Change can be very daunting; especially when it is a result of external factors and not initiated by yourself. Yet, being the resilient and adaptable creatures we are we use our skills and experiences to make sense of the change. I sometimes meet young women from small villages from Kashmir now living in a busy metropolis like London. They epitomise the perfect example of cultural adaptation. The transformations they have to go through to make a place for themselves in a modern country where women have a very different status from what they grew up believing; and the parental challenges they face are just few of the aspects of their huge struggles. Similarly young men and women coming to modern western countries from the developing world full of dreams and fired with enthusiasm in search of jobs often see themselves fall prey to dejection, loneliness and despair. They come with a mind set of giving their best, working very hard, often compromising on the life styles they are used to back home and bearing the separation of loved ones but even all these sacrifices are not enough to help them in their new country of choice. They are coping with so many changes in life at once- an onslaught of new information; dealing with a foreign culture; a different work culture having to interact with people who think and act differently than they are used to. Sounds tough… yet, the road is never too bleak. This transition period is a learning curve that polishes them, slowly they gain confidence and once they feel they ‘belong’ they start contributing as citizens. From ‘feeling lost‘ to ‘belonging‘ is a journey that varies for each individual.
This journey becomes bearable when you have a friend, a mentor or a coach to guide you. Have you ever felt lost? When ? How did you cope?