Leaving the nest

LUNA LARA

As a young Latin American, who was raised in Canada, I feel privileged to have been exposed to the diverse values, opinions and way of living. With this privilege came a clash of cultures in the difference of perspective that my parents and I hold.  I leaned toward the Canadian views, and they, of course towards our Colombian roots.
Naturally they took care of me for 18 years, at which time I had to make a decision about my future; what career path to choose, and where to go.  I knew all along that university was my path, but I had never imagined that I would be a five-hour bus ride away. I chose the University of Ottawa not because of the distance it would give me from my-at times over protective- parents, but because I would be able to study what I loved in the language of choice (French as an option), and most important to me, I’d be able to break out of my shell.
This might sound typical of an 18 year old, but it was not to rebel, and claim my supposed ” adult freedom”, but because I knew in my heart that although I would face “challenges”, such as buying groceries cooking, laundry, and finding my way in a foreign city, I would learn many more rewarding things. These rewards are called life skills. Most kids I knew my age had to bus everywhere, do their laundry, and cook their own meals from time to time.
While me/I on the contrary, had none of these responsibilities. It is a luxury that I am well aware of, and even more grateful for now. Essentially, I jumped into treacherous waters with minimal skills, but over the years I’ve learnt time-management, resourcefulness, and the value of the dollar, something my parents always yearned for me to comprehend.
I am lucky to have very supportive parents that despite their desire to keep their eldest at home to nurture for as long as is needed, as is a custom in South America, were able to look past tradition to allow me to grow as an individual. Today, despite our sometimes-opposing views, I do retain many
characteristics of our lovely Colombian roots.
I am proud to have and keep the humbleness, unity, passion of life, and pride that my family carries through their veins.
However, being Canadian is also part of my identity which I equally cherish, as Canadian is not exclusive to Canadian-born, but can include multi-cultured.
As a consequence, I embrace both these cultures and try to take the good in each as much as possible.

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