So, Must You Leave Everything Behind?

By , on February 1, 2014


Pangarap: So, Our Journey Begins


Only when you decide to leave everything behind, and know there is no way to move but forward … that you can hope to find that job or that new life and not for a moment think of quitting.

I remember when I was deciding to leave, I had an impromptu conversation with an old lady while waiting in line in a bank.  The lady said that she was a retired government employee and that all her children live abroad. Quickly, there was something in common to talk about as I mentioned to her that my family was also planning to move to Canada. Having heard that, she gave me this advice:

“When you leave, leave everything behind.”

She went on to ask, “Do you know why people do not succeed abroad and therefore, are not happy?

“It is because  they leave with this thought in mind – If I do not make it here, I still have a house to go back to, my boss told me I can come back to my job anytime, etc. Thus, any little frustration that comes their way emboldens them to quit because they have this house, this promise from the boss to pick up again . . .”

I think, she is right.

But I wonder if my kababayans  who have been living abroad for a while will say the same.  I also wonder if they did leave everything and if settlement had been easier because they did so.  Perhaps it would be nice to hear from  the Fil-Canadians who have been here long before us by way of feeback to this column.

One thing sure though – starting a new life is not as easy as quitting.  And quitting is even made easier if one had a “solid back-up plan”.  But to my mind, if someone leaving has a back-up plan or even just this thought at the back of his mind, it may not necessarily mean that he is not going to succeed but it is an indication that he is not fully convinced about the decision to migrate. Or, may be some people are plain siguristas. It is not bad to be a sigurista  but it might not help in the early stages of one’s migration journey. It is, in fact the solid back-up plan that might hold you down.

Depending on how old you are and or how great your professional life was and how intense the relationships you had formed, moving on will be either easy or surprisingly difficult.

Parents worry about the kids when moving only to realize that children adjust fastest. And do we realize why? So unlike us, they have less experiences in life, less baggage to weigh them down and less concerns to worry about. The later in life we decide to go, the heavier the decision to go because by then, we have accumulated so much.  From an emotional point of view, the happier you were in your past life – with family, friends and workmates – the more difficult to leave them all behind.

People have different views of migration. Some are tempted to look at is as an escape. May be a chance to get away from a past life that was not so good.  Probably a chance to start something over again.  After all, everybody deserves a chance to start a new life.

So, what do you do?  At the risk of protests, I suggest, “forget the good times”.

Forgetting the good times is a decision.  But we know that as a rational being, it is not possible to forget the past completely. The forgetting part may also be cognitive but unlike the bad times, with the good times, you may want to remember the feeling or allow the good feeling to stay.

Even if we do decide to forget, the good feeling does not die and actually becomes something that we can conveniently go back to every now and then when we want it or when we need it, especially when we want to be inspired in our new life. Or may be, just to put on a smile.

Do not allow the good times in your past to weigh you down so that you are immobilized to move forward.  Pull them in or out of your memory to inspire you that you can create new good times wherever you may be.

Nobody ever said that our journey, will be easy. But as I write and as you read, we share our strengths and we can hold to the promise that “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them,” Matthew 18:20.

 Bolet is a marketing communications practitioner and dabbles in writing as a personal passion. She is author-self publisher of the book:  The Most Practical Immigrating and Job Hunting Survival Guide, proven simple steps to success without the fears and the doubts. The book is available in Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and other online bookshops worldwide, and in National Book Store and Power Books in the Philippines