In my last post, I talked about moving out of Subic. I also shared how I felt that I was more than ready to move to Manila.
But yeah, it’s complicated….
WHAAT?? NOW I WANT TO STAY??
Those of you who have followed the first post probably think I’m a fickle, flighty girl who changes her mind at the drop of a hat.
Just the opposite, those who know me can attest that I’m doggedly, stubbornly decisive. In fact, I’m the poster child for confirmation bias. (Psych 101, Confirmation bias: “the tendency to interpret new information as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories.” ).
And that’s probably why it took me a while to realize that we have it good here.
I guess it also helped that things were picking up. For one thing, I finally got my first retainer job. FROM A STRANGER! (shout out to my friend Bayzee who helped me land this gig). Sidenote: Cielo and Margs, I will forever be grateful for the steady work you’re giving me. But I’m not sure if you hired me because you think I have legit skills, or if you just don’t want me to be destitute.
I have to admit it’s a different kind of excitement when someone who isn’t emotionally invested in my personal welfare is actually willing to pay me to write. I have a street cred guys! (*Tear*)
I’m certainly a long way to go from my Oprah-ish empire. But at least, it gave me the affirmation that living in Subic can actually sustainable.
So slowly, I was beginning to regain my footing. And begrudgingly, I was becoming a little bit more open to the possibility of staying here longer…
And then we had to move.
Like I said, I knew leaving was inevitable. But I didn’t think it would happen this soon!
In my head, I needed 6 months to prepare for the move. Instead, because the Universe has a sense of humor, we now have 6 weeks.
All of a sudden I had all these things to consider:
Where were we going to live? We’ve sold our house when my mom passed away, so that only leaves Moe’s house. That place needs a lot of fixing up. I refuse to go back to living like a heathen. We would have to rent.
But, we can’t rent forever! So we have to cough up both the rent money and money for constructing Moe’s house. We’re going to be poor!
Talk about awful timing too. We have a Davao and Korea trip planned this July! How the eff are we going to manage all of that??
Gasp! What about our current internet subscription? We’re still under contract! That’s 15k!
And how the hell are we going to haul all stuff we’ve accumulated back to Manila?
On top of that, I’m getting more work from other people too. I have back to back deadlines. I can’t rely on Moe much because he’s up to his elbows with work.
I. Can’t. Deal.
The stress has transformed me into a chain- smoking, binge-eating, coffee-guzzling, vodka-chugging, pinterest-obsessing shell of my old self.
To top it off, as usual, I have emotional baggage.
FEAR OF CHANGE
Just to give an idea of how neurotically risk-averse I’ve always been, let me tell you a quick story:
My parents used to tell me that even as a baby, I was perfectly content playing in my room for days and did not seem to possess a natural infant- desire to discover new things.
Any tentative attempts to explore would immediately be halted the minute I found myself in a risky situation. And, if I got hurt engaging in a particular task, I would back off and not bother with that task again.
Needless to say, that old foggy of a baby grew up to be a foggier adult.
I don’t like change. I like things that are routine and predictable. It took me a while to get used to Subic. And I’m irrationally panicked at the thought of having to leave my constructed comfort zone again.
Earlier on, I mentioned that Moe and I got into relationship problems while we were here. If I was honest with myself though, those problems were not Subic-exclusive. Those issues were there even before we got here. As a matter of fact, living in Subic actually helped us get our sh*t together. His work and our lifestyle here afforded us the time to focus on our problems.
Now, I’m absolutely petrified that moving to the more pressure-inducing environment of Manila could rock the boat again.
Plus, here I am going on and on about my inability to start a career here, BUT what if, I go back to Manila, and I still find myself in a rut? What would be my excuse then? The prospect of having to really put myself out there is terrifying.
FACING CHANGES HEAD ON
I may be a first class whiner, but I’m also my daddy’s daughter. In the sage words of my dad, “Ganun talaga. (insert sigh here).” If there’s one thing my papa has taught me is that you gotta do what you gotta do.
So, I allowed myself one good I’m-so-overwhelmed-why-do-I-have-to-keep-on- adjusting cry; followed by an epic can-I-just stay-in-bed-forever mope and then I continued to methodically tackle every practical thing that we had to do.
Change is inevitable, so you gotta roll up your sleeves, roll with the punches- or roll with anything that some cliché tells you to roll with. At the end of the day, you have to meet these changes head on or you’ll end up being left behind. (I actually contemplated literally being left behind though: I told Moe that he could leave me here, I’ll cook nice meals for the new Chief- of- staff, and then he can come pick me up when I’m good and ready.)
ON MISSING SUBIC
Doing what it takes doesn’t mean I’m not sad though. There are so many things that I will miss about this place.
I will miss living in a quiet neighborhood with only seasonal vacationers for neighbors.
I will miss waking up to trees and birds and all that nature-y stuff.
I will miss going around in my pyjama pants and not having people judge me.
I will miss not going through traffic everyday.
I will miss having ample water pressure in our shower.
I will miss having people visit us during vacations.
I will miss going on day trips to the beach.
I will miss having loads of quality time with Moe.
I will miss coming home to our house.
And, I will miss the people: I will miss BBQ at Gregg’s or at Jon’s; family night at the Means’ or girls’ night with Bayzee, B and Bianca; I will miss drinking with Gary and Craig or beer pong at Paddy’s; I will miss the yummy food at the Garcia’s or watching the New Year fireworks with them at Board Walk.
I will miss how warm and open everyone is here and how we actually feel that we’re part of a community.
But, to put things in perspective, it’s not as if we’re leaving with nothing. We’ll be taking with us a lot of memories and a trunk full of lessons from happy and painful experiences. I’m coming back a little bit more domestically-savvy, a little bit more street-smart and definitely loads wiser and loads more determined.
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS
The hassle of moving has also reminded me of what I’m going back to. My Manila peeps, as usual have been incredibly supportive.
Booboo, God bless her loyal soul, has been taking time out from her crazy schedule to look at houses for us.
Margaux (and Kuya Don) have generously agreed to house and feed us, should we find ourselves still homeless by the end of June.
Cielo has been helping calm my frayed nerves by methodically discussing the pros and cons of rent houses with me and enthusiastically indulging my obsessive ideas about the new house we’re planning to construct.
Amazingly, even one of my new friends, Bernice, has been graciously going out of her way (even got her dad involved) to help us find a suitable place to live.
Having them around has reminded me that I may be leaving the familiarity of Subic, but I’m also actually just coming home.
ON ALWAYS BEING HOME
I can’t end this piece without giving props to my husband:
I’m so, so ridiculously proud of what you’ve accomplished here. I know it’s heartbreaking for you to leave a place and a job that you’ve put so much of yourself into- but if it’s any comfort, know that I got your back.
This transition has reminded me of the vow I made to you when we got married: “Whatever happens, wherever the universe decides to take us, as long as we’re together, we’ll always be home.”
Looking forward to our next home and our next adventure. 🙂