Who am I? Well that sounds deep, doesn’t it…. I promise you though that I have no intention of sending you off to sleep…. Really! Just stay with me and read on….
So who am I? Well, I am a mother of two beautiful girls, I am an Area Manager for Autism at Kingwood, I am an only daugther to my parents, I am a business owner of SugarLace and Swirls, I am a fiancee to an amazing man called Kevin, I am lucky to call myself a friend to some amazing people in my life. Easy peasy…..straight forward answer to my deep question! Job done!
Or is it?
The above are just the roles/ titles that are assigned to me in one way or another, but those are not the answers that I am looking for. So you ask “What answers are you looking for then????”
Me: Ohhh, thank you for asking. I am glad you are interested….. so please hear me out as I do have a dilemma. I was born in Poland, I am considered Polish, but I have lived in the UK for most of my life now, my children are British, my life is here in Britain. So who am I? Where do I belong?
I often tell myself that if I am Polish I should feel Polish, I should know at least some of the major Polish traditions, I should know how to cook some Polish dishes, how to write an official letter in Polish, how to deal with adult duties such as birth registration, death and funeral arrangements, my children should speak Polish etc. But yet, I don’t know any of the above and no my children don’t speak fluent Polish and yes they were brougth up on English nursery rhymes and stories… I can only imagine that if you happen to be a Polish reader you might at this point think negatively of me….. I can understand that. I encountered many situations in which I have been criticised for the above, in some situations criticise is a mild description of what actually have happened.
So overall other than Polish roots and given nationality I don’t feel or “behave” Polish, but yet I am not British either…. for starters I don’t own a British passport and I don’t have the same rights as British nationals. I came to the UK straight after my A levels. My intention was to go back after a year, but I fell in love with Britain, all that it has to offer and British people…. after few months of being here it started to feel like home; I just fitted in…. so I stayed….Whilst here I completed my Bachelor’s degree and postgraduate qualifications, established my career, got married and gave birth to two amazing girls (who are british), started and continue to live a grown up life, British life with all its traditions and customs. I feel like I belong here, that I am a part of British furniture…. but then reality kicks in.
I am not British, and us immigrants sometimes face moments in our lives that make ys feel unwelcome. I think Brexit was a big eye opener to many in similar position to me (but those are politics, a whole blog post in its own right). When I say reality I refer to my Polish roots… My whole family is back in Poland. After divorcing my husband, the only family I have in the UK are my girls…. you might say “you knew what you were doing when you decided to stay in the UK”. And yes I agree; to some degree I was aware that I will be living a reasonable distance away from my family, but only as I grew older that distance seems to became greater than it orginally was…. maybe I am just getting soppy in my old age…. but I crave popping to my parents for Sunday dinner, or just popping in for cheeky coffee after work, going shopping with my mum, taking my dad to a gig, my parents being able to watch girls growing up, being part of their regular childcare, education….. I am jealous that many of the people around me have long standing friendships which often developed in childhood or school. I often feel I am usually an addition to existing groups of friends… And no I don’t feel sorry for myself. I love my life with all its ups and downs but I just wonder….
Can you see my dilemma? Is it important to find the answer? What’s your opinionon the matter? Come on, don’t be shy….lets hear it!