Stop feeling undervalued because
Your parents weren’t born in this country. They speak the national language with an accent that, to some misguided fools, implies they’re inferior. As if they’re here through force than destiny. They’re labelled immigrants, rather than expats. And that you’re a direct reflection of them. NEWSFLASH: You’re not.
You are courageous because
You’re willing to do what others don’t even see. Your stamina for life is awe inspiring. Because you don’t allow all those times your parents judge you to lead you to hate them. Because you believe in good. You do the work. You see the struggles … and you still smile.
All achievements aren’t created equal because
Your life choices didn’t reflect the herd. You’re in your 30’s, without a legal partner or obligatory offspring. You’ve done it differently, whether through circumstance or active choice. Taken a stand. Progressed with conviction. Decisively proud. It’s easy to follow the herd when they’re so keen to support you to invisibility. Independence is an achievement. Don’t let sheep tell you otherwise.
The decisions you make are valid because
Your past isn’t a prison. Who you were five years ago isn’t who you are today. Remember those days when you’d feel insecure about meeting a new set of colleagues? You’ve grown past that. You’ve evolved. Today, it takes more effort to say no to new challenges than it does to drown in the prospect of them. You did that.
You are all that matters because
You get yourself up every morning. You make the tough decisions. You buy the food, pay the bills, keep the roof up. Your work your ass off. You smile when you want to cry. You go to pains to make everyone’s life easier. You take the weight. It’s all on you. Respect yourself.
And none of that matters because
A hundred years from now, we’ll all be dead. Your friend may be paid more than you, but it doesn’t matter. Their kids get better grades than your kids, but it doesn’t matter. You’ve had an argument with your mum, but it doesn’t matter. You didn’t get the gig, but it doesn’t matter. You’re not where you’d thought you’d be, but it doesn’t matter. She’s getting married and you’re not, but it doesn’t matter. Have perspective. In the grand scheme of things, it’s all small. Get over it.
The languages you speak are relevant because
You were conversing in English, Punjabi and Urdu with expert fluency by age nine and thought nothing of it – *hairflip*. You hand wrote letters in Urdu for your parents to their siblings for years before they decided to start using the phone instead. You can adapt to different customs like a chameleon to colour. You intuitively ease those in social distress because you’ve battled through so much of your own.
You’ve got skills, baby.
And don’t you forget it.