The 29th August marked five years since my family’s arrival in Canada, no longer satisfied as simply eager-eyed tourists but with the intention on making it into a home – our home. Five years. Half a decade. Five years!
Upon first inspection, five years sounds like a substantial amount of time for someone to become established. A lot can happen during that time; in fact a lot can happen during any period of time. It only takes one spark to ignite change and that can take only a split second – but are we talking about the burning of a single tree here, or an entire forest? My personal growth with the people I left behind, and the memories that I cherished so fondly had deep, entangled roots. I was 15, an unfortunate age – too young to fend for myself, too old to forget. Whilst my fathers adaptation was speedy, I discovered equally as fast that for me, this is something that would take time. I’m not so good at this chameleon thing.
The hours spent paralyzed in bed (disregarding my need for sleep) with hot tears silently falling thick and fast onto my pillow are innumerable and irreplaceable; and I would be lying to you if I told you that this didn’t still occasionally occur.
However, I am by no means discouraging people from taking a similar plunge and submerging themselves into another culture in the fullest and most rewarding of ways. What I’m saying is: do not underestimate the power and influence that such a move can make. It will be a challenge of boundary pushing determination, confidence and strength. It will leave you questioning yourself, in the loneliest of moments ‘who am I, really?’. It will change you, for better or for worse, it will change you.
Dramatising over, I’ve been through good times as well as the hardships. Getting a job, giving out my heart, buying a car, graduating high school, starting university, having my heart returned in pieces, gaining friends, losing friends (and losing more friends), transferring university – these are the stories of my last five years. More importantly, I have utmost faith that without the move I would never have found my
passion, one true love, geography. This means no The Wandering Rose, that much is obvious.
The 5th March 2012 marked another important date in my calendar: the day I became a Canadian citizen. I blinked back tears (this article justifies me as an overemotional fruitcake) as the promotional video displayed striking images of Canada and its people, taking each province in turn and orchestrating the national anthem into individual, locational versions. I felt pride swell inside of me, a pride coloured with red and white. ‘ My name is Lindsey, and I am Canadian’ I told myself, mimicking the infamous Molson advert – but it is true. I am Canadian and I couldn’t be happier about it.
My immigration journey is far from over and I’m not entirely convinced it’ll even has a conclusion. I’m aware of older immigrants who despite having left their respected homelands some decades ago, are still haunted with the same feeling of unrest. I learn something new everyday and I yearn for something old everyday – one step forward, one step back. I feel stagnant, living in limbo land. Maybe 2013 will be the year where I can finally let go and establish firmer footing on this maple syrup soil, or maybe it’ll take longer – who knows. For now, I’m fortunate enough to call two beautiful countries home. England and Canada. Canada and England. Like craftsmen, their cultural influences mold me with the ease of putty into a creation purely unique. I can only hold my breath and await in anticipation to what shape the finished creation forms.