"Describing a little bit of my life style will be helpful in order to better understand all you'll read by the end of the page. I have lived in 3 countries and 7 cities in my 26 years of living and I can say that I have a little bit of experience about different cultures and life styles. I have been spending a lot of time in Midwest, I've experienced the European life style and the American one and it’s not too much to say that the Californian life style can be another category for itself. So you can understand that if I quote about immigration it’s not that far from me.
I left Iran at the age of 21. I've been living in different places for the last 6 years and have had friends from many more places that I can name. I've sat down at many tables and shared life with most of them and learned much more than I ever could by staying home(!!!), till the point that I lost where home is. If you take me apart, each piece of me is on one side of the world and I would never want any of those pieces to not be there in those places. I have had days of excitement, laughter, senselessness, sadness and even depression to share. I have also had days of loneliness as well as days of thankfulness for those in my life.
As I am typing these words I get closer to the point that brought me to this page today. I moved here to my 7th, and hopefully not my last, city almost 9 months ago. and everything was happening again from the moment I stepped in this city. From the excitement of new things all around me to not leaving the house for days at a time to watch movies for hours, to missing everyone and not liking any new experience. And today on my 9th month of being in town I feel like the baby of my new environment is coming out and I am carrying a lot of ordinary life on the side of letting all the excitement to go and it’s just me facing the new life! I am learning that life is life and I am an Iranian immigrant even in this state of over 1 million people. I am missing home, which I don’t even have a name for, the Home that I know has many doors and I can knock on all of them! I am missing the place where I know where exactly I will end up if I can’t sleep and I already found my favorite small coffee shop to be open after midnight! And guess what, I know I am on the third stage (I make stages for myself after experiencing them) of my culture shock and I had to come up with something to take me to the next stage for this one is not the easiest to deal with! I can say in my 7 moves, I have been dealing with this one at least 4 times.
So it’s appropriate to say I am writing on behalf of the ones around the world who can’t name a place as their home and can still smile and be blessed for each town or city they lived in. After all I have realized that with my young age I can still say that I have more experience...more than some people around me (just some of them and I have a long way to go to get to many of them)!
Recently I’ve been quoting (or thinking about) different views of being an immigrant such as ” You learn how to be happy with small things” or ” You learn to enjoy random things even if they are very usual to have at home” or so and so. And going on I am realizing more that I am thinking about the small good things to make my days, and to ease my third stage of culture shock. I always wanted to travel more and live in more places and I think finally I am finding small ways to make it easier and to enjoy the moments that can be hard to spend. I’ve been thinking about the new ones everyday and sometimes I miss writing them down and then I realize how much my words, our words, can have a big affect on my life, our lives, and how much we need to remember and remind our selves to enjoy moments and learn from the past. Not staying in the past can make life more interesting, enjoyable and we don’t need to be sad about what we lose but we gain a lot more and there is always time to remember the past and good memories, but there have been moments in the past too that make us sad, and even cry!
I am realizing how blessed I am for what God gave me ...or didn’t give me...and for how He let me experience so many different life styles, to live a lot of different lives in only 26 years and to look forward to what He has ahead. I will have some ups and downs too but I will enjoy them and all of the memories from them!"