Happy 20 Years ♡

This will be a short and sweet post to talk about today being the 20th anniversary of my family’s immigration to Canada.

20 years is not a short amount of time, and while it has been the majority of my short life, it is also turning into a significant amount of time for my parents as well. They have spent a third of their lives here. Maybe one day it will be more than half.

The date has been on my family’s mind more significantly than normal this year because 20 years is a milestone, but also because my entire family is living together for the first time in three years. As a result, I’ve been asking my parents questions about their decision to immigrate like “When did you start thinking about moving?” and “Why did you pick Canada?” but the one question I can’t bring myself to ask is whether or not they regret it. Their reason for immigration wasn’t because they were struggling in their home country; in fact they lived well. Though they have established a life of their own here, there is little doubt that they would have been better off staying.

The experience of immigrants is not one that is easily understood by those who aren’t immigrants. Though I am an immigrant, I am part of the 1.5 generation, and cannot step into my first-immigrant parents’ shoes. Having to learn a new culture, being far from their support system, and the many other challenges immigrants face is truly colossal, and I applaud all those who make such a bold move to make a better life.

We celebrated yesterday with sushi, a cake, and some wine. Everything was delicious, and made even sweeter by the fact that my sister paid for it–nothing like feeling your sacrifices were worth it by having your children pay with their grown up job money.

While we ate, we discussed memories that stood out to us, like when my mom got off the plane at the airport and it was so cold and she thought to herself, “My life isn’t going to be easy from now on.” That time my sister missed the school bus because we didn’t know about daylight saving time. I, fortunately or unfortunately, don’t have many early day memories because I was too young.

Gretchen Rubin has a fantastic quote: “The days are long, but the years are short.” Somehow I blinked and now I am in my twenties. I imagine the next ten years will pass similarly, slow but also at breakneck speed, and I’ll be a thirty-something, the same age as my parents when they immigrated. Will I have the same courage as them, I wonder, to seek a better life?

I don’t have the answer. All I know is this: it’s been a good 20 years, Canada. Here’s to many more to come.

x B

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