Run

Regardless of where you were born…you will always have advantages and disadvantages based on being born and raised there. For example, some look and say you’re more disadvantaged if you’re born in a third world country over a first world one…but I don’t fully agree. That’s just where the material things are concerned, that people conclude first world countries are more advantaged. But like I said before, there are advantages and disadvantages, each merely highlighted and focused on when two countries are compared.
Where my life is concerned, I feel my head is filled with mostly book knowledge, but not enough about life’s general knowledge. Which is a disadvantage for me. I look at my mom, who stands opposite to me; she had more knowledge and skills pertaining to life than me at my present age. No doubt, because of where she was born and raised, and where I was born and raised. Moving along however, I wonder if she knew, that by the age of 22, she would be in Canada? I wonder if she was prepared to leave her whole family and life behind to follow my dad and start fresh? I wonder how she did it? I wonder if she wanted to move here? I wonder if she was prepared? I wonder if she knew she wouldn’t go back home for decades to come? If she knew, would she have left?
For me, as much as I want to leave Canada, I know I will eventually be drawn right back here. When the things I like get overbearing, I get sick of them. I put as much space as I can between myself and the thing, if only temporarily. I want to move to France, but I don’t see myself living there for more than 5 years. And besides. I don’t know if I could leave everything behind like my mom did. I guess the reason for my unwillingness to run, is because I’m not running from much. I don’t think France would necessarily offer me a better life. It would not offer me anything much, that Canada could not or can not offer me.
From my mom’s standpoint now, her running to Canada meant running from a little, to a lot. She grew up in the country side of Jamaica, near a fishing village. With so many siblings, I will not say how many, it was hard to make things stretch. She heard about “farin” (Jamaican Patois for “foreign,” foreign meaning of course any over developed English speaking country such as Canada, America, and England) as a girl but never once dreamed she would get the chance to live and have children there. Now in her early 40’s, my mom like other Jamaican born people, has established a comfortable life over here in an “overseas” (Jamaicans sometimes use that word interchangeably with “farin”) country. But I wonder if they are all happy. I know materially some may have more, but I wonder if it was worth losing who they really once were for it all. I wonder if it was worth shifting mentalities and changing their way of thinking for. I wonder if it was worth severing most ties with their island for. I wonder.
Below are some photos of what my mom’s community in Clarendon, Jamaica looks like today
IMG_4349 IMG_2558 IMG_2568 IMG_2483

Wanting More

Perhaps there are some things I am taking for granted. But I still fail to see what’s so special about this country I am living in.

Canada isn’t bad, but it’s not that great either. It’s whatever to me.

I want more from my country. I don’t feel Canadian. I want to feel Canadian, I really do.

But I wasn’t raised Canadian. I was raised in Canada. But not as a Canadian.

(On a side note, I’ve never understood how immigrants try and learn Canadian culture when they come here. I feel that when they come here and try and learn to be Canadian, they’re really learning the acceptable way of living in the west. They’re learning western ideals. Their idea of beauty changes, their way of thinking, and even doing.)

So because of my detachment, I find myself comparing other countries to live in,

and concluding that Canada is peaceful & boring.

It’s a wannabe Britain

Like a student who pays utmost attention in class and desperately tries to please the teacher

And a less rowdy America

Like that same student, that is surrounded by other distracting students, and notices that her neighbour would rather not listen to or pay attention to the teacher but rebel. Our once focused student unfortunately, ends up losing her attention span, and joining in with her other peer.

Your background, where you or your parents are from will sometimes influences how you see the current country you live in.

For example…My Afghan coworker loves Canada, she thinks she has more freedom here, and appreciates the peacefulness.

Freedom and peacefulness, I personally take for granted. I’ve never had either threatened in the same way…

And how would I? Look where my parent’s are from. They’re not from some kind of suppressive or communist regime.

Sure life would have been more rough if I were born where my parent’s were and not here.

I am not blind, I see for myself what kind of life I could have been living.

But even then. I don’t appreciate Canada the way I should.

IMG_5164 IMG_5174 IMG_5177 IMG_5203

Being Otherwise

I looked at myself, a female Afro-Canadian, born to Jamaican parents. And looked at my friend, a male Indo-Canadian, born to Guyanese parents, and said:

Ever wonder where we would be without colonialism, what we would look like, and where we would be? Can you imagine how the world would be if Red Indians were left to themselves in North America, the Arawaks in Jamaica? Obviously we would not have certain inventions, or would we? And who would get the rightful credit for it? Now, in 2013, would we have as much cross crustal contact? Would some of us be so genetically…complex?¬†Everything colonialism has given and taken, different. Everything we take for granted and love about ourselves, taken from us. Would you therefore say, that colonialism, has defined who and in some cases we are today? The discourses of colonialism, the mere thought of erasing them all, or some of them, would require much brain power and imagination.” I finally concluded, answering my own question.

But he then asked:
So if you could be born again, what would you keep the same about yourself, what would you change, would you want to be the exact same person?
I told him I would be the same, Black, Christian, a female and of Jamaican ancestry, but born in France. He said he’d be the same as well, except born in England, and of Guyanese ancestry. It was kind of interesting that both of us would remain pretty much the same, save one minor difference. Perhaps because in some ways thinking otherwise, it is hard for us to do so. We realize things could be otherwise, and it’s hard for us to accept the “otherwise.” Also, I guess we cannot know for sure how living otherwise would be, if it would be better or worse than our situations now. Perhaps it would be neither, because we would not know any better or worse…Or would we? Who can say?