that’s a first, for the both of us.
not the nicest of things to hear.
but got to let it go….
that’s a first, for the both of us.
not the nicest of things to hear.
but got to let it go….
so, i’ve been watching youtube and streaming series pretty much the most part of the day. my dependence on external factors for some form of structure gets quite prevalent in such days. also, my lack of self control and discipline to do something worthwhile is quite strong, though not surprising.
i’ve started art. so i’m doing that now and then. but that gets done in the morning. other than that, thankfully i have internet, and im on the laptop most of the time. sure i need to do some weeding, and sure i need to do some house chores, but i can also do them later, or tomorrow.
without ‘work’ to organise your day, it’s really just a blank canvas isnt it.
whatever that work is.
the move has finally been made. i arrived in Fiji 3 weeks ago. everyone’s thinking im living the dream. i mean, “Fiji Yo!!!”
the reality is, it’s not a dream, at least not yet. there’s no beach where we live, so it’s not all coconut trees, hammocks and sun sand and sea. instead, it’s wake up in the morning, think about what to do for the day. it usually consists of laundry, cooking, cleaning, gardening…
i came here knowing i needed to fill my days. i bought paints, boards, clay and moulds… yet i haven’t had the inspiration to start anything crafty. they all seem more like time fillers than actual objectives. especially since i’m not that crafty to be able to make it into a venture.
i know what it is that bothers me. it didn’t take 3 weeks for me to figure that out. it took the 2nd weekday. im not doing anything that’s challenging me, im not having any intellectual conversation that stimulates my brain, nothing really is getting my excited, and basically im not productive. and i really have no excuse to be a stay-at-home person. im not a mother, and im not looking after anything. so everyday, im not achieving anything, really. time-filler duties aside. im just at home. at the end of the day, i would not have achieved anything that improves me, let alone improves the world.
so yes, i’m struggling. especially thinking of all the effort my parents had gone through to put me through school. they are both still working, and yet both their kids arent. it might be acceptable in the western world, but it’s not ok for this first generation singaporean. it’s not something people understand unless they’ve been in that situation, seeing their parents count 10 cents to buy a loaf of bread, scrimp on their own expenses so that their daughter can get a nice smile, have ambition to earn more so that their children don’t have to work as hard to earn the kind of money they used to earn.
yup, struggling being aimless. for a person who doesn’t deal well with uncertainty, this is the harshest test.
i know every phase of my life is meant to teach me something. i also firmly believe that things happen when they are meant to happen. so i’ll wait it out.
while my husband is happy and excited travelling to places in the name of work, all paid for. meanwhile i am degenerating at home, not saving any money for retirement, and not spending any money for my own happiness. happy for him, very unhappy for me. have i given up too much?
started googling about expat wives being jobless, and saw a bunch of posts.
2 weeks of my job left. also means 2 weeks to becoming ‘the expat wife’. my anxiety is still there, but im trying to sweep it under the carpet. whenever i feel something brewing, i just keep quiet and not respond. i am a work in progress, i suppose this is the next stage i need to navigate. reading and talking to people who went through this is helping me a little.
one person wrote, “When your husband just goes off to work and the reality of his days hasn’t changed much, and you are left to navigate a new place, with no mates, whilst coming to terms with the numbing realisation that you are no long sitting in board meetings, you are sitting on the sofa feeling bored at the prospect of yet more laundry…”
i can’t imagine what my days will be like when I dont have work to occupy me. suddenly it’s like “what do i do with my whole day?”
which leads to stagnating. not growing. one person wrote, “My husband is doing incredibly well at work and of course I am proud of him and know that by making this move I have supported him as best I could. But what about me? While he learns new skills, receives praise from senior figures and climbs the career ladder, I stagnate, wondering what I could have achieved if I had only been given the opportunity.”
then you start losing yourself. when you meet people, they ask, “so what do you do?” now it’s almost shameful to say, “i’m not doing anything”, no matter how sugar coated it is. in saying, “i’m not doing anything”, it voices in you that you’re not significant, you’re not contributing to society, let alone to personal growth. you are exist, as someone’s wife. you exist as a person who doesnt have the right to stay in that country if not for the husband. you exist because your husband exists. this post about being an independent dependent is a reminder to keep fighting to be independent, in whatever way you can.
