I typically write lots of about fashion, lifestyle and other various narcissistic approaches to all other mediums of life. Today I’m compelled to write about something different. Something personal.
I want to discuss the taboo drift which people experience when we leave one culture for another. Because I did. I left one culture which made me miserable for another. I drifted into another world where I am happier and significantly more liberated in more aspects than I can write down.
Rest assured that I am very much aware of when the two collide and that I can always pin point what habits belong to which culture. Im itching to give those two worlds a name but I won’t. Because I don’t think that the misery I experienced is exclusive to these two cultures, my past and present.
Additionally, let me clarify that I left a culture behind. Not religion. The two are not nor will they ever be mutually exclusive. When I realized that there was no fixing of what was broken beyond belief, I decided to move on. I faced backlash from my family, my community and I got shunned for it.
Before deciding to take the big leap, I remember asking a lot of questions. And instead of getting satisfactory answers, my curiosity and confusion was met with voices filled with garbage reasonings and bullshit anecdotes of “I am older therefore I know better.”.
They could never explain to me why I was only allowed to be one way and one way only, submissive. They could never look at me in the eye when I would ask them why I couldn’t become an archeologist and move to Egypt alone. They could never tell me why my male cousins were always urged to touch the stars and I was pacified with star stickers in a Barbie art book.
But I do remember how they would howl and ramble for hours on end that I didn’t have to worry about acquiring an education because I was going to grow up and be an above average catch for a suitable husband who would take care of me. Why would I be above average? Because I am fair. Light eyes. Thick hair. Decent features. Whats not to love? right? Or so they thought.
I remember drifting at the wee age of 11. I started denouncing the idea that a woman is to be soft, graceful, submissive and a host fit for the Gods. I began getting into sports and I began chiseling my edges making them sharp enough to destroy even those who didn’t mean me any harm. I was a child scorn. I had every intention of destroying everyone and the entire social construct around me.
I was 14 when I flipped a cosmic-sized bird to my entire family and began dating. I took a big ol dump on their beliefs that women have their husbands decided for them by the family. Because women apparently are inept of doing anything for their goddamn selves except cooking and cleaning a house. That, they can do themselves. We(women) can figure out how to make 18 different dishes but can’t figure out whether a man will be good for us or not. WELP.
Then came the big move where I left that culture and moved miles away to the other side of the world. Finally a place which actually matched the society which had, up until then, only existed in my mind. I was suddenly around people who knew how to mind their own business. I was around people who didn’t think any less of me than my male counterparts. There wasn’t a double standard anymore. I was around teachers and councillors who were doing everything to ensure that I would become an archeologist or a writer. These people, these kids, who had all sorts of teen situations, from poorly bleached hair, acne, braces, greasy hair, that same hoodie from last week, never once made me feel awful about how I looked.
My high school career was perhaps the last straw in me giving up my past entirely. This new found perspective had taken a toll on my relationships because I was no longer the person I had been. I was a new woman. I had plans, a wit about me, a support group and most of all, I had HOPE. I was unafraid of speaking my mind, unafraid of buying that hot pink hair dye for $7.99 and giving myself a hot pink streak Á la Avril Lavigne (Best Damn Thing).
I share this snippet of my past today from Simon Fraser University. I have been in a relationship my fiancé for 7 and a half years. I have steel grey hair. 10 piercings. I work in fashion. My 2nd sister is a badass with green hair and she’s Masterchef material. My 3rd sister is wicked smart and breathes sarcasm. We liberated ourselves from a backwards, male-praising culture, into a new culture which celebrates our crazy hair, our loud mouths, our approach to fashion and most importantly, we move on to a culture which makes the room bigger for us. Instead of being told that we are too much and faced with demands to compress our personalities, the room grows for us. This cultures broadens itself us.
Today, our parents stand for us and our craziness. They enjoy our “unfeminine” banter and love how competitive we are. They support our gaming habits and how we love gun games(we’re better than you, bet). They have never asked us to go and stand in the kitchen. They did instil one value in us though, cleanliness is next to godliness. We enjoy a clean home and take cleaning seriously. Other than that, we’re total badasses. The only place that the drift has been acknowledged and accepted is our home and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.