Innermost feelings of a 29-year-old Vietnamese woman living in Canada.

At age 29, married with a 3-year-old child, everything in my life was running smoothly… until I made a decision. I left my husband and child to study abroad in Canada on my own, with the intention to finish my studies, find a job, then apply for immigration and sponsor my family to come over. This decision totally changed my life and the life of my family.

Many people asked me how and why I was so daring? How did I have the bravery to leave my husband and my son behind like that? Some people said that I am such a strong woman. To be honest, I did not realize that I was so daring nor since when did I become stronger. Sometimes, I feel sad when people call me a strong woman. They don’t know that I shed tears on the bus, from home to work or school every day. They never know that I shed tears every night when thinking of my family.

I’d also foreseen moments of weakness and homesickness.

I thought over and over before making my final decision, visualizing the different scenarios of my future and my family’s future. I’d also foreseen moments of weakness and homesickness. But, even though I had expected the sadness, the reality was much more difficult. Besides the days of optimism for the future ahead, there were days when I just wanted to give up. In those moments, I asked myself what I was doing alone in this cold land. As my child was growing up, I was missing the cutest stage., I felt I should with my child and husband instead of being alone. I longed to hold my child in my arms, and to stroll through the park together with my husband every evening as we used to do in Vietnam.

But, even though I had expected the sadness, the reality was much more difficult.

As the days go by, even though I am halfway through my journey, every step I’m taking is filled with nostalgia.
I still remember one day when I was working a part-time job. It was Vietnamese Women’s Day – October 20th, according to Vietnamese calendar. After work, I was afraid of missing the bus, so I asked my colleague for a ride to the bus station. This colleague was also new to Canada, but unlike me, she lived with her husband and children. Her husband came to pick her up, and he asked me if I was afraid of being late for the bus. I replied, “I might have enough time.” Hearing my response, he immediately took out from his car a surprise gift that he gave his wife on the occasion of the Vietnamese Women’s Day. She was amazed. I was, of course, surprised and could only admire it and say “Wow.” After we parted, I took the bus home alone. All the way back, my tears kept falling. It was somewhat graceless,s because who would cry out against another’s happiness? But, it was true that I couldn’t help control my tears…

As a woman, who doesn’t want to be loved and protected? But after crying, I wiped my tears away and tried to strengthen my resolve a little more. Just like that, I have become stronger. Ever since then, I didn’t even notice these things.

T.P

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