i remember the days when i was still independent in the relationship, perhaps too independent (when we were going through the long distance phase for 4 years). so now it’s time to find something for myself again.
leaving singapore, I already had identity issues. in singapore, i was volunteering, weekends were busy doing something with nature, good group of friends. moving to yangon, i lost my volunteer opportunities, and most people just got drunk most of the time on weekends.
now it’s a new chapter. So it’s time for a mindset review. all the blogs i read talk abt using this free time to find something meaningful. i’ve spent all my days working, such that travelling was my meaningful thing to do when i had time. not that i’m not earning, travelling is not in the equation. i need to find something for myself once again, to not lose myself and to remember that i can get through this.
when we were still doing long distance, in my highly paid job in Singapore, i had asked my colleague if it’s wise that I leave it all to pursue my relationship. she said, you can’t have the pie and eat it too. something’s got to give. i decided to leave my job and pursue the relationship, and im very very very glad i made that step, because we wouldn’t have gotten to where we are today, if i hadn’t taken the plunge.
still questioning where my self worth comes from if i’m not earning money. i know money is not everything. but i am not of the personality to live day to day. i need to know that im saving for retirement, saving for holidays, saving for my parents when they need it.
can i be happy without earning money? it’ll take a whole lot of convincing to make me say yes. coincidentally, i was talking to a student who said, “she just wants to be happy, she’s not career minded, she just wants to live a happy life”. i am actually stuck. what does that mean? i’m really not sure.
living on an island is very different from holidaying at one. so i have new lessons to learn. it’s time for me to find out what happiness is, when im not earning, when i won’t have money to dive as and when i want, when im limited to the opportunities the island can provide, while learning to be a dependent, while learning to be positive, as i figure how to be productive everyday.
i guess i’ll be writing more once again.
i hadn’t done a year end post in 2017. alot had happened then and alot has happened in 2018. how time flies this fast, i dont know. so here’s my 2 yrs in summary
moved into my own flat
resigned from school in Singapore
started working overseas
climbed rinjani (almost)
dived deeper (43m)
saw my first manta
finally saw a whale shark
today, i chatted with a ex colleague who dropped me off at the MRT station. He asked how my parents were doing. I said they are getting old. it’s easy enough to keep parents off your mind when you’re away from them but the reality is, and deep inside you know, they are getting old and less able. i remember a few years ago when my dad came down to help me replace a flat tyre. he was huffing and puffing. the once strong man was getting weak. he is even weaker now. he’s rested for a few months, started swimming, walking alot more, even climbed bukit timah hill. good on him.
my mom is getting more and more forgetful. she’s held on to this life of hers for a long time, kept going. and must still keep going. it’s a case of i want to do more, but it’s also the case of everything else that makes you say “tomorrow”.
meanwhile, i’m still facing uncertainties, but i’m a bit less uncomfortable, cos we know roughly what will happen. at least there’s a plan. there was a question i frequently ask myself. where would my self worth come from if i wasn’t earning. it’s a discussion i’ve had with a few people. some said self-worth comes from knowing you’ve accomplished something. now accomplishing something means different things to different people. to an employee, it’s completing the job for the day. what if i wasn’t working. to a mother, it’s making sure her child gets her best. what if i wasn’t a mother. is it really that much of an accomplishment to stay at home and keep the house clean and cook food for the day? i suppose at the end of the day, it’s our own mindset. and the mindset of our partner. being financially independent is what ive been taught, grown up with. what more with a mortgage loan to pay. it’s important to me that im financially independent, that much i know. so all in good time, i’ll figure something out. you know why? COS I STILL WANNA DIVE AND CLIMB AND KAYAK AND DO FUN STUFF! #igotmyprioritiesright 😀
in all, 2017/2018 has been an eventful year.
what adventures 2019 will bring is still up for grabs!