photo from : traveller.autobarn.com
Faith and love brought me to live away from my origin. Dream and determination made me strong. Motherhood changed my world upside down. I did not regret every bit of it, but I have to admit it wasn’t an easy way.
My journey to adapt and adjust a new life in Australia was not always a smooth sailing. In my first year on the land down under I had a bit of rough path. It was not my first time living overseas. I went to study for couple years in the State. But I guess, life as a student and wife are completely different. I was young, confident, had no fear or care at that time. Now that I am married and just left my job to follow my better-half to live in his native country, suddenly, my confidence went to zero. I felt stupid, useless, financially relied on my new husband, and was very shy and sensitive.
One lovely evening, I walked my dog to the foreshore. Daffy, was one year old golden retriever, he was a very cute puppy. Encountered an elderly woman with her posh groomed white poodle, Daffy decided want to play. It was at the dog exercise area, mind you, where dogs actually can run around and play, off the leash. The pretty poodle was waggling her ( I assumed it was she ) tail and ran to approach Daffy, wanted to play too. I was watching two of them. Suddenly, the woman pointed her index finger to me and screamed: ” you…Asian girl, don’t you know how to walk your dog! Go back to your country, if you don’t know how to handle your dog!” The woman then scooped her poodle and walked away. I was stunned, speechless, and hurt that I couldn’t say anything back or defended myself.
That was just one of few similar episodes that I had experienced. I know I can’t generalized that most Australian or Caucasian are like that. Because, my lovely neighbors next door where we used to live were very nice to me. They just like my own parents. Until now, we still see each other regularly. My neighbors now are also very friendly, helpful and caring. We get along pretty good.
A sense of belonging, I believe that’s what most of us want. Some would find it easier than others. I found it not so easy and made me feel frustrated. Often I felt no matter how hard I try to fit in, to be accepted in this community, in the end they would not choose me to be in the group. They chose someone else who more like them. Rejection. Ouch. But it was not the end of the story. I got used to it and became kind of…. whatever, life’s already complicated enough so don’t sweat over little things….
Now almost fifteen years later, two kids and two countries I can say I gained my confidence back. I am a capable and independent woman and mother. I have my circle of friends both Australian and Asian. I am trying to help out in my community and blend in. But occasionally, I wonder where I belong to, where I fit. I am not white enough to be white and not black enough to be black either. I feel like I am still a stranger on a foreign land. I speak a language that isn’t my mother tongue and still can’t say it properly. I still can’t really understand the joke.
I’ve been living in my adopting country for more than a decade and I am glad to call it home now. No matter what I think home is where your heart is and where your loved ones are, despite all the drama, right or wrong, I am part of it now.
To the fellow Australian, happy Australia Day….Aussie Oi Oi Oi! Enjoy the sun, sea, BBQ, beer, and pavlova! 🙂