Immigration: Not for the Faint of Heart

Humanity has a component that has yet to be named — something inside each and every one of us that is never satisfied and always wants something else, something more, that you believe to be better. That’s only until you have it, of course; because once you do have it, you want the next thing without even acknowledging what you could have claimed as a victory.

The same goes for immigration. It is a never-ending cycle. The idea of moving to another country seems unfathomably appealing until you realize that there are pros and cons to such a big choice. My opinion may be less than objective, though. We are still in the “struggling” phase, as most who have made it through alive call it. “Give yourself at least 2 years to adjust,” they keep chanting in our ears. But it is these two years that test your character, determination, and patience.

It’s easy to give advice when you have made it through a similar situation, but that does not remove the burden. It just gives you strategies to lighten the load. You would be wise to use these strategies, reminding yourself to modify them accordingly, because each of us deals with uncertainty and longing in our own unique way. It is crucial that we support each other appropriately, not rubbing off what has helped you bear the weight, but being whatever the other person needs in that moment.

It is also vitally important that we force ourselves to take a breath, look back at the journey completed, acknowledge the ground we are standing on, and then continue braving the path laid before us. Nobody said that it would be easy. Nobody guaranteed smooth sailing. Because without a little wind, the boat would not be moving. The beauty of it lies therein that you are still the captain. You control the direction you head next and whether or not you move forward. You are the captain of your own ship — the master of your own life.

Immigrating doesn’t strip you of your friends, family, and relational knowledge as many believe. You will make new friends, and those friends who are meant to stay by your side will go the distance to stay in touch. Family is only a phone call or a Skype session away, and, besides a GPS, you are guaranteed to learn the roads once you start driving them.

Above all, keep reminding yourself that you are stronger than you believe, or else you wouldn’t have gotten this far.

Zéandri Rautenbach is a high school graduate with her adulthood staring her in the face. Even though her name is hard to pronounce even in her own country, South Africa, she wears it with pride. When she isn’t releasing her emotions in a book, she’s showering them out on paper. Nothing brings her more joy than supporting people through her stories, and she hopes that this will one day amount to becoming a novelist. Other than literature: antiques, classical music, and hysterical puns (even though she can’t make them) are her fuel. She can be reached on Facebook or Instagram: @zeandrirautenbach

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