Relocating your life is never easy; more so when you’re old enough to know that you’re leaving your old life and will have to start a new one somewhere completely foreign as opposed to when you’re just a young one. That was me fifteen (15) years ago this July. WOW! Sitting here and counting the years gone by is making me feel all kinds of emotions because I was so young when we immigrated to Scotland. Fresh out of the sun, and into a country that made everything feel like we had just gone to the North Pole, or something quite close to it.
I was just shy of my 12th birthday when my siblings and I joined my Mom in Scotland as she embarked on the next journey of her life to ensure a better and secure future for us. We knew nothing about where it is we were really going but all that mattered was the destination and who would be there waiting for us. Which is never the case for some immigrants. It was just such a different time back in ’01. I remember it like it was yesterday as we said our goodbyes at Harare International Airport with our flight escort and the answers memorized to the questions we were bound to be asked. I was prepared with our suitcase and comforter in tow, and while the feeling was real (that we were leaving) it was too overwhelming to comprehend. So, while two of us waved everybody goodbye, the other one determined youngster who was barely six held her freshly minted buzz cut under a black and white check hat with face forward with only the set nugget in mind that Mom was on the side. She didn’t turn back because the life that she knew would only be a memory of the past in just some hours. How life definitely changed.
Having recently watched the movie, Brooklyn [which you can rent or buy on iTunes], I was overwhelmed with the feelings felt by Saoirse Ronan‘s character, Eilis Lacey and her journey to America as she embarked on her journey to her new life. It reminded me of what it was like for me when I immigrated to Scotland and then to Canada, and while I wasn’t alone, the feelings I felt were felt by me alone. Life changed in the most amazing way possible but I felt homesick and I missed my friends and my old life so much that while I knew we were there to stay with Mom, there was this void for a time. The obvious difference between myself and Eilis is that while she had to go on her journey alone, I was fortunate enough to be with family but one of the many truths that we are hit with in the movie, regardless of where you go is that “home…is home.” The Fox movie trailer below will melt your heart.
I found myself relating to her story and the hardships of calling a foreign country “home”. The reality of the situation became her truth, as well as mine, and it was in the last few scenes as she makes the journey back to her new home after a visit to her native Ireland that we finally understand what it means to immigrate. Your old life is not your future, and it is what’s ahead where your future awaits. Her story and anybody’s story who has had to call a foreign country “home” come full-circle with the new-found sense of possibility with a dose of uncertainty. New beginnings.
We immigrated to Scotland and started a new life. In those six (6) years I grew up and developed emotionally, mentally and physically. I forged new friendships and relationships with some amazing people, and before I knew it, it was time to move onto the next chapter of my life in a new country. Canada.
Life is far from easy when people relocate for a better future, but that challenge shows resilience and determination for something new and something wonderful. The challenges that immigrants face are never the same despite how far one relocates for the next adventure. If you have ever had to move, then much like Eilis in Brooklyn, you felt homesick, alone and scared in a foreign land. But, after a while, life started to make sense and it became familiar and soon you realized that the new is your future.The art of starting over is never easy, but while the concept might not be the first choice or easy choice for some, it is the only choice in order to secure a better life. The concept of “home” changes over time but the final truth, which I can attest to is that my home and future is where I am now. Where is your future?... N. xo