Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Difference a Year Can Make

Well, it's been almost a year since I moved away from home. Almost a year of being away from my family, almost a year of living alone, almost a year away from my comfort zone and everything that I know about. Almost a year of improving and getting to know myself more. 

There are days that I love it so much and then there are days that I hate the crippling loneliness that comes with it. All part of the journey, right? 😁

This is actually not my first time to move away from home and live on my own, but this time it's different. The first time I had to move away is because of a completely different reason... This time, there's no fear and anger inside me. This time, it is so much better.

Hello, Metro Manila!
So, why did I move this time? 

Well, there was an opportunity for me that I thought was great so I grabbed it. The timing was just a little off because it was in the middle of a pandemic and it was December, so the holidays. Most people stay with their families or go home for the holidays, but I decided to leave. It was hard for me, but it was a decision I had to make.

I had to look for an apartment online so that I have a place to stay when I arrive in Manila and thankfully, I found one. I also had to get some documents for me to be able to travel at that time, because stricter lockdown rules were implemented then. I had to get an antigen test with negative result, medical certificate that says I am fit to travel, and travel permit. 

I was moving away with nothing with me but a luggage full of my clothes, my laptop, and an airbed that I got ahead of time. 

I remember the condo agent I was talking to was worried because I got an empty apartment. She asked, "Where will you sleep? Please don't tell me you'll sleep on the floor?". I told her I brought an airbed with me, which was a relief for her. I think the airbed was what made my luggage heavy. 🤣

A huge shoutout to Ma'am Levi, my colleague and now also my neighbor, for taking care of when I arrived. She helped me arrange a transportation that picked me up from the airport and also provided some basic necessities for me to start with.

This was when I first arrived. Me with Ma'am Levi and her son, Russell.

Never really got to say it enough, but thank you so much Ma'am Levi, for looking out for me when I first got here. It means a lot to me and I feel so blessed that you are my colleague and neighbor. 

After almost a year, I can say that I have adjusted to my life here. I felt myself growing so much this past year. I can now do things I normally don't do before and I am a little confident now.

I do miss my family and I call them from time to time. I am also grateful to my father for giving me the freedom that I needed and never questioned my decisions in life. Thank you, Papa! 

I know I am an adult and I can do things that I want without permission, but as respect to my father, I still asked for his permission. It hits differently when you know you are given the blessing to do what you want and that you are supported. 

I was cleaning my place yesterday and as I was changing my bedsheet, I realized how much things have changed around here. Progress! I couldn't help but feel grateful. 

You see, when I arrived, I had nothing but an inflatable bed. The pillows were provided by Ma'am Levi. I remember feeling overwhelmed seeing how empty my apartment was when I arrived. Like things started to feel real for me... that I am an adult now and I have to work hard to be able to sustain my needs and the needs of my family back home. 

Almost a year later, I now have a proper bed frame and a mattress, curtains, and so much more. I am beyond grateful for everything!

The lesson for me here is that it may be overwhelming at first, but going out of your comfort zone can be great. Change can be good.

Being independent makes you realize a lot of things. You have to work really hard in order to keep things together, to get things that you want, to pay your bills, and a lot more.

If you are thinking of moving out and you feel ready to do that, this is probably the sign you've been looking for. You don't have to start somewhere grand. Start with what you can and work your way up. 


  1. woaaaaahhh! SO proud of youuuu, alwayss! :*

  2. So happy for you sis! And sobrang nakakaproud! 🤗