Meditative Tuesday: Dear Self, Don't be Sad


"When in doubt, eat Tapsilog"

Haha, that's my attempt in being funny today.  (Tapsilog is a popular Filipino breakfast, a plate of marinated beef with fried rice and sunny side up egg)

I will be honest. My friend, the repatriation blues have re-visited me quite often lately. 

Sometimes I wonder, what if I had the chance to warn myself in 2015 before leaving Dubai and coming home to the Philippines for good? These are the words I'm going to tell her:

Dear Self,

1.  Just sell everything and don't ship the big stuff. 
You managed to survive 2 years living with one suitcase.  In the end, it will save you heartache from having your stuff attacked by termites, soaked in flood and you wouldn't have had the difficulty to find an apartment that could accommodate all of your stuff.

2.  It's not going to be as bad as you imagined
Yes, there are going to be times you'll scream and cry with frustration for the ridiculous bureaucracy, red tape and corruption, while being stuck in horrendous traffic, but you will meet wonderful people who will remind you how happiness can be found in the simplest things, that even money can't buy.

3. Follow your gut instinct. They are spot on. You were right about the persons you knew you should never trust.
Even after warning the closest to you about them, persist and stay away from the ones you never trusted from the very first meeting.

4.  2016 is going to be a slow year so brace yourself and be patient. 
You're going to have to wait a long time to be settled but you'll get there. There is a reason. You'll be meeting many new friends and will be re-connecting with old classmates who will become your dear new friends.

5. While waiting, continue to be good and take effort doing more good things for others.
These random acts of kindness have a snowball effect. 




6. It's okay if  you feel you don't exist in your own country.
You stare at your expired identification cards. Someone will even laugh at how jurassic and obsolete your ID is. The identity and reputation you have built the last couple of years seem to have been erased.  It takes time and these seemingly tiny steps will make you less invisible.

7. Keep following your interest and doing what you love even if there are those (refer to no.3) who say you can't do it. 
Yes, take those software classes. They prove to be very useful. Keep learning and keep getting better at your craft.

8. You will miss life in the UAE big time.  Make the most out of your last few days there. 
You will miss the least expected things, like Salik, Carrefour, Indian food, Dubai taxi, DU & Etisalat Internet speed and service, Dubai 92, Arabic expressions and etc. Saying goodbye to a life of comfort and ease may be difficult, but you will be expanding your comfort zone in a big way. 

9. You will feel homesick from time to time and you won't even know where home is.
Just acknowledge its presence but don't let it control you. It still comes every now and then but each time it won't be as strong as it used to be.

10. It's okay to admit you don't know. It's okay to ask for help. 
You will be surprised by how many people will be willing to share with you what they know.

11. It's okay if you feel lost. Just keep calm and you will find your way.
You will encounter moments you will not know which jeepney to take to reach the nearest government agency. It's okay if you don't know the streets while watching everyone else know exactly where they're going. Don't worry, you'll find your bearings in time.  Try no. 10, you'll be surprised how they'll be happy to give directions

12. Make sure you are actively contributing to SSS and Philhealth as soon as possible. 
You should have done this a long time ago during one of your trips even before coming home. 

13.  You will grow tougher.
By this time you've squashed many flying cockroaches and spiders without screaming to show your daughter that being brave is doing it anyway, despite the fear.

14. You will slowly fall in love with your country again, even if you think it's impossible.
Yes, it's a love and hate relationship sometimes, but there's a reason why you're back here again.

15. You will encounter heartbreaking moments and no warning can ever prevent them from happening.
There are events we cannot control. Spend more time in prayer and in silence. God is accurate. He will always guide you to do the right thing  and will lead you to the right people at the exact time.

Don't sweat the small stuff.
Life is not perfect. Just focus on the good. 
Big hugs
Love & light,
Arni

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12 comments

  1. and how does your hubby feel? He is stranger in a strange country again, right? Is it more difficult for him than for you? How does he get around language-wise?

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    1. Hi Dezzy, Yohann is wonderfully adjusting and he is happy to be here. No blues whatsoever. It is originally his idea to move to the Philippines. The language is not a problem here. English is widely spoken everywhere. There are 8 different languages in the Philippines. He speaks and he understands the basic grammar of my mother tongue. However, the dialect we know is not used in the place where we presently are. So we are currently learning a new language, the one used in the region for better communication.

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  2. "When in doubt, eat Tapsilog". Is tapsilog your favorite breakfast? :) It's dinner time as of this writing and I want to eat tapsilog right now. :) hahahahaha Coming back to the Philippines definitely have pros and cons, but I wish and pray that you'll be able to enjoy your moving to the Philippines

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    1. Hehe yes it is, it is at par with Danggit breakfast. Yum! Thanks Michael :)

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  3. I cannot pretend to know what you have been feeling, but I think I can understand a little bit the anxiety for all the challenges that you and your family had to go through. I can certainly imagine the stress of moving back to the Philippines after years of living abroad, especially when UAE is such a progressive country compared with the Philippines. Funny how we used to think we cannot do the challenges before us, and then time passes and before we knew it, we've already conquered them. You sure did.

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    1. Hello Marge, it's great what time can do. It changes feelings towards situations that we used to think were gigantic at the time and transforms them to minuscule concerns. This thought brings me comfort knowing that the big things we worry about today will be something we'll just laugh about tomorrow.

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  4. Oh that Tapsilog caught my attention, it made me hungry. I wish I could have it tomorrow morning for my breakfast.

    Anyway, I truly don't know how to react on this post, but one thing I'm sure of, there will always be pros and cons if you move back here in the Philippines, especially cause you're used to live abroad. Whatever bothers you right now, I hope that you'll overcome it.

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    1. Tapsilog, best comfort food ever :) Same here.Thanks Lai for your kind words.

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  5. Thats the way one should live every single day of life. "This is going to pass" and "don't be sad" are what I also exactly say to myself when the day doesn't go as expected.

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    1. Thanks Neha. Same here, the first phrase as well has helped me go through some tough tides in life.

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  6. I've felt number 9 more often in the last four years, which is weird considering I live in the city where I grew up. Maybe it's a sense of belonging and a clan that I miss

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    1. You hit the nail in the head - the sense of belonging and relationships that we miss.

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