If there is anything any immigrant can relate to even if it is difficult to express in words, it is CHANGE.
Every immigrant personifies that word. Change.
We change the country we choose to call home – for whatever reason. That feels nice especially if it was not a forced change.
Some of us arrive here and adopt new Western names in order to increase our chances of getting a job. Weird change. For others, they can’t stand others messing up the sound of their names. I totally get it but that does feel weird to me.
Just like when I have seen rabbits pass by me so closely on my evening walks.
Or when squirrels play in my backyard here with reckless abandon.
Seriously, that is a VERY weird change. In Nigeria, if it happens, they will end up in my pot of stew.
But in Canada? 😲
Let’s leave that.
Take a look at my picture here. I wear a budding dreadlock but this right here, is real change!
It took a lot of gut from me to do that! But I did. BE whoever you want to be. Do whatever you want to do, you have no limits.
As long as you don’t go against the law of the land or impede on another person’s right, go for it.
You can’t afford to live within the mold of someone else’s inordinate expectation.
Smile when you want, wear a dreadlock like I did here, speak English/French in your native accent (just slow down and be sure others can make out your words), bear your name and confidently teach others to pronounce it correctly. I do the same and I ask others to teach me too. It’s fine. Don’t feel awkward.
Just be. Don’t lose yourself in an effort to integrate successfully and feel accepted.
You may look different but you are enough.
You may have gapped teeth like I do, you are enough.
You may be of a different faith than others around you.
Or you may not even have one.
It doesn’t matter.
Your difference is your strength and your value does not diminish based on how different you are.
Hold your positive image. You are enough.
Written by Dapo Bankole
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