Tuesday, 28 June 2016

On identity and the weirdness that comes along with it

Identity is this really weird thing where you're expected to kinda know exactly where you belong in this world. (Obviously not everyone does know, but it feels like you're expected to know anyways. (Which is lame.)) You can identify yourself with different people and things and whatever, so I say that I'm a sister and a daughter and a niece and a granddaughter and a friend and a neighbour. I'm also a pharmacist assistant, (a Spider-Man fan,) a deferred engineering student, a high school graduate and a writer. I'm also an immigrant. (Hence this post.)


All of that is pretty easy to identify with. Obviously, it's easy to say that I'm a sister or a high school graduate or a Marvel fan because those are facts. (We all know I'm a Marvel fan. The end.) The difficulty for me comes in when I'm trying to identify as either a Canadian or Australian. 

I've been reading this blog lately (it's called Writing with Colour and is a fantastic resource for writers who want to write People of Colour) and one of the posts was talking about how one Chinese-Canadian immigrant felt too Chinese for the Canadians but too Canadian for his Chinese friends. I think that's sort of where I'm at now, where it's difficult to explain all of my experiences to my Canadian/Australian friends and family because it's so difficult for them to understand. 

It's gotten better for me, I think. (I know, I know, everything's always about me, but let's be honest, it's my blog here.) The longer I'm in Australia, the more I'm able to say that I'm Canadian-Australian, and the better I'm able to deal with the weirdness that comes with it. Like figuring out where I should live one day, or what nationality I should call myself or coming to terms with the fact that I can no longer say that I'm 100% Canadian. I'm getting used to being both, even if it's weird and hard somedays. I think it just comes with time. 

So yeah. I'm not sure what the point of this post was, other than to rant and ramble a little bit. 

Do you ever get confused about your identity? 

8 comments:

  1. Identity can be confusing because I'm both Nigerian and Irish (I'm an immigrant). However, I came here when I was 2 and I don't remember not living here o.O

    It's awkward not being Native Irish because a lot of the Native Irish only see you as Irish if you're Native Irish. Also, I still know a lot about Nigerian culture because of my parents (and I can speak in a Nigerian accent and pidgin English but not the language xD). So it's... I dunno. I guess I'm just both. Recently, I just wanted to stop identifying myself as Irish but then I noticed that my accent has gotten a lot thicker o.O

    Well I guess it's different because there are other Nigerian-Irish people here as well. Yup yup.

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    1. *high fives for being an immigrant*

      I wish you the best of luck with figuring out your identity. I'd give you some advice, but I honestly have no clue what I'm doing so I suppose we can figure this thing out together :) (That's crazy that some people don't see you as Native Irish, though, because you were so young when you moved.) Thanks for commenting, Grace!

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  2. FELLOW SPIDER-MAN FAN! *high fives*

    This is a very interesting post. I think people don't realize that when you are among a different mixes of people for long periods of times, you end up feeling like you don't belong at all. You feel like you don't fit into different groups of people but rather you fit in the spaces between the groups.

    In clogging, I'm at this weird skill level that is above those in my class, but not quiet high enough to keep up with advanced dancers at clogging conventions. It's frustrating at conventions trying to attended classes that aren't too easy nor too difficult.

    Great post!

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    1. PS And I love that photo! Makes me hungry. :)

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    2. YEAH!!!! *high fives back* (Also, they've starting filming for the next Spider-Man movie. *screams*)

      Oh my goodness, "You feel like you don't fit into different groups of people but rather you fit in the spaces between the groups." YOU JUST SUMMED UP MY LIFE. *brain explodes* That was perfect!

      Yes, that's exactly what it's like! Good luck with advancing your skills so you can join the advanced dancers! And that's so cool that you dance, too.

      (Thank you! Funny story, it was actually part of my bucket list. I went into a bakery in Rome and ordered the most complex, ridiculously pretty thing I could find (thus checking it off my bucket list). Each layer was a different flavour, it blew my mind.)

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  3. THIS IS THE BEST POST EVER DO YOU KNOW WHY?

    I'll tell you why.

    (Lucky you??)

    I was six when I left England. My family is English. I am English. I have an English accent. My friends all think I'm very posh. I can't tell someone I'm doing a gap year without them making fun of my poshness by saying "gap yah gap yah!" But recently I've been wondering, how English am I anymore? I have such a strong identification with Glasgow, because it's the only city I've ever known. As I say, I was six when I left England; I remember school, church, our house, the park, and not much else. I didn't have a city, or even really a town. I do feel English, but I can't tie myself to any region with much conviction; whereas I feel so Glaswegian. But when I say that people make fun of me, because I don't sound Glaswegian.

    And it makes me really really sad. As I'm sure you know, Britain at the moment is suffering from racism and xenophobia as immigrants and refugees enter the country, fleeing Syria etc. And people say that they can't be Scottish, if they speak with a different accent, or weren't born here? Even their children, who were born here! One of my best friends is third gen Pakistani, but hello, she is Scottish, but because she's not white there are some who can't seem to accept her Scottishness. "If you wear a hijab you can't be British."

    !!!!!!!

    And I just-- Don't people know that a country can adopt you? And that you can adopt a country??

    I'm going to explore this in LesMisBook. The MC, Nina, is British (I haven't worked out if it's set in England or in Scotland yet), but her mum is Irish and her dad is Indian. She has quite dark skin considering she's mixed race; she tells people she has one white parent, and they kinda look at her like "are you sure??" And her grandparents on both sides don't 100% accept her. Her Catholic grandparents still can't believe their daughter married an Indian man, and her Indian grandmother is always making comments like "well, Nina, you could be quite pretty if it weren't for your coarse European hair!" She is like -_____-

    It is meant to be quite light-hearted because she is comfortable with her identity, but she does get annoyed when people are like "where are you from??" and she says "Britain" and they're like "... oh."

    Anyway, I LOVE THIS POST and this topic has been often on my mind and in my heart of late.

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    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

      I wish you the best of luck with trying to figure out your identity! It sucks too, because it's hard enough trying to figure out your identity without anyone else messing it up for you. Because if you feel that you're from Glasgow, then you're from Glasgow. You can be English and be from Glasgow if you want, because you are and it just matters how you feel. Other people shouldn't bother you about your identity because it's none of their business.

      THAT MAKES ME ANGRY. LIKE REALLY, REALLY ANGRY. Who cares what accent you speak with? Who cares what clothes you wear? And I absolutely love that, "A country can adopt you... and you can adopt a country" because it's so 100% true. The end.

      That sounds like an amazing idea! It sounds like you've got it all figured out, especially with family issues and the dreaded "oh, where are you from?" *smashes something*

      I'm so glad you liked it! Thanks for the wonderful comment!

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    2. Whoa... I imagined you in a Scottish accent for all this time...

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