ALWAYS AN IMMIGRANT will be a series of posts that lead up to my moving day back to Canada. (That is my goal, and I am working hard on making that happen)
However, I realized that even though I am here living in my birthplace (Trinidad), I am also an immigrant. I relate to nothing from my birthplace. As I got older, I knew the one thing that always felt right was “I am Canadian.” Feeling out of place in my birthplace and starting over abroad, I am an immigrant again. I always have been!Melissa
One of the things as an Immigrant in the world, I never fit in anywhere I go. My soul is still searching for a forever home, a place to find rest and joy—a place to feel safe.
When I was five, my mom took my sister and me to Toronto to meet my dad. It was going to be a new way of living, and we were going to have a good living life. Not the one where Trinidad only provided hardships and endless crimes.
Little did I know that the grandmother I had never met before in Toronto would be a total nightmare.
We had to stay with this wicked witch for months until my dad had enough money to get us a place of our own.
That is what you do when you move to a new place and have no money trying to make a better life. You shack up with whomever you can and bear it all for the sake of a dream of having a better life.
My mom, dad and two sisters shared a bedroom.
LET IT SNOW
I remembered the first time I saw snow or the big Air Canada aircraft. I was surprised, I was excited, and I was indeed cold.
Wearing all the winter gear felt exciting and did I mention cold?
I grew up in Ontario and have endured many winter storms. I will never forget walking to school with the wind and snow fighting against each other, and somehow, they needed to attack my plumed cheeks.
I cursed at the wind on those days and swore that when I got older, I’ll never live in snow.
My mood will suddenly change to joy with the sun, fresh snow and the thought of making snowmen or jumping into heaps of snow that other people shovel.
I would notice these heaps of snow on the driveways on the way to school, and it was as if they put them there for me to make a mess, jump high and giggles at these small mountains of snow.
I am just Canadian
Growing up, I had to face many facts like I had no father (my father left when I was 10).
Not to mention, I had terrible teeth and an odd shape, and I was also brown, but not Indian from India.
Fitting in as an immigrant with the only family being my sister and parents was hard. No cousins to play with, just each other and looking back, I knew we both took our bond for granted, but seriously how could we have known anything in our little world of confusion and pain?
I still get jealous of large families so full of culture.
THE RACE TALK
When we arrived in Canada, my mother sat my sister and me down and explained that we were black, nothing else.
Okay, talk about confusing growing up.
I looked like I was Spanish, or maybe East Indian, but I didn’t have the hair of an African descent person.
Where do I fit in?
The other Caribbean kids were honestly just not my type, but I had to befriend them anyways to have some friends.
The East Indians told me I was not Indian, and I was considered a shallow class according to their cast system.
The Europeans were far and in between.
The Canadian whites were too much Canada; you dare not tell them you are a lover of Canada, especially when your skin tone comes in the shade brown.
I carried on in school and always told myself I was just Canadian.
It didn’t matter what anyone told me about my appearance or how much I had. I was just Canadian, and loving things like Ice Skating was a valid point in me proving how Canadian I am.
To be continued …….