I was talking to a friend from way back last time. Catching up on things, people we know, life and stuff. Since I am no longer in town I seem to miss a lot on people I know and knew. That is to be expected.

She asked me the usual questions about living and working abroad and I gave her my honest answer. Living and working abroad is not easy especially if it happens to be just you. No immediate support and comfort from your family or friends because you are miles and miles away from them. However, I wasn’t aware that I was making a different impression to some people back home. I was surprised when she said “You make it look so easy Ysa.” So I asked if it was a good thing or a bad thing and she said good thing.

After our conversation I started to ponder about her comment and tried to compare “my life” to other people I know..

We have to remember that being an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) involves a lot of decision making. They all have their own story on why they chose to leave the country for work. Be it about family, financial aspect, for a better life or out of a whim, people tend to show different coping mechanism.

There are moments when I am also having a hard time here and feeling a bit lost. I guess I just don’t show it so much because I always take it as a challenge and try to find something that will make me feel better. Priorities plays a big part on how we deal with problems. Plus I have some people who I occasionally talk to. They serve as my sounding board and absorb all my complains and bratty rants.. Which helps a whole lot! Sometimes or most of the time (depends on how often you have to) it’s good to vent out emotions. No sense in keeping it. It will only make you feel worse and that’s not going to help at all.

In general I am enjoying everything that is happening to me. I like the whole “living independently” state that I am in. But I always tell people, living and working abroad is not for everyone. You have to have that certain determination to actually survive and compete outside your comfort zone. Sure it will teach you more about life and hardships but you have to learn how to overcome those things. Because once you are out there, you are on your own. You can’t always rely on other people. You need to learn how to take care of yourself.

I make it look easy because I try to find a way and actually enjoy the experience I am learning every single day. I take the good with the bad. I try to find something good out of difficult situations. I try my best to see both sides. There’s a lot of things I do. I make it look easy through hard work.

Word of advice: Whatever reason you have for leaving, never ever forget to put in your priority list to learn how to live and enjoy life. Responsibilities will always be there but life is not forever.