Ruth asked me to write down my thoughts after having the experience of moving to Canada.
It’s a very difficult task to fulfill. The story of moving is a very long story and somehow difficult to explain mainly because it’s a very deep and complex experience. I like to call it a kind of “maturation” factory.
During immigration you see a lot of new stuff, you enter a new territory with new rules and regulations but what was more striking to me was that like in a maturation process after awhile you build up new skills by which you can connect things together in a whole new different way and come up with new understanding about the world around you. Shortly after, you end up having a new worldview which leads you to become a new person all together. This new person carries a lot from his original identity but also possesses a lot from his new home and in this way he creates a new and unique identity. Most of the time this new identity is not recognized or known (and sometimes not respected) from neither of his old or new homes. Some call it ‘defragmentation’; I call it ‘transformation’. For some it can be a devastating experience on many different levels.
It is said that we learn and understand more efficiently out of ‘contrasts’; ‘paradoxes’; and ‘differences’. Interestingly these are all parts of the so called “cultural shock” which is a notorious experience for all immigrants. When (and if 🙂 we survive this state of cultural shock then we are totally a different person. We behave differently; we goal differently; our concerns change; our values change; our judgments change and so on. For me the most fun part of my journey was exactly this part! In fact I exactly signed up for this shock. It was tough, very tough indeed. I had so many humbling experiences from not knowing how to get off the bus on my first ride, to being so over judgmental in my new social life to the realization of ridiculous ideas that I lived with for so long. There were times that I had nothing left to identify myself with. But to me the gain definitely out weighted the pain. Moving gave me a much better understanding about myself and the world around me. It empowered me with better explanation of myself and other peoples’ choices, wishes, behaviors, goals, and differences. It helped me a lot to get out of my ‘little boxes’ and enabled me to see the ‘bigger picture’ better. Immigration for me was a huge maturation stage. I feel that I went through a ‘Forced Fast-Forward’ growing up process!
Its a unique experience that I believe should be done at least once in a lifetime 🙂
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