Why I will Always Stand with the Immigrant

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My parents had been living on rice and beans for months with 8 children under the age of 10. Then, their only means of income was taken away from dad because of outstanding debt. They had no place to turn…..

until a friend extended an invitation to take them to Canada.

My dad and the kids came in as second generation Canadians born abroad. My mom had nothing. She came in as an immigrant.

Almost 2 years later, I was born here. In Canada.

You see, even if Canada hadn’t given them an avenue to come in and immigrate her legally, they would have had to do something. I can imagine many scenarios of what that could have looked like.

Even though she was the only one that immigrated and I was actually born here, I always felt like I didn’t belong.

“Hey you fucking M&M’s, go back to where you belong!!” We heard that so many times.

To have someone pull up and yell that out the window when you’re walking down the street minding your own, really does a number. You only need to hear that once to get the message.

Every time after that is just a nail in the coffin.

I would get so angry and want to run after them, mom would just laugh and brush it off.

My heart aches for her and every other person who has ever felt like they didn’t belong because of race, gender, culture, religion or whatever else it may be.

I was traveling when a huge statement was made just across the border from us.

Not once did I bring up the topic, but everyone that recognized us as foreigners asked me about it.

The pain in the heart and eyes of the Jewish woman sitting beside me on plane was real you guys. The Brazilian American standing in the airport line behind me said it wasn’t the same coming ‘home’ this time. Then added ‘maybe this never was home.’

You could feel the tension of South Americans serving us North Americans because they should stay or go back where they came from, but we’ll go wherever we want and they should be there to serve us. No you guys, it wasn’t just me and in my head.

It was real.

Some say it was all media and won’t be what it was portrayed to be. Well, I can tell you this, whether it was platform or media, what I felt all those years ago and what those people are feeling right now is real!

SO gosh darn REAL you guys.

We CANNOT sit back and let history repeat itself. We need to STAND UP and STAND WITH them. Loud and bold!

Because we all belong you guys. We all belong. Together.

Lets be intentionally and do life together. Regardless of race, gender, religion or culture. Next time you’re out and about, hold out your hand, whether literally or in action to say, I AM WITH YOU.

WE ARE WITH YOU! Always will be.

Until next time,

Eva

 

 

 

 

 

How to handle anxiety… Or not!

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So what’s the best thing to do when anxiety is gnawing away at your being? You book a flight to a place you’ve never been, a place where you don’t know a single soul.

Initially it’ll seem like a really good idea….. It’ll be an adventure!

That is, until you get to Houston and they ask you for the visa you never got.

First comes denial. This is no big deal, you’ll handle this. It’s only a 24 hour delay. Why the heck is the attendant staring at you?! Oh shit, reality. You’re not handling this. You’re crying! Like a freaking ugly cry is about to go down.

But wait, not only did you take your anxiety on this trip, you decided it would be so much better if you brought the kid too! Who is now, full blown ugly crying right beside you.

Thank you gate E20!

But like really, you push through it. Because you’re going on this adventure and it’s going to be great! It’s actually going to make the world right again.

Then you get to the city of 3 million people, where you decided to get an apartment right in heart of downtown. Because getting a hotel like a normal tourist would have been too easy.

Once you finally get into your apartment, (after frantically searching for the intercom for 30 minutes, that was right in front of your face), you’ll realize that although you are exhausted from flying, there are a few things you need right away. Simple things like, to charge your cell…. but the outlets are different and you need an adapter, which you of course, don’t have.

Okay, things to get…. Adapter, food. Oh, but you haven’t gotten any local currency yet and the little shops downtown don’t take American dollars (not even without Trump’s face on it).

You read online, that to get the best rate for your dollar, you need to go to a guy on the street to exchange it. Going to an official exchange vendor, would again, be too easy. So you walk the streets until you hear a guy yell, “dollas, dollas, I help you, dollas.” Good, he will help and you can be on your way! But wait, you’re supposed to follow him somewhere… Into a dark building and then into a metal rod elevator.

You realize this would make a great movie scene and that your holding onto your kid’s hand as if you’re about to die.

Then you remember you took a 90 minute self defence class a couple weeks ago and you do a re-run of the eye poke move in your head. It gives you enough confidence, that you keep following this guy. Who in the end, really does just exchange your money and not kill you or your kid. (Phew!)

By the time you get the money, food and adapter and crash in your middle-of-who-knows-where apartment, you will literally feel like a super hero! Because you did it, not only did you do all that, but you did it while reminding yourself to breath every second of the day, and carrying the weight of the entire world on your shoulders.

You even managed to take a picture and post it on Instagram to make it look like you were actually surviving.

All this will remind you of what you’re really made of. It’ll remind you to never stop fighting for what is right for your heart. It’ll remind you to keep dreaming and making those dreams come true!

It’ll give you hope to keep pushing through life with everything you got, because dammit, through you big things will come to be!!

Until next time,
Eva

P.S If you are struggling with anxiety and you didn’t make it off the couch today, that is okay too. Trust me, I too have days like that. It’s important though to not let those days turn into weeks, to not let them define us. Because anxiety is not who we are,  it’s a battle we are fighting and win we will!

P.P.S If you have never had anxiety and you’re thinking, she just needs to pray more or she doesn’t need to carry all that around. That’s not how it works, you really won’t know until you’ve been there. And if you’re thinking, oh gosh, she needs professional help, you are right. I am working with a team of professionals, its just a long, freaking hard process.