I left behind my heart and everything that I had known…. I left behind everything, great friends, my family, my parents, my in-laws, great businesses, great work, great contacts, financial security, familial security……… and I took a leap of faith thinking maybe I’ll find it all again.
Above everything else I am a “mother”. I want my kids to have well-rounded, real life experiences. I want them to know diversity, to meet different types of people and to interact with different religions. I want them to know that the world is a safe place; a mindful place; a respectful place.
I clearly remember the day we landed at Pearson; I had the worst feelings of anxiety– it was the most intimidating part of the entire journey. We were tired, we were emotionally exhausted; we had no clue what was going to happen. As soon as we got off the plane, we lined up to go through immigration. The kids were tired, whiny and they wanted water – even through all that chaos, we felt the warmth when everyone around us said “welcome to Canada”.
These 3 simple words redefined my life for me. Hearing people all around us say “we are so happy to have you here” – emotionally broke me and I started crying. Somebody came along and took the kids on the side, to let them have a seat, to make them more comfortable. Seeing absolute strangers wish us well in our settlement journey and offer help in any way they could was the nicest thing ever. It was the most incredible feeling; I felt so wanted – you just feel like this is home, this is where I can be me. I am a 100% sure this does not happen in any other country.
I want to thank Alizeh, my friend who welcomed us into her home in our early days; she was instrumental in helping us settle. From opening bank accounts to getting our phone lines, to making sure we had food, groceries, everything! We lived at her friends place in downtown TO until we found a place of our own. Our kids are our first priority and so we chose to live in North York within a very good school’s boundary. North York was far away from everything and everyone we knew and so we moved to Mississauga after a year. In the beginning our biggest challenge was sorting out life; you are used to everything being in place and then suddenly you are thinking of buying a spoon and a mattress and thinking of how you will carry them up the stairs. Immigration magnifies every challenge and exhausts you in the process. What really helps is how structured the systems are in Canada – everything works and works like clockwork. Everything is documented, and there’s always an answer to every question. There are people to guide you; there are helplines to help you. The facilities that exist and the way people help you out is outstanding.
Coming to Canada is a very grounding experience – you realize what is important. You also realize that who you know is not as important. It’s really about “who you are” and “who you can become”. I feel blessed and lucky and I am proud to say that I have fallen in love with Canada – the diversity, the people, the safety and the organization, the control, the discipline, it’s incredible that everything works, come hail or storm. Every day there is something that I see which makes me say “thank God, thank God that I made this decision to move to Canada”. This decision is not easy – the journey is hard but I know its the right one.
Canada was not new to me – I started my professional education in upstate New York, but soon after I moved to McGill in Quebec. I fell in love with Montreal, the greenery, the expanse, the freedom, the sense of security and liberty……. There’s a place in Montreal called Mount Royale park; we also called it “bongo park”. Going there in the summer to listen to the drums, feel the incredible rhythm and beat and watch people dance while sitting on a big expanse of green is one of my most exhilarating memories from university.
I have a degree in Psychology from McGill and I am a professional stylist; I do hair and makeup. I have my own studio and I work on private locations. In Canada I have been able to apply my education and combine my skills. I work as a trainer with marginalized women to help them build skills to assimilate back into society. I spend my days working in different capacities, I enjoy being a trainer and most of all I enjoy helping people.
The great part about living in Canada is that you feel “included”- I’m looking forward to my life here and establishing myself further in Canada – I’m looking forward to raising my children as Canadians – I’m looking forward to them learning to play ice hockey!
Moving to Canada has helped me find myself, it has helped me find my priorities, define who I am and what is important which I feel I may not have done had I not come here.
I am looking forward to giving back to society, being a positive member of the community, to help people, to make a difference, to make a mark on the community I live in, to give back something to Canada because it gave me amazing opportunities. I want to prove that there was a reason for me to come here and I can make a positive contribution.
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Your New Mom BFF!!! I am a regular mom but I choose to live my life to the fullest in high heels and fiery red lipstick. I want to share everything I have learnt (and I have learnt a lot) about skin, beauty, food, health and LIFE – Lets just say I know what's the secret to glowing skin and how your night cream can get you there - and how you can get a flat tummy after 3 kids from my years of working on top brands as a marketing manager. Hope to see more of you!