Daily Prompt: Sink or Swim by Krista on December 4, 2013
Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?Photographers, artists, poets: show us PERSEVERANCE.
via Daily Prompt: Sink or Swim.
Born and bred in Kuching, I said goodbye but of course I knew I will be back, year after year, sometimes once, sometimes twice. Kuching will always be my hometown, where my roots are, where I made my first friends, where I had my education, where I grew up and it was my home for the last forty years.
At forty-one, I decided to make a change in my life, turned my page away from building my career, went through a divorce, time to take an early retirement and see what the future holds. Alone I moved to Auckland, sink or swim, I had decided even if I sink, I had to keep afloat, hang on and never let go. My eldest daughter came to Palmerston North to further her studies a year or two before me so we were not living in the same city.
I moved from my five bedroom house in Kuching, with maids that came round cleaning my house every week to my new home in Maraetai Beach, a rented property, a two bedroom unit. I was the maid, the cook, the gardener, all in one. My new life looked very gloomy but looking around me, I was truly blessed to be living in such a beautiful seaside town with lovely pohutukawa trees, beaches and coastlines.
Another blessing was I had met someone and we were engaged but both of us had past families before, neither of us were committed enough to tie the knot. Eventually that engagement was broken and I was totally alone again. At that time, visually, I was hanging on a float not allowing myself to sink.
I got a job moved to Half Moon Bay closer to my workplace and life goes on. Knowing that I consciously made the decision to move to a foreign land, knew that things were not going to be smooth sailing all the time. I missed my family and my friends. Those new workmates and social buddies I made were to me more acquaintances than friends, so unlike my childhood friends who grew up together, understood each other like no other can.
When one is left to face any challenges alone, one gets stronger. I was fiercely independent and I started to socialize on my own, yes, even dine on my own in nice restaurants, drink at pubs on my own and that did not bother me at all. I did not want to hide in my room and cry, I was determined to live like a local and eventually I mixed and mingled as a local.
While having a social life, I also spent my free time volunteering in the community, helping in community events and teaching English to new migrants.
It is now almost ten years since I moved to Auckland. My daughters were living in Palmerston North but my younger has now moved to live with me but she has her own life and circle of friends while I have mine but it is nice to know that there is a family in my house and I am not alone.
I have a dog, my Toby who is now four years old. He is my buddy and my most loyal friend that wags his tail, holds a toy in his mouth, greeting me so excitedly every time I come home. What more can I ask for?
These ten years of my life, although I could have sunk but I chose to stay afloat and swam my way through.
In life, you either sink or swim. There is no other option.
– Linda Poindexter
My buddy and my loyal friend