–By Tarik Alam Pavel
Settled career, dearest ones and above all, the comfort of our ever known world; this is what we leave when we move to a foreign land like Canada. Great opportunities come at the price of great courage and by moving out of our comfort zone; those of us who have moved out of our homeland to find a new home have already demonstrated superior level of mental strength in comparison to our average counterparts back home. I am sure most, if not all of us had a colleague, a friend or a relative who continuously kept saying the cliché words of caution ranging from live abroad is tough to picturing you selling fuels standing in bone chilling arctic winter.
We shook them off to head on chasing our Canadian dream. But as soon as excitement of stepping into a new country and preoccupation of settling in through accommodations and paper works dissipates, some form of depression if not frustration creeps in. In home, we realize the magnitude of support we bought for so cheap from our helping hands back home from cleaning our dishes and dresses to apparently small works of cooking preparations.
We struggle in making our partners and sometimes kids understand, acknowledge and make good on his or her enhanced responsibilities, to the ubiquitous Do it yourself (DIY) culture and above all to move along proactive in personal, academic and professional sphere. In many cases, our kids develop a sense of personal freedom that we feel way too much and an inevitable distance or even worse toxicity in relationship erupts. Out of home, we often get to choose doing surviving jobs or to the very least start from the scratch in our industry of expertise often with the super contingent arrangement of contracts sugar coated as contingent talents. So job security feels like a thing of distant past. On top of that, as weird as it may sound, many of us feel like Canadians do things in complex if not bureaucratic way adding to the job stress.
Those of us who feel like not to compromise our prospect with a survival job, we avail hefty amount of student loans and live with the fear of not landing into a desired job despite obtaining Canadian degree or certification and bearing on mountains of debts for years. Back home, money bought us many privileges out of our fair share but here even for a doctor’s appointment we end up waiting for months going through the agony of deteriorating conditions. Those of us who do not drive, we realize how much time public transport here sucks up in the course of changing buses even in matter of a couple of kilometers.
Our relatives and friends in Bangladesh never know how
much of the long winters, loneliness and weird problems like bed bugs we
weather through before posting those fancy summer snaps on social media. Seeing
those posts, our blood relatives start believing that we are more than capable
of bringing them here and they never hesitates giving us hint of that
expectation by sharing stories of Tom, Dick and Harries from neighborhood
moving to Canada only with references of some distant relatives there. Parents
start believing that we being capable of building up or buying a fancy house in
Bangladesh is just a matter of couple of years living in blissful ignorance of
every dimes and penny’s you are saving to remit some money home. Looking beyond
home and out of home and delving deep into your psyche, you still enjoy
Bangladeshi songs, Bangladeshi contents on YouTube but you feel that you should
give more focus on perfecting your English or if possible pursue learning
French and take more exposure to Canadian culture for better integration and
settlement. You are also divided within on whether to mingle more with
Bangladeshi communities here or to maintain some
With such diverse challenges and adversities, it is often difficult to hold on the best of our momentum to get the best out of this opportunity to live in a country where efforts and resilience pays off. Mastering the art of positivity might be the best starting point. That may start with celebrating the diversity may be by exploring new places, restaurants and most importantly meeting new people. Continuing believing in our skills, caliber and potential is also important.
We as new immigrant should accept the fact that we have started late and it will take a while to be at par with native Canadians but equal access to education and broadly the quality of life would ensure that our future generation will start from a far better standing. Gratitude as a virtue is another source of great peace. We would feel much better if we take note of the unfair share of hazards we left behind in our home country. Maintaining work life balance sometimes is difficult here but being able to chip in some personal and family times every day can be another source of happiness. Another great savior from depression or frustration can be getting busy and dedicating sometimes on personal improvement may be in the form of improving communication or technical skills. Finally, as immigrant; we should make happiness a priority over material fulfillment, financial solvency or anything else. I wish may every new immigrant be blessed with a happy and meaningful life in their new home. x