Living alone in a foreign land, it needs courage and wisdom. Many might choose to be silent, preferring to talk only about the good experience. Because I have gone through a lot, it has come to the point that I have become numb to it. It would have been nice for someone to hear my struggles!
For someone who just arrived in a new country, you might be ambitious and have many things to do. But all these got to be done with the right amount of wisdom, and a bit of optimism! The more you grow older, the more you learn about life. Some things are best left to heart. Some pain can only be healed by time.
For those living abroad, there’s nothing outstanding. When I was young, I already think that living abroad is really nothing. But it is all different the very moment you stepped onto foreign soil. To say the truth, that’s because we are experiencing our very own set of problems as the days go by. Not saying it doesn’t mean we don’t have a story to tell. On the contrary, we have a lot to tell, but none are any spectacular anymore. Or should I say…we no longer have the time and energy for all these.
No matter what the reason why you are here, very slowly you will realise a slowing change in your language, culture and life. We have developed a new identity. We don’t really belong here, that’s the brutal truth. The words you use…all of them are just so different, sound so strange. Rent a flat, get into school, look for a job…and getting around on public transport…all these we have to learn from scratch. The word foreigner…it’s constantly a reminder that here isn’t our home after all. So don’t hope for equality here. Don’t hope for sympathy. You can only help yourself. You should love yourself the most!
Admit it, our hearts long for home, and that’s because we are living in unfamiliar surroundings. The moment we step into other people’s country, we have to learn to be calculative, street-smart and take good care of ourselves.
Pick yourself up after a fall. Be wise.
The more you fall, the more you are used to it, and the stronger you get. But does it make you more reclusive?
Big things small things… we have to learn to take care all of it.
Once we grow stronger, we don’t feel the need for care and concern. Every now and then, we have to protect ourselves, and love ourselves more. But have we neglected other people? We get agitated easily. We suddenly become a selfish lot, and will do everything to get on top. We have become lonely in the process. Overnight, all that familiar things we have become associated to, they have been replaced by this loneliness. Who can laugh together with me?
The moon is not rounder actually here. We are not here on holiday. Life can be hard overseas to the point that you would find it unimaginable! We have to accept all challenges coming from all around. This is no paradise here! And the funny thing is that, it would take years of working here to fully realize that.
Time passes by quicker here. 36 hours is also not enough. And that’s because we occupy ourselves with life’s little chores. Mopping the floor, cook meals, sew clothes and etc…our dreams are not big…a good night’s of sleep would be enough. Strangely, finishing work late at night can be more thrilling. As you try hard to sleep, the adrenaline never comes off. That is how my sleep pattern gets disrupted.
Surfing the internet has been a life routine. It is often a place where you won’t get much sympathy. We crave for attention on message boards/forums, but we often do it at the expense of our precious sleep time. Maybe the real me lives in cyberspace. Because that is where we feel safe, where heaven and hell doesn’t exist. In the reality world, we embrace the real us, escaping the harsh realities of the real world.
For foreigners like us, we normally have two groups of friends – here and back in homeland. Every time I head home, the memories are relived. To see your homeland friends again is such a fortunate thing. The two of us live in different environments, and the topics are getting lesser and lesser. Whenever I excitedly tell them about my life abroad, they don’t seem to connect with me, and offer polite replies. I tell myself here and then…they don’t understand my ideologies, just like I don’t understand theirs.
On the other hand, the friends you make abroad…they are just like me. That’s because we experience the same thing, and share the same language and way of life. To sum it up, the more you are further away, the friction with your homeland friend tends to be bigger. A little quarrel won’t kill, because we are friends after all. Have you ever seen bats flying together with birds then…? How true…how true.
Love in a foreign land, comes and go just as quickly. There’s no kinship here, friendship is minimal, but love is plentiful. Weak souls will crave for love to nuture their life. Strong ones treat it as a game. Here, the true value of love is very simple. Like rearing chicken, love can be developed in a matter of days. It can end up with a bland ending for both.
It can be hard to come up with the right expression when thinking of parents. Everytime you assure them all’s fine here, but you are greeted with loneliness the very moment you hang up the phone. Even if you are skilled in many languages, you just struggle to find the right words to put to it. To yearn for home, that’s a wonderful feeling. Just like when the moon is full, and the cold wind is biting you, it will remind you this is after all still a moon in a foreign land. Home, to us, is best kept and acknowledged in the heart. Open it, and the tears will come rushing down. Alas, our tears are not of any value. It’s our sweat that matters most. Hence, kinship is often a topic less mentioned here.
Having stayed abroad, I finally discovered that:
It is easy to wander around with no real sense of direction.
It can be simple to live every day.
Home is still…home sweet home.
The nagging from parents…are actually words of wisdom.
It is easy to spend money, but earning it is tough.
There’s a sense of loneliness, that can be also eagerness to get home quick.
It is sad to take the plane alone.
Inability to express what you want is a frustrating experience.
The computer is a convenient tool to solve loneliness.
It is important to make your own meals.
Time drifts by quickly.
Life abroad is not easy as you think.
Loneliness is always with us.
Learn hard to grasp a language, and it stays with you forever.
Some job agents can be an evil lot.
Sleepless at 2, 3am is the norm.
Going to hospital when sick can be a scary thing.
Seeing your own people betraying each other is not surprising.
It’s hard to develop a friendship.
A lot of things are best not to be said.
For someone to understand you is bliss.
No matter what route you take, how hard it is…you have to keep on going. We don’t want sympathy. We just want respect!
This article was original by NextSingapo.com