Hello, WordPress! It’s been… a fucking long while.
I am probably speaking to void right now, all my followers from seven (???) months back gone and happy with their lives and grandchildren, I guess. But anyway, hi void. It’s me. Adgie. Greeting you from the Land of Camels and Tall Buildings.
So a quick recap: I’ve moved (not quite) recently to Dubai to seek greener (drier, tbh) pastures. It was– an adventure. I can’t quite confidently say I’m happy after I moved, contrary to my, and other people’s, expectations. It wasn’t easy, for sure. It was – is – a Russian Roulette of emotions every day. I mean, I moved places. Doesn’t mean I left my demons at home.
Speaking of home, I intended for this first blog post post-move to be a little like my friend Ange’s blog post when she moved to Canada. Like a list of things I miss from the Philippines, which to be honest is quite a lot more than I expected. 😦
(I’m rambling, I’m so sorry. Writing for my own has never felt this relieving. It’s like opening a pressurized jar – everything is just spewing out of my mouth/fingers.)
So, yeah. The truth is, I moved because I couldn’t take living in the Philippines anymore. I was a fresh grad crippled by the mundanity of the everyday. I kept on looking for More More More out of Adult life and I felt like a failure for not seeing the worth of that life. I’ve spent years in college, looking forward to the day I can finally contribute something of significance to the world. Only when I did come out of school, I was flailing and failing miserably.
I lost hope.
It was the unsolvable traffic, the horrible train experiences every damn day, the low pay and high taxes for a job with too-long hours. I dreamed of that job for so long and it ended up as another item on my list of disappointments. (Btw, you all know about this. I’ve written about this before.)
After that first job, I made up my mind. I’m moving to Dubai, where my parents are, where transportation doesn’t feel like The Hunger Games, where the tradeoff is better. I hoped.
And then I headed off to my second job, which was fine and dandy at first. Definitely, the only place where I felt so connected with my colleagues – and still is my standard, btw. But then a lot of things happened. The work environment wasn’t all fine and dandy, after all.
(But, eventually, you learn that everywhere is never a fine and dandy place. There will always be reasons to not feel happy or comfortable. Always.)
But then, it was okay. I know I was moving soon anyway. It wasn’t a difficult decision to leave.
And then I left.
I left the country. Of course, I was looking forward to finally living the life I’ve always dreamed of. Sure, the guilt was eating me as well. Every damn day. But I thought of it as a trade-off. Something I have to bear in order for me to gain something worthy out of life. Equivalent exchange, if you will.
It wasn’t easy.
I wish I could tell you all how worth it it was to move away. To finally commute without feeling like you have to sell Satan your soul just to get where you want to go on time or within this lifetime. To earn a paycheck that pays the bills and still have a little nest egg you can look forward to on rainy days. To diversify your work environment and learn loads of new things. Yay Self-Improvement!
It’s… well, yeah. All of these things. And more.
It’s adjusting to people from literally all walks of life. People who know you from your nationality. It’s adjusting to living in cramped quarters and paying a fortune for rent. It’s a lot of new food and missing the food you’ve been familiar your whole life with. It’s looking for comfort from your friends when it feels like you’ll also fail here, 6,904 km away from home, and finding a hard time to vent, rant, cry, have a good release. It’s looking for people who would even a quarter of the way understand how your brain works and find that they have theirs wired differently from yours. (Yes, you’ve realized this from waaaaay before but now, you’re slapped in the face by this fact you’ve long ignored.) It’s being visited by your old demons and meeting new ones.
And if you ask me what I’m still doing here if it’s so difficult after all, it’s because I know I still have a lot more to learn and experience. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve traded off a life full of potential for something that feels a little lackluster. But… it also feels like I cannot contribute anything to my country at this time. Who am I, anyway? What do I have with me that can help my country? My blind ideals will get me killed for nothing. A casualty of war who died prematurely. It’s not the fight I want to fight.
I still want to come back and help. I still want to give something of myself that I know will be worthy of my country. And I still don’t have anything with me yet.
If there is something good I found abroad that I didn’t find while I was back home, it was Reason to Fight for My Country. Out here, there are lots of us Filipinos. Some will help you from the smallest of things to life-changing ones. Some will tear you down the minute you stepped on their little toes. Some lost their identity after finding another one. And I realized, for all my hate of my country while I was there, it wasn’t the hate that would drive me to fight against my fellows. It wasn’t the kind of hate that will make me call them names and treat them like trash. It’s the hate borne of frustration and helplessness.
6,204 km away from home and I found my Reason.
Okay, enough of the cheeseballs time. So, having been back again I’ll probably write more. This is really therapeutic. Thanks for the push, Mumshie. ❤ Next time, I’ll write about my brief time in Oman, More Work Things, and Other Writing Things. One at a time.