[personal] one year of being an ofw!

It has officially been a year now since I left the PH! Hi UAE, happy anniversary to us! (And also second grad anniversary! Padayon, mga bagong nagsipagtapos!)

As not mentioned here on this blog, a lot has happened during that year. A LOT. Prior to this move, I have to admit I really thought it would only be unicorns and butterflies. The usual, “OFW’s have it a lot better and easier than the people back home; that going abroad is the easy way out.” I’m still waiting for that magical day to happen, to be honest with all of you.

It Doesn’t Get Easy!

Let me tell you: I’ve been out in the world for two years now, and I’m still waiting for that eureka moment when I would know and feel that everything has fallen into place, much like how it looks to my contemporaries. It doesn’t seem like it will come this year, and even next year.

And I think, it probably doesn’t work that way.

Yesterday, I received a word from one of my superiors about how they want me to incorporate some new stuff to our social media as the ones we currently have been a little repetitive. I took it as an indirect, “You’re not doing very good at your job, Claridge.” But also minding that it might be the anxiety talking.

(The anxiety will never shut up, is also one of the things I learned over the year.)

As I often do, I shared this with my friends and one of them told me, “You shouldn’t think as if you don’t have room to make mistakes. It takes years for someone to get really great at something. Mistakes and learning from them are normal. Keep at it, you’ll keep on learning, keep on growing, and one day you’ll get there.”

And I guess, that’s really true. We (I) should stop being too harsh on myself. I’m relatively young. I’ve only been a working professional for two years. I know that I’ve been doing okay with my work. Sure, I get some things wrong, but I think there is enough credit to the things I did which actually helped the business.

Principles, Schmrinciples

It’s funny ’cause I realized, in the year spent here in the UAE, the hardest part of being out here is applying the honor and excellence one has learned in college. Honor and Excellence. I should stop compromising my beliefs for the comforts of others. I know, I know. In the test of real life, I wonder if it’s a tres or a kwatro I’ve been having.

Honor and excellence, don’t forget. Always, always embody.

Yalla, Habibi

So. One year. And two more, if all goes to plan. Every day, there is the urge to pack up my bags and go home. There is that little voice whispering, “You can thrive there. You did it before, you can do it again.” But also yesterday (seems like a lot happened yesterday, doesn’t it?) I read this graduation speech given by David Sedaris to wherever college it was, and one of his advice to the graduates was to don’t go back to your hometown. Actually, part of the advice was to also not have a fallback plan as a graduating artist.

But anyway, my takeaway from it was to keep on keeping on. Work on your craft, work on your career. It may fail, you may fail, but don’t ever quit. Of course, it was a timely read that I took as a sign from the universe that the road doesn’t end here for me.

I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve made sense with this post. I just want to commemorate this day, I held out for a year. A year of three visa runs to Oman, finding work at a completely unfamiliar place, stumbling, falling, and picking myself up. I’m a little bruised up but also little stronger, I’d like to think so. (Also, one published short story! Let’s not forget that.)

Yalla, habibi. Padayon.

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