From High Heel to Flip Flops
Sumana Regmi (+Video)
When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are. Many women will alter their lives for a man and won’t take the time to make positive changes for themselves. Sumana urges girls to enjoy their own flow, get educated, get a job, and focus on their own dreams. Every struggle will become a story someday: either a story about how you got stronger and persevered or a story about why you gave up. You can’t always choose your struggles, but you can choose which story becomes true.
In Nepal, high heels were my favourite shoes. I used to wear them wherever I went. But high heels are not my favourite shoes anymore.
When I got a visa to enter Canada, I was so happy and excited to go to the place where my husband used to live. On March 4, I left Nepal. I was wearing small heels, and I had many different expensive high heels inside my luggage. I thought I would have the same life in Canada as my life before in Nepal where I was completely dependent on my parents. No struggle, no stress. I thought my husband would also fulfill my dream to continue my studies here.
My expectations were so high, but they were ruined in a second when I arrived. My husband never asked me, “What do you want to do? What do you want to study? Where do you want to visit?” He and his parents lied to me before the marriage ceremony. They said that after coming to Canada, I could do whatever I wanted to do. But the reality was different.
Here in Canada, you must do everything yourself. Not even my husband supported me. I realized that my parents, who used to fulfill my every need, were not here in Canada. Money was not a struggle for me in Nepal, but here I started knowing the value of money.
Like a parrot in a cage, I was always stuck inside the house. My husband and in-laws never asked me where I wanted to visit or what my dreams were. I started feeling like I was suffocating in that home and misunderstandings happened. So, I had to leave. My husband never treated me well, and now I am separated with one baby girl.
The best thing I realized in Canada is that children are more independent. After the age of eighteen, they do their own work themselves. They work and they earn money. But, in my country, eighty percent of children in their mid-twenties are still dependent on their parents. I realized Canada respects single moms and single dads. In Nepal, single or divorced mothers are considered characterless women. It would have been hard for me to survive as a single mom in Nepal. But Canada helps me a lot. I feel blessed to live here.
I am impressed by everything here—the way people respect each other, the way they speak. Education and health care are basic rights in Canada. Even people without money get treatment. In Nepal, poor people die if they don’t have money for treatment. In Nepal, highly educated people dominate over lower educated people. Doctors are rude to poor patients but polite to rich patients.
I saw the real meaning of humanity in everything here. Now I am much happier that my high heels brought me to this country. Canada helped me to be an independent single mother. It helped me to be strong. A girl who never struggled in Nepal is now struggling, but now she can do everything by herself, fight for herself. That girl is me because of Canada. It would have been hard to survive in my homeland as a single mother. Now I can proudly say that I am a single mom thanks to Canada.
I am so happy that high heels brought me here. But I realized that what we like is not always best for us. I am comfortable with flip flop sandals now instead of high heels. Now, wherever I go, I wear them. Bye-bye to high heels.
Sumana is from Nepal. She says she always sees good in others but gets hurt by them. She gives one hundred percent to others. She believes and trusts quickly, and she’s so emotional that she cries over little things.