsibility to understand how critical it is to put yourself first, and do what you think is best for you.

I choose to walk that path for ME because if I’m not living for myself, I’m living for those unsupportive family members and friends that convince me out of everything that I love doing. And that’s the most unfair thing anyone can do to themselves. I know the path that I have chosen will take me far.

 

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