“Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” – Walt Whitman
I’ve been thinking of new beginnings recently.
Ten years ago
Ten years ago, I moved to Singapore. In March, my friend (then-online-acquaintance) asked me if I was interested in joining Yahoo!–not thinking too much about it, I sent my CV along. I’d never thought of moving “overseas” before; I had never actually been overseas, I applied for my first passport only that May. I didn’t think anything would come out of it, but soon enough, I was filling a box of my most beloved things (my books! the pillow I had since I was a baby!). I was at Immigrations with a clear folder filled with various papers clutched to my chest like any other OFW, I was at Changi looking awed and cowed and
just a little bit lost (my mother, who was with me, is not much better in the directionally challenged department).
I remember my mother, the night before she left, leaving me a box full of chocolates and cookies. She was already telling me to control my eating by then (how does one do that, when all my life, I ate everything and did not gain an ounce of weight?), but she left me a box of food because she was worried I would starve myself for being too shy to come out and forage for food from my cousins’ fridge.
I remember her texting me the night after, when I went out to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with my new colleagues-turned-friends and I was late coming home: Huhuhu. Uwi ka na. Wala nang bus. Maiiwan ka. Huhuhu uwi ka na. (Yes, she actually meant ‘come back to the Philippines.’)
I’ve been in the Philippines for three months now. Last year, I decided to go back to the Philippines, spend time with my family, see more of my home country and beyond, and write. So I resigned from my job and hauled all my worldly possessions back to my home country.
The transition hasn’t been easy, but neither was it as difficult as I worried it might be. Whatever worries I might have had, they are countered by an equal joy and excitement at discovering new places and experiences, reconnecting with myself and with people. It’s been a lovely three months and it will be an exciting year ahead.
Come walk through these roads with me. :)