“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”― Mitch Albom
This year’s birthday is special because I have also learned a lot of things. I have learned to:
- To appreciate myself – I used to be so insecure about everything. From my skin, hair, feet and all. I hated the fact that I was too small or that I don’t have wide hips. I get so depressed whenever I receive a rejection email from the prospective company I applied for thinking that I’m not that good, realising later that it was a blessing in disguise because I didn’t really like the job or the thought of going back to a corporate world again.
My classmates have been my indirect (additional) inspiration. Talking to them and realising how a little unprivileged they are in some aspects of life, I slowly developed self-confidence and self-appreciation. If they can live a normal life despite of these odds around them or their incapacities, why not me? I have this one classmate whom I like most. She came from Somalia. I was told that education there is poor. One time, we were assigned to be partners. She saw my handwriting and touched my paper as if it was gold. She said I have a very beautiful handwriting. You could see how genuine her compliment was just by looking at her naive face. That day, my tears were falling while sharing that story to the wife. Because really, I sometimes hate everything about myself and yet there are people who have far worse situation than I have. For example, this classmate. I could understand the admiration she had over my handwriting because I saw that she writes like a first-grader. She even had trouble understanding the instructions during our Prüfung. I could feel that it was because she never experienced attending an examination. And that made her almost fail the A1 German Level Exam if only there was no Speaking part.
2. To appreciate my loved ones – Being a breadwinner for so many years and having had my heart broken by my family numerous times, I lived my life only wishing to be far from them one day. You know to prevent myself from being more tormented. Perhaps, I’ve got a tongue of an angel (nagdilang anghel) because here I am now, 6000 miles away from them. I miss my family terribly but it was the right thing to do. Instead of growing apart because of the distance, it’s this situation that brought us all back together. In fact, every one of them is doing well now. My sister was hired successfully by a prestigious company a few months after I left PH and recently got a regular offer by the same company. My mom and dad who were both sick before are in good health now. I also rarely get bad news now from them. I used to avoid their messages whenever their names popped on my phone screen because I felt like it’d be always a problem. But now, I think my heart got finally healed and I no longer feel that anxiety of reading their messages. I should also feel more thankful because I have a better and solid family than some people I know.
3. To be more patient – Being with someone who was born and raised in a totally different environment, my patience is my only weapon to survive this relationship. From communication barriers to cultural and personal differences, these all had tested my endurance. In fact, I quite suffered from a bipolar depression. Because moving in a totally different country, everything was a whole new world to me. Plus, I am just a human after all. Thankfully, the wife has longer patience than I have and that added to these factors that keep our relationship strong.
4. To see the good in others – When I met Daria, I honestly didn’t like a lot about her. She still has a long long way to go yet for her to finally stand on her own or to be less dependent. I was honestly shocked when I came here in Germany and everything we needed was done with the help of her parents. I have lived my life without the support of others for more than 10 years and then suddenly, there I was, being dictated of things that I needed to do as if I was a 17-year-old kid just about to enter adulthood. It was quite a misery for me but I wasn’t born to be a quitter. Instead of leaving home like what I did to resolve the issues with my family, I stayed. I stayed not because I gave her a chance but because I wanted to give myself a chance. I have always told Daria whenever she complains about everything around her that the world won’t adjust for her just to comfort her. Same goes with how we should handle a relationship. If we want to keep something, then we should learn how to adjust, too. And that’s what I’m trying to do now. I have decided to see the good in her. Then, I’ve realised that despite of these annoying things she possesses, she also has plenty of good traits. What I most loved about her is her dedication. She’s a very dedicated person, from work to her commitments as a partner. She may be dependent on her parents about other things but the most important for me is that she’s not financially dependent on them. I’m even so proud that we already hit the target amount of money we wanted to save for our trip to PH, and at a very early time! And I have the most thoughtful and caring parents in law!
5. To fall in love with life – I’ve learned to love life again by doing what I really want, talking to people whom I only like and totally blocking the negative energy. I am blogging so much now. And I’m doing great with it! I am actually so proud of my blog! Being too busy with blogging and other activities that will grow our piggy bank, I had so less time to catch up with people. I only chat now with people whom I like most. There are even days that the only person I talked with for the whole day is my wife. I don’t know, I think I have come to this point of my life when I don’t really need to share my personal life anymore to people other than my family. And lastly, I just don’t care that much anymore about what people (might) think of me. Life is too short and beautiful to worry about stupid things!