Moving is challenging. It’s never easy leaving behind the ones you love and friends who have your back. Never easy seeing teary faces bidding you goodbye at home or at the airport. If you’re moving alone, all of a sudden you don’t have someone right beside you to share happy or sad moments with.
via Why Moving Is Hard.
I was reading Mabel’s story about ‘Why Moving is hard’ (please click here to read her original post). This is a topic which has been on my mind all the time but for some reason, I avoided blogging about it.
My blog is my autobiography and I had written about my childhood, my adulthood, my marriage, my children but have not really shared my story about my move to New Zealand.
I grew up in Malaysia and Singapore and even after marriage when I needed time on my own, to get away from my failed marriage, I moved to Singapore to stay with my late grandmother. I was not alone then but moving to Auckland was a big step, it wasn’t an hour and a half flight time as from Kuching to Singapore. It was more than eleven hours flight time. I had chosen to take that giant leap.
Moving isn’t easy. Moving countries takes a lot of courage. My friends said I was brave but I didn’t realized that at that time when I decided to let go of my successful job, my family, my friends, my cats, my belongings and moved to Auckland. All I knew was that I wanted to start living for myself and have a fresh start in life in a new environment and ‘retire’ in a laid back country like New Zealand when life isn’t just about working long hours.
I had been too pampered in my hometown with my aunts (two of them) who helped cared for my children so that I could focused all my time on my demanding job. If I could turn back the clock, I would love to be a full time mum and spend quality time with my children as they grow up, from babies to infants to teenagers. I missed all that.
My greatest regret was leaving my son when he was only twelve and I only recently found out that he went to secondary school in his primary school uniform – that clearly reflected a child who probably has no mother or a mother who did not deserve to be called a mother at all. That perhaps was the reason why I avoided talking about my move from Malaysia to New Zealand.
My son has finally decided to live permanently in Auckland (at least for now) and I am trying to ‘mother’ him but at his age now, I think, to him I am more a nuisance than he needs. I tried to make up the years he had to fend for himself so in my own ways tried (still trying) to ‘mother’ him doubly hard.
Coming back to the topic of this post, being on your own and standing on ‘different soil‘ gave me the courage, strength and independence. I had hardly any friends then and I often dined alone in restaurants, even went to pub and enjoyed a glass of wine on my own. My belief was to do things I wanted to do since not a soul knew me so there was nothing to be afraid of or being shy about. In the process of doing that, I had grown to be totally independent.
Since my big move to Auckland, I had to move again, reluctantly to Perth and for a short time to Jakarta (but that was different and I was not alone) and every time I moved (be it to another country or moving house) I left a part of me behind (memories and belongings). In the midst of that, I also built up more and more collectables. If you were to come to my garage now, you will see many unopened boxes full of household utensils, decorations, bedsheets, cushions, etc. All the packing and unpacking, so much so that I now do not bother and just unpacked the necessities and left the rest in the boxes.
Life is a journey to the unknown and as long as one has an open mind to accept and adapt, mix and mingle, integrate and socialize, race and creed is of little significance. Confidence is key to survival and eventually success. In today’s world, moving is not such a fearful thing as it was yesterday. The social media, community support and social groups (such as Meetup) makes a new country or place friendlier and takes away the lonely feeling of being a lone stranger in a strange land.
Thank you, Mabel for blogging on this topic so close to my heart. It is a powerful topic and an experience many have to go through in life at one stage or another.
May this post be a guide to those who stumbled upon it, to move or not to move, by choice or by circumstances, as long as you are opened and prepared to face the consequences, things will work out. The field is green and the skies and seas are blue no matter where you are.