For the first time in my life, when asked what nationality I was, I said Canadian.

My sisters and I were raised to say that our nationality was Portuguese, regardless of the fact that we were only half Portuguese and that my mom was French-Canadian, a valid nationality to claim. Even now, when my sister is not speaking to my father, her bio on her work's website says that she has a large "Portuguese" family. No mention of our mom, who she calls daily.

Today, though, in an act of complete and utter rebellion, I said..."I'm Canadian." It didn't seem natural and in fact the statement stumbled off my tongue.

I feel naughty, like I'm going to get into trouble for stating the truth - I was born in Canada, I've lived in Canada my whole life, and my citizenship states I'm Canadian. For once, I chose my own nationality rather than the one I was given as a child or even my mother's.

It's actually kind of freeing.

Maybe this is how my mom felt when she announced to a room full of my father's relatives that she never changed her last name legally to my dad's, and therefore wasn't truly part of the family.

She survived that...I'm sure I won't get shot for being "Canadian" for the first time ever.

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