Dec 27, 2010

I will be a Canadian when... 1

Here I briefly wrote about the barriers on me ever being/becoming a Canadian. This is by no means a bad thing. I enjoy this state of "landlessness". The barriers can be funny a lot of the times. I write them whenever I remember one. There is no priority. 

I will be a Canadian when I stop flipping the reports, books or any other reading material from right to left. You have no idea how strange people find it in Chapters to see a woman who reads through the books and magazine from the end to beginning.

Dec 26, 2010

"I resented being Asian because I wasn’t white. This kind of racism is in place so people don’t even think about it. It just happens. I just feel left out. When I stand in line at a counter to be served, to buy something, and the white person who comes after me gets served first, it’s not done on purpose. It’s because the person doesn’t see me. I’m invisible to that white person".

Dec 11, 2010

It was our agency's Christmas party last night. To be politically correct I have to say "holiday" party. Well, I don't care about being politically correct. It is Christmas and last night's occasion was "Christmas" party. We don't celebrate Winter holiday or March break or Summer holiday but we celebrate Christmas. It is not even about the new year. So why should I lie and call my lie "political correctness"? If I am to make changes in people's awareness, be respectful of diversity, address the corruption of Catholic church or even how religion has historically been used to serve the powerful and the rich at the cost of - if not always people's lives- but definitely people's level of awareness, I will celebrate Christmas and fight what is not right about Christianity. But that's just me and it is a controversial subject.

I was going to talk about one of my nightmares. Ever since I was a child- when dad was away for long periods of time for work and mom had to deal with three crazy young children on her own- I had a reoccurring nightmare. I would see myself away from my family, missing them to the extent I could physically feel the pain in my heart-chest. In my dream, I was alone and it was dark and cold. I was looking for my family but they were not there. I knew they were somewhere very far and I couldn't see them. That was the most horrible of my nightmares until I started dreaming about losing my older brother. The only brother that is left for me. I dream he is tortured, all his bones are broken and his skull broken open. He is soaking in his own blood and is trying to tell me something but I cant hear him. He is dying and I know there is nothing I can do. I sob and beg him to stay and I wake up with my heart beating in my mouth.

Last night in the Christmas party I told L my mom was coming very soon. I told her I have not seen her in two years. She asked me" Shadi how can you do that?" I thought for a second and then said I didn't know. I don't really know. I guess I am living one of my nightmares.

Dec 4, 2010

There are days that no matter how successful you are according to the "society's standards", you feel in your heart that you will never belong, that you in fact have never belonged. It is a strange feeling of being in a loud crowd yet feeling a deep silence in your heart. It is not about it being bad or good. It is just the reality that an immigrant may want to forget at times. It is the reality of immigration. At least for me. I used to criticize the immigrants who socialize within their own communities. Now when I go to schools to see the children for my job, I see that immigrant kids hang out together, Asian, Indian, Afghan all together. You can see them sitting in the hallways of high schools or smoking outside the school. I asked my cousin about her experience in high school. She said she could only fit in with immigrant kids because they were weird just like her.

I am happy I chose to be an immigrant in Canada. Not belonging here is less painful than not belonging in one's own country.

Nov 14, 2010

A couple of years ago, after I recieved my Canadian citizenship the ED of our agency stopped at the door of my office to congradulte me. He also -very kindly- gave me a card. The congratulation note started with this sentence: Congratulation on becoming a Canadian Shadi.
I read it and told him I would never be a Canadian. That how can I deny all my past that has made me "me"?

Last month, I was talking to my friend jokingly listing the barriers to "becoming a Canadian". We were talking out of drunkness but there was something sad about why we cant "fit in" or feel we belong no matter how hard we try. I decided to write them under : I would be a Canadian if... .

Nov 4, 2010

My husband got his thesis back. He had submitted it for review. After two or three times of he submitting and his adviser wanting him to make changes, the pages are filled with notes from "repetitive" to "awkward wording" to "move this to ..." or "this doesn't make sense here, move it to...".
He has 3 days to finish it. He will be able to make some of the changes. But English will NEVER be his first language. There will always be "awkward words".

Nov 3, 2010

My ipod was stolen today. One of my clients stole it. Well, I didnt see her do that but I was listening to it before I picked her up then I had to stop to get her something she needed and ipod was gone when I dropped her off. 

I wish she had not stolen my ipod. I wish the baby wouldnt cry every single night between 8:30 to 9:30-10 before he falls asleep. I wish I was on top of my paper work. I wish I wouldnt mix English with my mother tongue when I am tired which is almost all the time these days.
I wish there was a Santa to whom I could write all my wishes.

Nov 2, 2010

I have been happier in the last couple of months. I am simply content, more easy going, more positive. Nothing has changed for better or worse. Life is pretty much the same. I couldn't think of anything that could possibly have caused the change.

My mom arrived in the US tonight. She will be here in a month. I was talking to her on the phone tonight and suddenly realized that was it! I want/need to be close to my family. Doesn't everyone? well, almost everyone?

This is one thing we tend to take for granted. The joy of being able to pick up the phone and call family/friends without worrying about the time difference or booking a ticket to Calgary to be with family for the Christmas or simply driving to Toronto on a Saturday to have supper with mom.

I thought being an immigrant has deprived me of simple joys of life and has given me the "luxury" of basic human rights I was denied in my own country.

Nov 1, 2010

Several months ago I had a phone interview. The woman asked me what comes to my mind first if she asks me to self identify. The first thing that came to my mind was "an immigrant", then a woman, and a mom.
I got used to not having my dad in my world. I got used to not having my brother in my world but immigration will be one thing that I dont think I will ever get used to. The roots are not here. I am uprooted, belonging to no where. Landless, homeles.