OFW Nurse Diaries: Pre-departure feelings (First-timer edition)

Friday, July 20, 2018

Its been a while as always. I should have a lot of time to write these days, but I just can't because my mind is always filled with thoughs. Yah, overthinking! So, I thought it is a good time to lighten up the baggage on my mind and share my thoughts. My goodness!

I will be departing anytime this month as an official OFW. #represent

But you know what, I just thought that more than the main task/thing that I will do wherever I will go as an OFW, another important thing to consider is the readiness of my inner state of mind. Home sickness and culture shock are real. Not everyone handles it the same. So before I got really excited and scared in flying to a foreign country, I gathered my thoughts and energy to summarize what runs on my mind before stepping into a new beginning of my life.

#1 Thought: Am I only the one here who feels like I overreacted on this? It was my first on everything. International Flight + Work Abroad + Being away with the loved ones for more than 3 months. (Yes, that's my longest. And, I even saw them in between days). So you think that I have now the reason to overreact? I just leave it to this, I am strong and I can do this! 

#2 Thought: How will I fit in? My follow-up question is do I even care? Experiences made me hella' feeling great about myself as I grow older. The less I care, the happier I become and it works for me so well. I have read a lot about the culture, people and the country I am about to be in. These facts made me establish respect in some levels, but definitely will not change what I believed in.

#3 Thought: How will I bring my Filipino self there? I am thinking of bringing something that will make me feel home (at least). Food is the first thing that comes to my mind. Maybe I need to sharpen my cooking skills a bit (a lot). Other than that, everything should be left on a backseat and see where this new surrounding will take me.

#4 Thought: My Family. I don't think I should explain further, but I change my mind and will explain it more. When your family is tightly binded together, it makes it even difficult to take a step further. It is not because you are too dependent on them, but because you always felt incomplete without them. Years ago, I thought living totally independent by myself by all means is one of the best moment that will  happen in my life. But what now? I am not even departing yet and just thinking about it now, gives me an unexplainable feeling which leads me to another thought..

#5 Thought. While waiting for the departure date a.k.a flight date, enjoy time staying home with the family. I know it will never be the same after I go outside the country and start my new journey. I make every minute count, while I still can. It is also a chance for me to relax my body and make it stronger for the impending new work environment.

#6 Thought. I need a pet in my life, especially cat. They are one of my stress-reliever. Especially when I think of living alone and being with myself. I don't know if I could have one there (surely, not in the near future). For sure I could go out with my friends and fellow workers, but being with a pet is a totally different story for me. It will be my longest without my furr-friends. Let me see what will happen.

#7 Thought. Am I ready? Am I? Will I ever be? There is no shortcut to these thoughts and feelings. The fear of the unknown is always there bothering me. I just learned to recognize them and be strong physically and mentally. It helped me in a way to make my inner peace stabilize.

#8 Thought. What changes will I start/want to bring with me? It is not the best decision, but honestly, there are things I want to start improving myself by the time  I'll change my pace. No big deal. This is the same "me". Changes are so welcome.

#9 Thought. What haven't I thought at this moment? Should I think more? What is important right now for me is to oraganize my thoughts to turn my overthinking into my advantage. I keep myself prepared to start confident and strong as a person. 

#10 Thought. Working in a country with a different culture or just merely going to a coutry for the first time could give a real anxiety of the unknown. If you still have time, make a reseach (expectations and their way of life) about the country you'll be in just to decrease worries and fears. It is always true as they say, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail". It is always good to come prepared.

#11 Thought. As part of organizing my thoughts, making a checklist of what I need for a start-up life in a foreign coutry is another thing. Choosing wisely what I need to bring with me is a struggle since I am (somewhat) a paranoid one. I am a person, who can't go out without all my stuff (dala buong cabinet). Unfortunately, even 40 kgs baggage allowance seems to be so little. I list all the essentials I have/need to bring so I can prioritize it instead of bringing stocks of clothings (I might need much).  

#12 Thought. What do I really feel? I am happy that I am able to help my family more at last. I am happy that I will be living my dream to work abroad. I am scared of the unkown. I am thrilled for new happenings, surroundings and meeting new people. I am sad to leave loved ones behind. I am thrilled to be able to live alone. There are no right feelings. I am always on a mixed emotions and it is fine.

Every thoughts and questions in mind should be recognized and faced. You might not find the right answer to your question now and that is okay. These questions and thoughts are very personal and what matters is where is it coming from?  Only you could find the answers to your own questions. Every OFW has a story to tell. May it be chasing dreams, finding better opportunities, running away from a hella bad life, opening new chapter in life, providing for the better life of the family. It is an opportunity at the same time a challenge to face. Not every one can handle well these challenges, so they ought not to be one. Also, not every person are given an opportunity to work abroad even if they want. If you are an OFW, you are special. I never thought of that until I'll become one. It is not a red carpet road. Be strong. Be Prepared. Be wise. Represent.

Let's talk again on my next blog.
Yes, YOU lovely gorgeous.

Love yourself because you are beautiful.

Hugs and Kisses,
Princess Mikee

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