I have very mixed feelings as I write this. I arrived at this very airport 7 years and 33 days ago, where I now sit waiting for my flight to go back for undetermined yet limited period of time. I am happy to be going back to Pakistan yet sad to leave Canada.
I can still remember the day when I hated anything and everything about here and longed to go back. But it’s not the same anymore.
I, like many other immigrants have had a difficult time trying to adapt to the culture here. The hardest part is not to wear what I never wore before or to eat the new weird stuff – it’s to draw the line. For someone like me who is boastfully proud of her origins and culture, achieving and maintaining a fine balance between the two identities was the key to being at peace with myself.
That is one problem I have with a lot of immigrant families. Some people, particularly the older generations who are more rigid in their values, impose too many rules and restrictions on the younger ones in an attempt to keep the cultural values alive in them. What they fail to realize is that at the same time people and environment back home are also evolving. These people essentially try to freeze themselves in time, independent of the changes in their current and previous homes.
I will miss the people, my family, my friends, my home, UW, and everything else. I also can’t wait to see what adventures are in store for me while I am there. I have my concerns too; I am not the same person as 7 years ago, nor is Pakistan the same. There will be changes, challenges and rewards too. But if I can adjust to a completely new world, I am sure I can go back and earn my place.
Aue revoir Canada. We will meet again!