April 6, 2011

Tug-of-War

I feel crappy today. Every day I fight an internal tug-of-war. Trying to be a good mother, a good wife, a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend, and a good employee. On a good day, I suck at just some of these things. On a bad day, I feel like I suck at everything.

My biggest struggle comes in trying to be a good daughter and a good mother. I struggle with grasping onto a culture that is slowly slipping away from me, and which is totally foreign to my husband. I struggle with trying to keep some sort of cultural ties for the sake of my daughter. At the same time, I've been so far removed from this culture that I'm awkward around it. Whenever I meet other Brazilians here, they tend not want to hang out with me because I'm too "Canadianized". My accent is funny, and I am awkward around their customs. I am an onlooker. I feel equally uncomfortable around them, unable to speak their slang and talk about stuff back home. Back home is a distant childhood memory which gets refreshed every couple of years with a brief two-week visit.

The little bit of this lost culture that I do have here is in the form of food (never a bad thing) and heavy parental involvement. In everything. More involvement than any "true" Canadian is used to (if there is indeed such a thing), and certainly a culture shock for the hubby.

To add to the struggle, is my desire to find my footing and feel free and comfortable to embrace who I truly am. Goofy (crude and immature at times), procrastinating, loud-mouthed, atheist, opinionated, music lover, shutter bug, geek, avid reader, and workout nut. And yet my inner struggle strives to keep parts of the real me locked up, parts unable to emerge, because if they do, they become the ugly truth that the parental figures don't really want to deal with. And it makes me sad. For how can I live my life, raise my daughter, if I feel in this constant state of limbo? And it is a constant struggle. On a good day, I can ignore it. On a bad day, it hits hard. And it hurts, and I just want to crawl into a cave and stay there.

1 comment:

Fawn said...

I wish I had some words of wisdom for you. Instead, just a hug.