Tuesday 2 August 2022

To the Immigrant in all of us...

It’s been 2.5 years since I packed up my bags from a life I loved to move to Canada. I remember getting lots of advice when I was moving out here, but one has stuck with me more than others.

 “Canada is going to try to tell you who you are…who you should be…or that who you were before did not matter. No matter what happens, don’t listen to it. Don’t forget who you are.”

At the time, I thought it was an odd advice and certainly an unnecessary one. I knew who I was. Fast forward a couple months in Canada, I didn’t know who I was. Career wise, I went from a General Counsel to a Paralegal because that’s what Canada told me I was worthy of and I believed her. I remember a recruiter calling me to tell me about a job opening for a receptionist position and from her accent, I knew she was also an immigrant. I told her I was only open to Paralegal roles while I completed the process to requalify in Canada. The tone of her voice changed and I could hear the anger in her voice. She told me “No one is going to hire a new immigrant as a Paralegal. You have to start from scratch…look at me, I also started from scratch and I’ve grown”. I replied calmly letting her know I recently started a new role as a Senior Paralegal and you could hear the shock in her voice. She congratulated me and asked to keep in touch. I agreed but that was the last I heard from her.

When people would ask me what I am, I would say I used to be a lawyer, but now I work as a Paralegal. For a year, I kept telling people that, but most importantly, I kept telling myself that. It was not entirely true. I let Canada tell me who I was…who I should be…and that who I was before did not matter. It was a lie.

One day, when I was talking to someone and they asked me what I did. I replied “I am a Lawyer, but cannot practice in Canada yet, so I currently work as a Manager of Contracts and Privacy in a Tech company in the meantime." The person looked flawed by that statement and even I was flawed. I had taken back my power from Canada. I remembered who I was…who I am…and that what I used to do and currently do matters.

So, I’m writing this for all the physical immigrants and to the immigrants in all of us whether we’ve left our homes or not. Do not let anyone tell you who are. Do not let anyone tell you who you should be. Do not let anyone tell you that who you were did not matter. You control your own narrative.

#VannaMail: This post was initially published as VannaMail #1, a monthly newsletter I send out to select people who Sign up here. I have posted this here due to popular demand from people who signed up after August 1. For all other #VannaMails, please Sign up here.

FASHION: I bought this dress last Black Friday for my Tulum trip but it came while I was in Tulum, so I never got to wear it. It's a light corset dress. I find that corset dresses can be a hit or miss. They can do too much sometimes, but this was a cute one. Would I buy it in many colours? Probably not, but I like it for a nice afternoon summer. The dress is sold out, but I found another corset dress I like HERE and a SECONDTHIRDFOURTH and FIFTH option as well. I paired this with my Lack of Color HAT, an Australian brand I like. The hats are on the pricey side but really good quality. The heels are my tested and trusted Tom Form dupe that I have wrote about HERE. The basket is thrifted and the sunnies are a random pair I picked up in-store from Aldo. 

Love & Light,

4 yorum:

  1. Thanks for sharing! I can relate to this…a lot of people said I’d have to start from customer service but thank God I got a job in my field before I even left Nigeria. When my husband moved, they said he’ll have to start from factory job…I told him not on my watch! He was also able to get a job within 3 months of arrival in his field. Thanks for sharing your story, It’ll encourage a lot of people.

    1. I'm so glad that you did not listen to any of the noise and that God showed Himself in your lives!!!

  2. First I'll like to say I love how you easily transitioned back into blogging.
    Coming from someone that's about to make a major move
    This post is very timely.

    1. Thank youu! I just decided to go for it. It's me in my most natural element. And yes to making major moves....don't let anyone make you doubt yourself! You've got this!


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