Reading time: 6 minutes

Everything has started to become a blur as I try to recall the day I left Malaysia, my life and the rat race I so wanted to be part of. I tried fixing my eyes to the freshly bloomed tulips in front of me but they are just making the memory drift away. Its beauty is so mesmerizing that it’s making me forget everything I’d rather remember. I shifted my gaze.

I closed my eyes tightly and tried harder. This time I saw my friends’ and my brother’s animated waves and facial expressions as I queued at the Immigration line. We were in Kuala Lumpur International Departures.

It all felt surreal. With their loud Filipino voices, I couldn’t make out what they were saying when in fact, I could have easily understood it had I focused. But I couldn’t. I lost it.

Relief, excitement, anxiety and fear were competing against each other inside my head. It felt like major anaesthesia started taking me to oblivion but inside, I was screaming “This is it! I am leaving everything behind. I am so ready for a fresh brand new start. I will deal with Boss later.”

 

I Wanted To Cry

I know I will cry if I will take one last look at them.

I hugged my oversize LV handbag closer for comfort but felt nothing. Normally I will feel giddy just by the mere thought that I will use my LV bag. Using my LV bag equates to special occasions. But my LV bag, just to name drop, didn’t make me feel like how it used to.

I took my time walking to the boarding area. My luggage, carry on and backpack were heavy but my heart feels heavier and lighter at the same time. How can that be possible? I will be honest, I don’t know. All I know is that I am positive that everything will turn out okay.

I looked around as I walked slowly, memorizing every corner of this airport that seemed like a huge part of my Malaysian adventures. Unlike the other trips where I know exactly when I will be back, this time, I don’t and if truth be told, I don’t care. Am I not scared? Of course I am. I am the biggest coward I know and sometimes it is so hard to pretend that I am brave and independent. I don’t want to be perceived a loser again like when I was in elementary and high school. I worked so damn hard to look cool, be liked and my corporate world will not put an end to it.

 

Arriving In Dusseldorf

The Nearly 17 Hour Flight Went Smoothly. I slept through it after gulping my first Turkish beer.

Outside the arrival section in Dusseldorf, I was greeted by my Dad who was holding a winter jacket, my Mom, my Aunt and Uncle.

I didn’t bother researching Germany’s definition of cold. I’m pretty sure my Mom’s clothes, though they will make me feel like an elephant on labour, will fit me.

“Sooooo fat!” Were my welcome words. This equates to “hello” or “nice seeing you again” in our language. My aunt made sure she will welcome me the traditional Filipino way the first time I set foot in the land of beer and sausages. Bad idea to come here but I cheered myself up. I didn’t have Plan B and I’m not in the mood yet for planning.

I just left my job without notice and I am not ready to jump into a new one without healing all my wounds yet. I still need time to think how I will face my boss’ wrath the next time my mobile phone connects to the internet. I’m now scared of any notification I will get.

I didn’t know how capable I am to plot things. I only bump into books that I always loved reading. I never know how scheming I could be when I want something. But to be fair, my boss, given that he is Chinese-Malay, never treated me like a slave like how most Chinese would at a Filipino in exchange of a little amount of money. To be fair, my Boss was always patient in all my brattiness and tantrums. He laughs at my silly old jokes and covers my ass though he will be busted for doing it.

I felt bad about just going AWOL but I just couldn’t take the misery anymore. I don’t see myself fighting with our banking customers over one cent all the time anymore. When my parents left to work overseas, all I had was money. No one looked after me. No one gave me the warmth I badly needed. I was like a single parent with two boys at a very young age and I couldn’t do so much about it.

 

Growing Up, I Had Money But No Parents

Money doesn’t have much effect on me. It’s never enough motivation for me. At 29, I was scared but I did it anyway. I left my job with no plans nor enough savings but three years later, I’m still alive. I have learned every profound lesson I never thought I could. It wasn’t easy to do odd jobs while learning German, teaching English and doing Masters but I was okay doing them. In fact, I was happy doing them.

When my parents went home with no savings, I started being a typical Filipino breadwinner. I cried because being Filipino means that I needed to step up and do something. At this age, I have the choice to decline, fly as far away as I could again but I didn’t. I could have done it but I will never be able to sleep again and I am tired of running away.

Family is so important in our culture. Moving overseas twice made me grow so much to a point of having rough patches with my family but I honestly don’t mind. I need the distance to find myself. I need the distance for my peace. I could have started a pity party but I didn’t. Instead, I trained my mind to see the good in things. I built a self-help corner at home, sat there most of the time to lick all my wounds and absorb all the wisdom they are meant to give me.

 

Being My Own Woman

Now, I don’t want to blame myself for not wanting and not being able to fit into the slot that my family have always reserved for me and if I will be honest, I don’t want to cut my edges just to be able to. I am my own woman now. No one can order me around. No one can put me down.

 

“Dear Boss,

Thank you for declining my leave request. I learned how to fight for my own happiness.”

 

Thank you so much for reading. I'm Dani and I have an online diary called This Village Girl. I am not a travel blogger but my eternal curiosity and passion for learning made me see places that lead me moving to two different countries. I write about life, personal growth and development, change, intentional living and redefining happiness after leaving our small Philippine village.

You can drop by at https://thisvillagegirl.com and join my journey or for a  small chat about travel, life, relationships or even career dilemmas.  I will be happy to see you living the life that you always dreamed of; no excuses. Together we will prove that real life begins at the end of our comfort zones.