No one ever told me that moving out across countries alone can break your heart as if you’ve lost a loved one, the only difference is that you are still alive, albeit a thousand miles away from home.
I guess I’ve been fortunate enough to have been given “a living eulogy” during my last week in the Philippines when dear family and friends doled out their advices, wisdom and well wishes, and also some trivial stuff about our shared life experiences.
I am writing down the ten most memorable statements or realizations that I swear will warm your heart, make you think, and give you a lesson or two for what you’ll face when you move out.
1. Your health is ultimately your wealth.
We all know the basic stuff that we must do to maintain our health and well-being which is to eat healthy foods, get your exercise in, have 8 hours of sleep or rest and do some leisure tasks to calm down the mind. My grandmother told me that if you sacrificed your health to gain unnecessary wealth, eventually all of what you’ve earned may be lost just to regain back your health.
Did you know that doing resistance training like using free weights, booty and resistance bands can increase your quality of life and independence as you grow older? Currently my health and being physically fit (up to old age hopefully) are the main reasons I work out. I’ve wanted to just look good before but that motivation just brought me guilt and hopelessness so it’s not that deep of a motivation to get you through the hard times.
2. Be grateful to God for the opportunities and never forget your purpose even when you move out.
Well I believe that wherever we are, we are placed there for a reason, which for me is to serve others since I am in the allied health industry. It may take some time to figure it out but eventually all of it will be revealed to you, you just have to follow first by taking the first step, or by grabbing the opportunities that life presents you with.
3. You are and will always be a Filipino (at least for me since I was bred and born there).
My father was wary at first that maybe I’d be too liberal or arrogant but eventually he realized that all of the values that I have right now are already ingrained in me since I’ve moved out of our home at a mature age.
4. You don’t have to change yourself, just enhance who you already are.
I guess this just means that you have to take time to figure out the things you love to do and improve on it, when we grow in the areas that we are born to thrive in the results are always exponential.
5. Be humble and always be open for criticism.
Regardless of where you are or what you’ve accomplished in life, my parents told me that you have to still be willing to take advice from your parents, experienced people, the elderly, your boss, anyone. Just know the difference between constructive and destructive criticism.
6. Separation shoves you way hard out of your comfort zone.
I am and will forever be grateful for my parents for raising me well and providing my needs and a bit ton of wants, now I have to learn how to stand up on my own two feet, with my head held high and a Rayban for my eyes to hide my anxieties, worries and tears.
I was crying so hard because moving out and separation doesn’t just nudge you, but it shoves you way hard out of your comfort zone. But well, remember that diamonds are made from pressure and there is no way to go but to shine later on. Prepare your glasses, you will be blinded.
7. Being separated from loved ones gives you a lot of space and time that you can use to further improve your skills, knowledge and interests.
Don’t waste any more time, we are not getting any younger. Don’t fear aging too, we can only hope that it brings us experience and wisdom. Over time what you want is to develop the skills and resilience so you can take on whatever life throws you!
8. Bring a piece of home wherever you go.
One thing that made me stay awake late at night on my bed is my luggage because I realized that it’s hard to fit 26 years of existence in two suitcases and a Coach duffle bag. Regardless, I still brought some Instax pictures, photo albums, fountain pens, and journals.
9. Everyone is just a tap away.
Being distant from family and friends made me realize that I have to exert more effort to maintain these relationships knowing that relationships wither if not nourished properly. Catch up with your friends, technology has come a long way now and keeps you connected with the people that matter. Tell people you love them, spend a few minutes to catch up with some friends, or even react to their stories. You may have known this already but it’s actually the small things that count in relationships.
10. Know your core activities and live by it, it’s what going to get you across the tough times.
I had very limited luggage for my trip so I had to bring the essentials, and no I didn’t leave my rotating skincare organizer, journals, pens and resistance bands behind because these items structure my time and days, and yes it’s been keeping me sane. Know yourself, do the activities you love the most.
I’ve always wanted to have a living eulogy instead of a typical birthday party so that I can hear people’s last words (for me). I mean what good does words of wisdom and recollection of shared moments give you when you’re dead?
I guess that’s it! Keep in touch! Remember, I am just a tap away.