Just a year ago I made a very important decision in my life. I wanted MORE. I was never contented. I knew I am capable of doing greater things in life. I made a plan, execute it, and the last thing I knew, I was already packing up my bags, ready to leave everything behind… for the promise of a better future.
Moving abroad alone was never easy. There are just some things that are undeniably hard to deal with. Most of the time, you will get hurt. People will come and go from your life, and you will question yourself if all of this was ever worth it. Did I make the right decision? Or was I selfish for choosing to pursue my dreams?
Whether you think it or not, when you move to another country alone, you really are starting from scratch. I moved in here in UAE with literally nothing in my pocket, no friends, no loved ones, living in a not-so-accommodating accommodation with people who don’t have the same values I have, etc. These things may not seem like a big deal, but all that unfamiliarity can trigger a sense of feeling lost. All I have is my dream – that burning desire – it was so big, it had engulfed me.
The audacity! Who was I? How would I ever accomplish this?
I didn’t have the answers. But once I owned up to my dream, I knew I couldn’t ignore it.
Living abroad alone has been one of my proudest accomplishments. I’m proud of it because this has shown me that I do actually have a BACKBONE. lol 😀 So here I will share with you the lessons I’ve learned from moving abroad… alone.
You Have No Choice But to be Independent and Self-Sufficient
Probably one of the most difficult things for me to deal with was learning the hard way that distance will likely bring out the flaws in a relationship. Despite your best efforts to stay in touch, you will lose contact with your loved ones and eventually get tired. You may decide to move on but it may not be as easy… especially when they are the sole reason why you wanted this in the first place.
With the inevitable loss of a loved one, you’re going to feel lonelier than you’ve ever felt… Making new friends was easy but it wasn’t as genuine, especially in Dubai. I even went on dating apps hoping I can meet someone who I can relate with and make some “serious connection” but turned out a major disaster. People here are here for business. This is a no-brainer. It took me months though to realize this. People here have their own agenda. They are busier, stay less in touch, and are more selective with whom they will spend their time. I can’t complain. I’m exactly the same.
The solution? Patience. The right people will come into your life eventually, and organically. Don’t try to force it. I have learned that being alone isn’t always a bad thing, and as a matter of fact, I become stronger. I become more independent, resilient, and self-sufficient. I am able to focus more on my career and found new skills that I never knew I had. Being alone gives you the chance to really get to know yourself. Without anybody to criticize you, you’re free to get out of your comfort zone, try new things, learn new skills, and grow emotionally.
You Have to Trust That Everything Is Working Out For The Best
The gravity of whatever mess you’re in will feel much worse because of the fact that you know you’re alone in the country, and you know that you don’t have a safety net to fall back on to help you out. For instance, one time I resigned from my job and filed a complaint against my previous abusive employer, and have to search for a new job in Dubai all in the same stressful week. And so I had to pack up my stuff, travel all the way from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain to get back my documents, and then to Dubai to start fresh, find a new home and new job, and pay for my cancellation visa while heartbroken and depressed. All in the first few months of living in Dubai.
Who would have thought I will experience that “maala-telenovela” encounter? Nobody would ever want to be in that kind of situation for sure. But I was able to pull through. Because when you have no choice, and I mean NO CHOICE, it makes us humble. We surrender to the Lord. There are no challenges that we cannot surpass as long as we have Christ with us. We must trust in him and believe that everything will work out for the best.
We must be ready for the hard times, but be even more ready to learn from all these challenges. Never ever give up. You’re going to fall a lot but you must find a way to pick yourself back up—again and again. These setbacks are meant to strengthen us. We must learn from them, honor them, and use them as an opportunity —an opportunity to pause, restart, reflect, grow, and reshape our lives.
You Have to Appreciate And Trust Your Inner Self
My life in Dubai thought me to be unapologetically myself. I am unique, special, and one of a kind. I have my own abilities, strengths, and positive attributes. I fund my own shit, make my own money, and strategize to survive in this expensive city. I no longer try to fit in. Nobody knows me here. Therefore I can start a new persona – a brave strong confident independent woman!
I am not here to please anyone. I don’t have to adjust to please others or cut myself short to measure up to other people’s expectations. Life is short. I don’t want to waste time pretending who I’m not.
If you want to experience greater happiness in life, start being unapologetic about considering yourself to be your topmost priority. Practice self-compassion, understand yourself, and give yourself the rightful place in your life. Cultivate the courage to wake up in the morning and say to yourself: “No matter what the challenges are, no matter how painful I’m going through right now, I am enough. Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable. I am scared…but that doesn’t change the truth that I’m also brave and worthy of love.“
You are the most important person in your life, and you matter the most. Be your own person, do what you love doing and make choices that resonate with your inner self and are in line with your values and principles.
Looking back to the person I was years ago, I found myself in a surreal position of having to explain to myself that I don’t even come close to the person I am today. I AM WAAAAY BETTER NOW. It didn’t happen by mistake, it didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen without the hardships and the lessons learned in the process.
Why am I posting this? Because someone reading this right now is going through the same thing, someone is struggling with life, someone reading this is trying their hardest just to keep moving. You aren’t alone and I can promise you it gets better, but only if you’re willing to make it better. Life’s greatest teacher is experience, and you’ll do yourself a great favor by being open to new challenges and experiences, whether good or bad.
That’s all for now. Thank you so much for reading this month’s post. I apologize for the months I’ve been MIA. Now you know why! HAHAHAHUHU! Miss you guys!