Being Canadian Living Outside of Canada

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#IAMCANADIAN 

 

It’s one of the best hashtags and marketing campaigns ever launched by a beer company.  It kind of gave Canadian’s permission to be loud and proud about it, rather than just being internally proud to be a part of one of the best countries in the entire world.

I furrow my eyebrows when people claim that I have to be “American” now that I am immigrated and living in Texas.   The first thing I ask those people is… “If you moved to Australia would you still be American?”  The answer is always a resounding “yes!” and then I grin and say “Me too. I was born there and raised there for 42 years.  I am a Canadian.”

The tug is subtle.  The expectation now that I have moved here I will be an “American”.  I kind of get nailed on it from both directions; people back in Canada think I am an American “traitor” of sorts.  After all, why would you leave Canada? Some American’s feel that I sound ungrateful and that I should be proud to be an American because I have been granted the profound right to live here.

I tend to look at it as… you got a really, really, really… great immigrant who busts her butt, pays taxes and doesn’t shoot anyone.  Yanno?

My husband could have lived in Australia or Russia when I met him.  The journey that took me out of Canada and to where Kevin and his sons lived was a matter of destiny I think.  You fall in love, you know you want a life together… you move.   But the transition has not been easy.  I still freak out when I see someone packing a gun in a holster in McDonald’s.   I still don’t understand the “redneck culture” although thankfully that is not Kevin’s family by any means.   I hear dueling banjo’s in my head whenever I hit the Walmart.  I try to go during the day now, to avoid the horror show.

I am more formal in my speech.  I say “sorry” a lot.  I find certain things brash, arrogant and rude.   I find the way some people talk to other people shocking.  I feel the culture is more aggressive in general in the South.  But there are many things I love about Texas too.  It is starting to feel like home finally, after being here full time for over a year.

I miss the things that were part of my life.  The foods, the seasonings… most of which are different here.  I have missed good quality pints terribly, until I discovered this great craft brewery in our home town called 903 Brewers.   The “Land of Milk and Honey” brew is my new favorite.  It tastes like a pint I would get on Bloor St.happy-canada-day-2015-facebook-timeline-picture

The law shift with regards to same sex marriage and the outcry against it is shocking.  The racism is shocking. The gun culture is shocking… but at the same time part of me is happy to know that my Father in Law or Husband could “pop a cap” in someones butt in the event of a zombie apocalypse.  I no longer sleep with a metal Lousiville slugger under my bed.  I feel safe in Texas.

And the weather is divine; I don’t own a snow shovel.  We got a few icy days and a dusting of snow (which shut the whole State down while I chuckled).  Dude… so not snow!  Come on now.  We count our snow in Canada by the foot, not by the millimeter (sorry… quarter inch).

Today is Canada Day.  I am always a Canadian.  I will always be a proud Canadian.  And for those of you who think I have to choose?  I will also always be a proud, law abiding, hard working, respectful Texan.  I am proud to be a Texan too and I don’t think I have to choose one or the other.

But Canada is my Mother.   And now America is my step-mother, which is close but… not quite the same.

 

Happy Birthday Canada.  It is a million things that make you the most wonderful Country in the world.  And your daughter, for all the happiness she has found down here with the kind Texans, misses you.