- crossing boundaries
Facing the fears I grew up with was challenging. Latino – Chinese born and raised, obviously two worlds collided with no winners on the battlefield. The Chinese factor, still predominant, on my mom side; my dad’s first generation was loosing ground. But his blood was pure. On my mom’s side, she was 2nd generation. So I was literally 70% Chinese with the other 30% Latino complications. Very conflicting and compelling at the same time.
I am the 4th in line, the youngest, the girl in the family. Mom’s favourite if you would’ve thought. Nope. The oldest of the boys, of course the first one took the throne away. It was a 3 to 1 score. I decided not to lower my guard and go against the flow. Yeah right.
Every time we sat at the table for our meals, no talking when you are eating, only when you finished. Say good morning, good afternoon, good night. In Chinese. Study hard. Succeed. No questions until after meals are eaten…… being the last one; again being number 4th, had to wait a long time. If my bother number was lucky to be listened to, was a lucky situation from Mom or Dad to be considered.
My parents way of teaching was to let us know survive on our own devices. Perhaps brother number one , who got all the acknowledgement was to teach us everything he learned from our parents. Encouraging. My mom praised: ‘you will know how to react to life’s situations’ when ur time comes.
Hello? – I’m the only girl in the family Meh
The 4 of us grew up looking forward to study totally different careers: Administration, Mechanics, Programming and Advertising. All of them demanding lots of communication, skills. Being bold and confident in every single way, was the key to survive. No room for shy people lady!
As adults we all departed our own separate ways.
Guided by trial and error; that was at least better than waiting for the lucky lady to come and help us.
Time passed by and the opportunity to migrate to another country showed up in the horizon. I love challenges, I took it. A door of opportunities just opened bright for me. A new world of opportunities was to open In front for me.
Jobs just started to become more scarce in my country as the government was not keeping up with solving the country’s problems. I decided to give a try. Maybe an opportunity is waiting for me somewhere.
The question was – where?
I went to the Canadian Embassy and applied for a visa, hoping my credentials would be beneficial to complete and graduate on my career.
Four months later, an acceptance letter arrived. More documentation was required, so I proceed to request the required documentation for the final approval. Also needed were the passports photos.
I was also interviewed to prove the authority’s my fluency in English.
To reinforce my English pronunciation , I continued studying English pronunciation, to ease on my Spanish speaking pronunciation that identifies. easily this language. I like to sing, so I started to sing along the music being played on the radio.
At that time, karaoke was starting to be the favourite for parties and weddings; and weekend family reunions.
One Monday morning, I received a letter snd an informative package. I got approved and accepted to migrate to Canada. I just needed to go and pick up my passport.
2 years later, I embarked on a plane were the final destination.
Once landed, had to study English first. Then apply for a job. I had to break my shyness. I went back to having an increased sense of insecurity.
Lots of verbal training and vocabulary, still practicing, shy on conversations. I was afraid of saying or sounding awkwardly stupid, my introverted personality increased.
I had to find a job.
I had to break the ice.
I had to gain my confidence back.
A year passed by and landed my first job. A friend recommended me to work at a dry cleaners company. I had to quit due to my transfer to a higher level English and fluency. Yes, it sounded too good to be true, but still not confident enough to carry a proper conversion. Still shy.
Many opportunities to apply for a job were present at that time, it was easy to apply, and the employer supported you on the time slot work, to allocate time for studying the new language.
Due to my grammar and vocabulary, I only needed to be more fluent. Needed a different type of job. By word of word mouth, I learned a new company was looking for people to work filling orders, with a possibility of moving up in the original position for what they applied for. And I applied for it. And got accepted.
I started as a packer. Then I was given an opportunity to process online orders, filing, administrative support. That forced me to be more fluent on my pronunciation. One day, I overcame that fear, and took over different positions throughout the company. I also learn a new job: manufacturing and packing of teas. I was offered to implement their packing snd blending of their products, security and design of their online business. The company also gave me opportunity to edit their product catalogue along with the maintenance of their website. The company started not only to export, imports of finished related products were added to the variety of products already being sold e everywhere.
My English started to become my steady everyday talking language, taking over my mother tongue, Spanish.
I even forgot when that change happened. My shyness disappeared. Not only speaking wise, but writing wise. Now I’m writing to keep my anxiety down during lockdown times. I have discovered that writing ng relaxes me. And keeps my mental health in good shape.