TOPIC: FIRST PERSON

First Person

After years of being Jennifer for others, I'm embracing my Korean name for me

Taking back her birth name means Yeon Soo Ha must sometimes deal with misspellings, mispronunciations or even just being overlooked. But it has also meant reclaiming her sense of self and deciding not to make decisions for the convenience of others.
First Person

26 years ago, war separated my family. My dad and I still feel the aftershocks

Nadja Halilbegovich was 16 when her parents found a way to smuggle her out of war-torn Bosnia. Today, she realizes she and her dad share the same wound: it hurts her to go back and it hurts him that she could never come back.
First Person

A real estate transaction gave me neighbours. A car crash taught me to value them

A car crash outside writer Becky Sarafinchan’s house opened her eyes to the beauty of having neighbours this spring. They’re connected by a random act of real estate and disagree on many issues, but that no longer matters.
First Person

As an immigrant, I longed for family. Now neighbours have become that kin for me

In difficult moments, Vaidehee Lanke longed for her extended family back in India. But now, she's realized her neighbours in Saskatoon have filled that void.
First Person

Did I make a mistake by not investing in a house?

Growing up, Lise Watson knew home ownership wasn’t for her. But she worries about housing affordability as the future of co-ops like her own seems uncertain.
First Person

I want my daughter to be proud to be Inuk. That's why we return home to Great Caribou Island

When we embrace and pass on our culture to our new generation, writes Monika Rumbolt, we can reclaim what was once lost.
Audio

CBC First Person column looks at the stigma around mental health

Leif Gregersen shares his lived experience with schizoaffective disorder and anxiety.
First Person

I work hard to control the voices in my head. And even harder to be a voice for others

Leif Gregersen has experience with psychosis and schizoaffective disorder, as well as the stigma that comes with them. He hopes to be a voice of change by doing all he can to increase awareness of mental illnesses and understanding for those who suffer from them.
First Person

My dad denies what colonization stole from us

Jillian Sunderland wants to embrace her Bajan roots, but her dad seems intent to hold onto the British traditions he grew up with before Barbados gained independence.
First Person

My art – and my life — was dark and surreal. Then I moved to Canada

Artist Claudia Reyes gets her Canadian citizenship on Aug. 2. She says leaving behind the terror she experienced in Mexico has been a journey of dark surrealism to lightness and colour.
First Person

I've been a Catholic my entire life. But the church's dark past is making me lose faith

I grew up in the Philippines, where Catholicism was not only a personal religion but permeated every institution, organization and household. Lately, I’ve been finding it hard to be Catholic.
First Person

My son was more than 'just' an addict

Shirley Nicholson reflects on her son’s life as she grieves his death from substance abuse.
First Person

How I'm taking small steps to feel comfortable around people again post-pandemic

Kealey Pringle, who lives in Saanichton, B.C., has health risk factors for COVID-19 and has been dealing with anxiety during the pandemic. As cases come down, she's taking steps to re-enter the world outside her home and create more connections with people.
First Person

Dear Mom, the Pope is in Canada to meet residential school survivors

For residential school survivor Vivian Ketchum, the Pope’s visit has stirred up complicated feelings of what it means to forgive. She wrote this letter to her mom to process her emotions.

Coping with adversity. You have a story. Come share it at this CBC writing workshop

Two years of pandemic. Now we're dealing with inflation and a rental shortage … how do you cope? Join us to tell your story at this free CBC Calgary writing workshop in September.
First Person

Relationships are complicated. I learned it's OK to keep secrets for a time

Michelle Pearson and her husband kept a significant development from their guests to ensure their wedding day remained carefree and special. But eventually, they brought others into their secret.
First Person

Each time an addict stumbled off the train, I was angry at my sister. Now she's gone

With her sister trapped in an alcohol addiction, Calgary resident Sara Murray felt bitter and angry against every drug user she met. Catherine's death changed Sara's attitude toward addiction.
First Person

I spent 10 years in residential schools. This is what I want my grandchildren to know

From 1963 to 1973, Paul Dixon was forcibly sent to residential schools. Even after the last residential schools closed, he writes Cree families are still shy to hug each other. He wonders if intergenerational trauma is a lasting curse.
First Person

It took months for a doctor to take my symptoms seriously

After months of vocalizing her health concerns, Negin Nia’s symptoms were finally taken seriously and she had open-heart surgery. It opened her eyes to the challenges women face in the health-care system.
First Person

Losing my beloved cat helped restore my faith in the goodness of people

The weight of the COVID-19 pandemic wore down Paula McHugh Grudić, who grew increasingly skeptical about the motives of others. "Then," she writes in a column for CBC First Person, "I lost my cat."
First Person

A ruptured brain aneurysm was the wake-up call that changed my life

Roxanne Beaubien was drifting through a life of parties and drinking when a soft pop in her head changed everything.
First Person

My arms ache to hug my son back in China. Growing microgreens gives me hope

Every seed can grow. Writer Jinsha (Lisa) Yao says she started her microgreens business to give her hope in the long fight to be reunited with her 12-year-old son, who is stuck in China.
First Person

No matter how old I get, I'll always be a restaurant kid

Rachel Phan is a four-hour drive away from her parents’ family restaurant. But the business still defines her relationship with her parents.
First Person

From good job to no job, life in Canada taught me to go with the flow

Since adopting Canada as her home 13 years ago, Filipino immigrant Erlinda Tan is grateful for the opportunities she’s had to work hard and get ahead — and for the support she received when times were tough.
First Person

My brother was my hero. I try to remember that even after his suicide

Patrick de Belen tries to sort through his complicated feelings of grief and love for his brother who died by suicide after a lengthy struggle with mental illness.

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