Migrating to top-rated destinations such as Canada, the United States, and England is a dream for most people living in the Caribbean and other impoverished countries in the world.
We are told that these first-world countries are filled with opportunities, wealth, and freedom. As immigrants, we arrive with big dreams and future goals, such as what we see on TV, media outlets and social media, but it’s not even close to what reality is in these countries. There are two sides to this life, none of which entails glitz, glamor, and a life of luxury.
First, let’s jump into being a new immigrant in Canada, and then we will dive into what are some of the expectations from the family back home.
I have lived in Canada for twenty-five years, which is most of my adult life, but to this day, it still doesn’t feel like home. Luckily though, it’s better than the poverty-stricken life I left in Grenada
I have never taken my current position for granted or forgotten my roots. I’m well aware that I’m part of the one percent of people who would excel and become successful.
I’m not here to complain about my current life in Canada. To retrace my steps leading to my success, we must first go back to my early life in Canada.
Upon arriving here years ago, things were a bit different then. There was not the creation of the group Black Lives Matter or the Me-Too Movement where you were at the mercy of your employers and co-workers.
Although there are labor laws in Canada, most new immigrants are not knowledgeable about their rights as an employee. During my time here, I endured many racial slurs and insults. I’ve been called fresh off the boat, dumb and stupid. I was sexually harassed, verbally abused, belittled, called aggressive, and defensive, threatened to be fired, and told I was lucky to have a job.
I had an incident where someone shook a Rolex in my face and told me the watch was worth my entire year’s salary. I knew that one day the narrative of my hard work and persistence would propel to a more positive story. However, after all the hardships and hard work I achieved to become successful and more comfortable in that role, I started facing the second battle. The more prosperous I became, the more problems I encountered.
You cannot take everyone along with you on your journey. It particularly hurts to leave certain people behind including family members.
When you’re struggling, the same people who criticized you in the beginning, but now enjoy your successes, they miraculously seem to be nowhere in sight. However, the moment you make it to the top, these same people start coming out of the woodwork for handouts
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in giving back to the less fortunate but I refuse to be taken advantage of by anyone, including family. I’m expected to work as hard as I possibly can and send thousands of dollars back home to maintain my family, build them a big house and give them their heart’s desires.
Unfortunately, if you go against their wishes your name is dragged through the mud. It doesn’t matter how much you give, it’s never enough as they sit back and squander your hard-earned money.
I am at a stage in my life where I am comfortable with whom I am as a person. Chatters and gossip will never affect me. There is no rocket science to success; it’s all hard work and determination.
Being born into poverty was my circumstance, breaking the chains of poverty was my mental willingness to have a better life and not repeat the mistakes of my parents and other family members. Nothing about me has changed, I just see life a bit differently now.