Thursday, May 01, 2008

Layered Life!

Where have you been, Azadeh? Seriously! It has been a long time already! Come one, woman! Come back and write! Haha…I know! I have been gone for too long! Well, I can’t say that life has been too hard or come up with any of similar excuses. In fact, lately my days and nights have been plentiful. I had an internship at a human rights organization these past few months and worked part-time on the side to make some pocket money.

These past few months I have been around great friends and amazing individuals. I have also been blessed with much alone time…Azadeh time….Me time. I have somehow realized that since moving to the US (about 6 years ago) I have been constantly running and hoping to accomplish more things in my new life. I have hardly ever paused and looked back at the person that I was and the person that I have become. I have mostly run! And so these past few months that I have given myself the time to somehow evaluate the new person that I am, I have faced way too many surprises to the point that I sometimes even feel alienated from myself. I guess that is what this country does to you –with all the opportunities and the hard work that you have to do to earn them. These past few months of self-evaluation have made me realize that I have become more Americanized that I had ever imagined, that I have become so absorbed in this new world that I can hardly even truly get in touch with the Azadeh that one day left Iran while holding her mother’s hand and waving good-bye to her father. And the hard part is that in becoming Americanized, you are always facing approximation of something that you will never fully become: American! I feel, this approximation and the fading away of the “authentic” self is what cause much distress and alienation from everything in the lives of many immigrants who have left their birthplace at a young age. It is as if you spend the rest of your life being nostalgic about losing you original self and feeling fake for never changing enough to fully fit in your new life. It is odd how even in a society like the US where most of the people you meet are immigrants; you still cannot really escape feelings of such nature.

While I respect all those who go through this process, I somehow have always wanted to escape much of these “immigration” traumas and that is why up until now I have mostly disregarded these thoughts that have been marching around in my mind for a while. But, as unnecessary as these wonders and internal questions of post-immigration might seem, they determine so much of the person that you are and your responsibilities in your new society and your birthplace. I mean these questions are the questions that become the tallest walls of communication when I talk with my friends in Iran. When they speak of what they face everyday, I somehow become a stranger and when I say some words about my life here, it is their turn to think of me as a person who has really forgotten the place that she has left behind.

What is really wrong with accepting the gray area in which immigrants like me exist? I have decided to embrace that unknown question about me that is: Where do I belong? In which of these societies to which I belong, am I responsible to make a difference? I have sickened myself by being constantly nostalgic about the Azadeh that I, one day, was in another world. Quite frankly, I think I belong to all the places in which I have breathed and spent good and bad days and nights. I think I am responsible for all of those lands and all of those peoples! Even if being a part of too many places is to make my life harder and more confusing, I still cannot really change the layered life that I have lived and I continue to live!


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