Friday, March 30, 2012

Paralysed and depressed

   There is nothing depressing about this post. Nothing. I promise.

   The earth is now in the spring equinox so snow won't be coming until late fall and there won't be another cold and depressing winter until mid-November or December. Or maybe it might snow before April ends. One will never know. This is Canada afterall. But just because I'm talking about paralysis and depression don't mean that I'm paralysed and depressed. Far from it actually. But I'm not saying that I'm happy right now, at this moment, because I'm not, and that's an entirely different story, but I am happy today. Of my present disposition in life.

   I was reading an old blog post titled "Paralysis" about this Filipino woman I met on the bus. She told me she missed the shopping malls and Filipino foods. On my mind, I don't blame her. But I was surprised when she told me she has lived in Canada longer than me. And the reason why she missed the Filipino culture was because she didn't like this new culture that she's living in. I find that disappointing, because I think (and as I wrote on the post) that one should learn the cultures of a new country--especially if he or she is permanently living in the said country. I'm not saying that one should completely forget about his or her culture, but he or she should make an effort to accept a new culture into his or her life. I don't want to judge the woman because I don't have the right to judge her. However, with her manner of speaking it sounded like she didn't want to assimilate into a new culture.

   I guess this denial of accepting a new culture is part of an immigrant's experience, where he or she has trouble accepting the reality of living in another country. It is difficult to deny one's culture and learn a new one. This process makes one have a dual self, living two identities at the same time. It takes one to immediately transition from one self to another self in order to adapt to the environment and surroundings. I don't know how it goes for other people, but this is exactly what it's like for me.

    Keeping up with two cultures is difficult especially in today's technology where I have access to the Internet and I can chat or talk to my friends in the Philippines. But to be honest, I don't do it often. I used to do it a lot, like, everyday. I used to check my Facebook everyday and check my friends' Facebook updates everyday if they held parties or reunions. But that is so 2009 (because they had the reunion in 2009. heh.). Nowadays, I rarely check my friends on Facebook for two reasons: one, I don't have all the time in the world to spend looking up for their profiles everyday when I have other things to do on the virtual world and in the real world. Second, the more I see them, the more parties and reunions I miss, the more they have fun with their lives, I get jealous. There it is. I admit it. And I just digressed. But this example from my life is one of the reasons why a person denies a new culture. Why he or she does not want to learn a new culture because he or she does not want to miss out on what his or her friends are doing in their home country. I hope I don't sound cynical but I am sure no one checks my Facebook everyday (because I rarely update it) the same way I used to check it everyday. Unless someone really wants to know what's going on in my life, they'll make an effort to chat with me the same way I'll chat with them. Anyway, this is becoming too personal (and I don't mean to attack anyone) so I better stop. The point is, one reason why I used to be paralysed and depressed is because I close myself to new possibilities instead of branching out in this new country. So I tried to change. And it helped, quite a bit, because I can now see a change in myself (like rarely checking Facebook). I don't deny that I miss them, because I do. I miss them a lot. I miss my old friends. But that's it. That's where it ends. I already have a new life. I should just be happy that I have a whole new life ahead of me, new challenges that await me, new people who would like to meet me (I hope), and new places that I can't wait to travel. There is no use bringing up the past because I'm already living in the present for my future. 

    So one solution for an immigrant to not be depressed? Open up to a whole new life and accept the reality of it all. Difficult as it is, the learning experience is worth it. 

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