*Waves hand wildly* Hey! I used to be American!


Posted on : 3:22 PM | By : Anonymous | In :

This is NOT going to be a political post. I wear many hats (homeschool graduate and mom, writer, artist, web administrator, college student...) but this is the one hat I don't like to call attention to. The title is meant to be tongue-in-cheek lol.

That being said, yes, I moved to Canada and I am going to become a citizen. I was born in Arizona, in a conservative home, and I don't think there could be something farther away from where I am now both philosophically and geographically. I feel a bit sarcastic at the moment but I will endeavour to avoid that, ha ha.

It has been very interesting watching what has been happening in the US since I left, and at the same time actually experience the Canadian life that is often used as an example by Americans to argue a point. There has been two elections since I've been here, and many political issues have been discussed, but one thing that I have noticed is that Canadians are as informed about the US's issues as they are about Canadian ones. I am not sure that you could say the same thing for Americans - how many know who the Canadian Prime Minister is, or the differences in political parties? It's also been tricky when family members talk to me about the health care bill, and it's a very touchy subject sometimes. Almost no one in my family has any kind of health insurance, and yet I enjoy free health care. I lay awake at night wondering what I am going to do when my parents get older and need more care, and cross my fingers that my younger siblings and their families will never need an appendix out. It's a bit stressful being the oldest child.

The reason this isn't a political post is that I am not trying to make a point. I am just relaying some feelings I had after I moved to Canada, and you can take them for what you want. When I moved, I felt like I had been in a bubble and suddenly became aware of a much bigger world. In that new world there was more than one right way to do things. I also realized how much I had been suffering from paranoia. I don't know whether that paranoia was promoted by sensationalist media or a corrupt government, but it's not a very nice way to live. As the paranoia subsided I felt much more able to live my life the way it should be lived - just worrying about my kids and enjoying the little things, rather than worrying about whether or not Big Brother was or was not watching me or trying to control my life (whether that is true or not).

What is amazing about America is that almost everyone is an immigrant, the child of an immigrant, or the grandchild of an immigrant. I am a third-generation immigrant. My great-grandfather immigrated from Italy to Brazil, my grandfather from Brazil to the US, and me to Canada. I used to feel very patriotic and lucky to have been born in America, and truly anyone who is born there is extremely lucky to be part of such a privileged life. The impoverished of America live in luxury compared to the impoverished of other nations. It's a nation of people who inherited something built on the backs of hard-working immigrants of the Industrial Revolution, and I wonder what they would say about the issues we are discussing today?

And yet here I am in Canada... also made of immigrants, also got independence from Britain, colonized around the same time. And yet so different. The Canadian system with at least three parties works for the people much better, people live longer here because they have more access to preventative health care, and the standard of living is higher than it is for the US. America is an amazing place, it truly is. But I sure am loving the peace and happiness that comes from being Canadian, especially right now. :)

Comments (2)

This was really interesting to read, as an American who's interested in and kind of mystified by Canada. I somehow can't place its identity -- I mean, it's my own fault for not visiting there or reading enough; I'm just saying it's interesting to read someone's perspective, especially since you can tell it from the side of having lived in the US and moved there. Every time I go to Canada, I'm struck by how very foreign it is, and yet I feel like it shouldn't be. Because it's the same language, similar accents, similar geography, no one in the US seems to expect a whole different culture, but it is and it's so striking.

Well, I have no point. Just enjoyed hearing your take. And, not to be political, but I would appreciate a better health care option. I'm self-employed and have to pay for my own terrible insurance and mostly just try to avoid using it.

Thanks Hobo Mama :) I think everyone deep down in the heart of hearts wants a better health care option. lol

I laugh but it's not really that funny. People's lives are at stake and there shouldn't be this much of a fight about it.