In 2007, I arrive in Melbourne naively. I was 22. Naively unknowing that it’s a decision that was the hardest 11 years on filled with what ifs and sacrifices.
I arrive having to escape a heartbreaking relationship, I arrive having my choice of freedom, Importantly, I arrive having a mindset of “the grass is greener on the other side.” Little did I know.
It was the hardest first half of the year, being away from the family. Harder when your life at home was so much better; oh come on! If you’re a young Singaporean, the freedom of hanging out at coffee shops till late night, shopping centres close at 10pm everyday, movies screening till late (and cheaper!), the ease and convenience of public transport, home cooked meals and hawker food starts to haunt you! The hardest is when you realised you NEED your family presence more, something I realised I took for granted!
I was thankful and lucky, I found a casual job one after another and i have been working non stop since 2007. That kept me busy, well so busy! During University, I was working as a Barista, Market Research Interviewer and Customer Service consecutively, these jobs helped me pay off my tuition fees as I studied. Hard work. TBH, I feel like I was working more than I studied! It did reflect on my transcript. Alhamdulillah I graduated in 2010.
2007, the same year, I never knew that falling in love was part of the plan, God’s plans. Then, 6 years later, who could have thought we will be solemnised in front of our closest family and friends.
Alhamdulillah. Marriage indeed was a rollercoaster ride like literally. Full of ups and downs, life lessons learnt. Picking fights, slamming doors, even after several years together, nothing will ever prepare you for marriage.. indeed empathy, compromise and patience is the ultimate key. But I really thank him, for totally understanding my family needs. He doesn’t even think twice when it comes to me returning home because I miss my family very much. More so often now than before.
We traveled the world after we first got married, ticking off the cities in our bucket list and Disneyland list (sound such a dork! But we are hardcore Disney fans!). Seeing the world with your significant other has truly a different meaning, I guess we unlocked our own lil marriage goal.
Glad we traveled because… with the arrival of our lil cheeky prince 4 years later; our worlds just collided into explosions of love, panic, exhaustion (sometimes!) and best of all surprises at every milestone.
I guess a decade of living overseas made me realise that, not all grass is greener on the other side. That things that you once take for granted will come at you and bite you! That you will miss things, you never ever thought of missing before (like the convenience of public transport and the safe environment in Singapore.)
It takes hard work, very hard work. Just because you’re working and living overseas, doesn’t make you any richer than anyone back home. This. Everyone should know. Because everyone have their own baggage and struggles. These defines them.