I have seen so many people who have moved here from someplace else and still try to live as though they were in their little village. They reject EVERYTHING American. They are afraid that their kids “FORGET’ where they came from so they make it almost impossible for their children to have normal friendships. They make it impossible for their children to find their own fine balance.
In the best of times, we all do a dance between what we want and what is expected of us by various people in our lives.
Recently I have met some women who have been brought to this country after marriage. All of these woman had arranged marriages. Their husbands went to the “old country” and married the best of the best. These women are highly educated, ambitious, courageous ( came to a new country away from their families) and eager to learn how to thrive in America.
What they did not know was that their husbands wanted to recreate an imagined old world village. In these villages, the daughters-in-law, never left the house. They prayed in the morning, then cooked ( new food every day) and then sat with folded hands and waited for the King to come home. Some of them even tried, they actually thought that they could “trick” themselves into becoming ancient and useless. They could not. As their powerful selves emerged, their husbands and in-laws absolutely lost their minds. They screamed, threatened, blamed, abused and even took their children and squirreled them away to a different country.
These women have had to dig deep and find strength and courage they did not know they possessed. Some of these men did not even renew their wives papers to be legal in this country and have left the women scrambling to find ways to stay here so they can be near their kids.
At this writing I know of 2 women who have had to leave their children behind because they could not a legal way to stay in their adopted country. Their hearts are broken!
These women are recreating themselves in their new country and doing it all alone. Is there a way to marry old and new? I think so, Yes, very definitely.
One of the first things that have to be addressed is “why did you leave your village and what did you hope to find in your new country?”
If you cannot answer these simple questions, then you will never know if and when you have found what you are looking for.
How can you tell what to keep and what to leave? Try a different combination from the old and the new. How about western clothes in a traditional ceremony?
Why do you do what you do? Does it bring JOY? Does it cement the pain?
Only YOU have the answers. Take some time to reflect on what life you want to create. Find an ally and get some strength. If you do not then nothing will change.
Take a risk, your happiness is worth it!