It’s rare that I’ll make a personal post like this public, but with the hype around Trump’s election and unrest around the world, I felt compelled to share my version of what it feels like to be a foreigner. Now, I’m not claiming that my situation is in any way as bad as those facing deportation or prosecution, but that doesn’t mean that my experience doesn’t matter. My story will show how regardless of your circumstance, wherever you are in the world, as a foreigner, you’ll always live in some degree of fear.
As many of you may know, I left Canada about a year and a half ago to go to Ireland on a working holiday. The idea to move originally materialised because of love between man and woman, but even after things took a turn for the worse I still decided to come. I desperately needed change in my life and moving to Ireland, even if it was a daily reminder of loss, was something I had to do for myself. Unlike many other young “Swappers” who had just graduated, I immediately started a stable job, found a nice place to live, and for the first time in a long time, could see what my future looked like. Now that visa policies have changed, my current plans may have altered with a rippling effect that leaves my future as a black, empty space of unknown.
Alas, good things never last, as I should very well have learned with all the things/people I’ve had to part with in my short 23 years. Before leaving Canada, I wrote this post about how what scared me the most wasn’t finding a job or making new friends; what scared me the most was finding exactly what I was looking for and having to leave it all behind.
I didn’t come to Dublin and immediately think, “wow, this is my long-lost home!“; but my idea of discovering ‘home’ was too idealistic. Over the past year, I became part of a community, and Dublin became home. It became home in ways so much more meaningful than Toronto, because the life I built, I built from scratch. This is a life I built for me.
Who knows, maybe I’m fretting over nothing and my current plans won’t have altered at all. Maybe they’ll be altered for the better. These are things out of my control now, and I’ll have to accept whatever is handed me. But it doesn’t erase the fact that for those of us who aren’t in possession of a particular passport, life is always in flux. For us, on a much bigger scale, the only thing that is constant, is change.