Moving to a new country as an immigrant, of course, brings about a ton of challenges. And then above that, having a family there, and trying to provide what’s best for them is probably the biggest challenge one could face.
I’ve moved about ten times in my life.
It’s been a wild ride, to be honest. My family has moved around a ton, even more before I started school. I think, as an immigrant in a brand new country, you’re constantly looking for new opportunities, better opportunities. And as I said before, it’s amplified when you have a family that includes kids.
My father always looked for a better job.
He was constantly jumping around trying to find a better position, in a better company. You could, of course, wait for promotions but when I asked him recently about why he didn’t, he told me that it takes years to get promotions, and he knew he deserved better because of the education he had – he knew he was capable of more.
He constantly tells me, “fortune favors the brave”, and told me moving around is brave – it gets you out of your comfort zone, and even if you think it may be better for your family, it still comes with risks. I guess he was teaching me never to be stagnant in life.
He always wanted the best for us. A big part of what my father taught us in life were morals. “Always be honest”, “never litter”, “treat others how you want to be treated”, “have passion for what you do”, and a bunch more, if you ask me to go on. But maybe because of where we lived – Canada – he was never big on friends. He’d never say anything against friends. In fact, he loved it when people came over, but he was never encouraging about staying in contact or having a solid group. I mean, how could he be? He made us leave them all the time. Do I sound bitter? I’m really not.
Now that I’m older, moving around a lot in my childhood up until high school has made me realize – I’m an emotionally detached person when it comes to commitment.
I never noticed during my childhood that I was pretty emotionally detached. Oh, we have to move again? I’d never cry. I looked forward to the new school. I was good at being the new girl. I never kept in contact with my friends, I never wanted to either. I never had a big group – I think I subconsciously didn’t want to have to leave a bunch of people rather than leaving one or two.
I only realized this in university, where I met my friend – Hira. Hira was insanely big on friendships, she kept in contact with people she used to hang out with before kindergarten.
I was pretty much in awe of her. She had, and still has, the most amount of close friends than anyone else I’ve ever met. And honest to God, she is a great friend. We had a fight once – scratch that – many, many times. But our first serious fight had me pretty untouched. I didn’t feel anything really, while she was a wreck. She came to my room (we both live in a hostel), that same night, not an hour later, to fix it with me, even though I’m pretty sure it was my fault.
As we had fights, this would be a reoccurring thing – she’d come to my door to make sure we’d still be friends – as I said, within the hour. And when she came, she used to explain her side, and always gave me a chance to explain mine, and would add how I’m selfish, and I don’t have feelings – something along those lines. One time, she literally said, “You don’t know how to have a friendship.”
It became clear to me that she was right. She was pretty spot on actually. And slowly, but steadily, I took tips from her, and even though I’m still a work in progress, I’ve made a lot of, well, progress. Hira, if you’re reading this, which I know you are because you’re my biggest fan, I love you for sticking with me through everything.
I can’t exactly tell you whether or not it’s okay to be emotionally distant – I mean that’s your choice to make. But make sure you don’t confuse it with being introverted when you might not be in the first place. I learned ‘how to friendship’ and it’s definitely made my university experience better so far. Maybe you should take the leap too?
Cover Image Via eyeem.com