I was reading Meg Crane’s zine when I saw her ad calling for submissions for her zine’s April/May 2014 issue. The topic was about travelling and journeys. It was something I could completely relate to, and it was something that I wanted to share to everyone. And because I would rather write my story than talk about it, I signed up to write it.
I had a difficult time writing it because I cried a few times when I was writing it. When I’m writing, I usually write a few sentences then read them again. So every time I reread them or if the idea really resonated to me, I tear up. Even after reading it for this post, I teared up a little bit.
Here’s a short excerpt (or parts where I always get emotional):
When you’re a minority, it feels completely different. It changes your world and your view about the world.
You feel like you don’t belong. You feel like they’re giving you disgusted looks. You feel like they’re judging you. You feel like they’re being condescending. You feel like they’re not treating you right just because you’re different. Your self-esteem goes all the way down until you lose the self-confidence you’ve built your entire life.
It’s hard. It’s really hard. But everything will be alright.
You will only fully understand how it feels to be discriminated when you have been discriminated.
This is one of my favourite parts:
I’ve accepted that I will never become white. I have learned to embrace my identity. It took me six years to figure this out and I think I’m still in that journey. The journey of finding and accepting myself.
Before coming here, I thought it was going to be easy and simple. All I had to do was get my education and get a job to help myself and my parents. I was 19 then. I was young. I was naive. I have learned so much in the past six years that sometimes I find it hard to believe that I have survived in Canada this long.
It takes courage to leave your past and start a new life.
My story doesn’t end here. There’s a reason why I moved here, so I have to know what that is.
Life is full of ups and downs. There are times when you’re at the top, and there are times when you’re at the bottom. There’s nothing wrong with starting over. Leaving your past and learning from your mistakes make you a better and stronger person. So whatever it is that you’re going through now, don’t give up. Don’t lose hope.
Grab a copy of Cockroach zine’s April/May 2014 issue to know more about my story and to read other people’s stories about their own journeys. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow them on Twitter @cockroachzine, or like them on Facebook. You can also grab a copy on Etsy or at Winnipeg Makers & Market.