Every time I encounter someone that has migrated, I feel their strain; their fight. I feel such deep sense of familiarity. Especially when they are from my country and I know the type of life they were accustomed to. Even worse when certain situations fall on their shoulders and feels like it’s closing them in. I want to rescue them but isn’t where I need to be myself. Hands tied and reminiscing, I want to tell them it SHOULD get better. That life will surprise you and these days will be one for the comic books! The ‘fish out of water’ feeling subsides the more you get your feet planted firmly on the ground. I want to say we see the scared and exhausted look in their faces and have been there. I want to say support lasts for so long, so hurry to get your own, make your own and contribute to the load. I also want to say that they should lighten up as depression and what feels like insanity will creep into lonely spaces.
I also want to tell them to not trust anyone and that strangers will give you more than those you know. That this is the land of narcissistic users and that every hand that helps isn’t a helping hand. Life is so hard here for some people that they devise these plans that will help to pick them up off the ground and invite you in. They unfortunately can’t afford what it takes to get you grounded and don’t have the time or grace to keep you around long enough for things to unfold. Family underestimates what it means to have someone come live with them and often become scorned memories. They also believe their experience in a first world country makes them privileged and don’t give the time to get to know the life you once had. Their life at times is so rough, they can’t believe than anything is possible. You will succumb to their idea that coming from a third world country means you had nothing and was dirt poor and you will batter under their rule until you can do for yourself. Worlds will collide, but it is only when you are further ahead will you see the opportunities you missed and also appreciate the freedom you have gained. They will mock your spirit and try to get you assimilated to their mediocre lifestyle, it is during this stage that you will need to hold on to your roots; hold on to your life. Those that really mean you well are gems and will unfold as you maneuver your way through your new life. Anyone that contributes freely, positively and without going quid pro quo are gems; hang on tight to them.
I remember when I just migrated to Canada my grandmother looked on my mother and I and told us that now we will start eating good food. She, then she poured us both a glass of orange ‘drink’ and told us chicken was for dinner. We mocked her for an entire week privately. We squeezed oranges grown in our own yard back home to make fresh, organic juices and chicken was something we were tired of eating. It became scary when we imagined what else she thought was missing from our life and how much better off than us she thought she was. We soon found out the hard truth and left her very sad, basic space as soon as the situation allowed. To this day flashbacks of being there still haunt me. Pity also befalls me when I think of how mistaken she was and how limited and boxed in she lives.
This IS the land of opportunity. The world is in the palm of your hands if you are young, unwed with no offspring and no responsibilities. I want to say make a chart for your life and attack it head on. Never ever get caught up in proving that you’ve made it. This will be to your own detriment and people who are looking to see this are living their truth; live yours. There were moments when I felt like everyone just came around to ogle and scrutinize. The novelty was endearing. I was a ‘freshie’, new to everything in life; apparently. This changed to them feeling I was better than them because I lived differently and couldn’t be controlled. Eventually this moved to me being less involved and finally loved from afar. I endured the first phase of my new life with openness and a vision to be happy and comfortable and at peace. I achieved this with hard work and ‘womaning’ up to a lot of new responsibility. Sigh. All in all, It gets better; trust my sapience.