Time flies really fast. Another year must come to an end. For the record, it’s the busiest yet the most memorable year for us by far. Tons of events have happened that my thoughts couldn’t contain every detail of them.
Pardon me, this is my last post for the year and probably the lengthiest and most emotional write up that I have ever done. So, how my year 2015 went by…
Early this year, I tied the knot with Danny, my first and last, whom I’ve known for more than half a decade. But before we met, I have already been praying to God and been waiting patiently for a lifetime partner. Neither of us has thought that it will turn out to be an interracial marriage. When we were planning for our wedding after a year of engagement, we thought about a simple civil ceremony. But by God’s grace, we ended up having an intimate church wedding. Our immediate families were completely united to celebrate with us plus, several people close to our hearts.
By the end of the first quarter, we traveled to Cebu and Manila couple of times for legal purposes. We were so occupied with my spouse visa processing that I didn’t get to spend much more time with my family and friends before finally leaving my home country in May. That time, I thanked God I passed through the Philippine immigration smoothly without whatsoever interrogations. The feeling was so much different, unlike my last traumatic experience at the immigration. Although it was quite sad leaving home, my family and I were already prepared for this separation.
When we arrived here in Korea, we were just on time before the deadly MERS outbreak. We, then, had to buy disposable masks almost everyday and very cautious going to places especially hospitals. But, we still visited Danny’s relatives even though we had to travel for few hours and spend a night just to reach their homes and greet them personally. They aren’t unfamiliar with me because I’ve already met them during my first visit here in Korea last year. After about a month or so, that was when the outbreak had gone low, we finally sought some adventures around Seoul.
The beginning few months living in a country I can’t even partially call my own yet, was not easy. Every single cell in my body had gone through plenty of adjustments. First, my skin became so dry even in the middle of a humid, summer season. Then, I dealt with breakouts all over my forehead. Eventually, I got rid of those stubborn, cystic acnes after about 5 long months. I will be sharing those beauty secrets soon. Hoping you’ll keep watch for it. hehe Third, almost each night, I got to dream that I was still sleeping on my own bed back home and the moment I woke up, I got a little disoriented.
The adjustment period was the toughest months to go through. Expats and oversea workers could relate to this. But, I’m learning loads of stuff including household chores that I didn’t usually do at home in Davao. Of course, there’s Danny to help me complete the tasks very quickly. It’s much better if he and I are doing things together, too.
If you’ve been reading my posts for some time now, you must have noticed that I never mentioned anything about my mother-in-law. It’s because she passed away last year, just a month before I came for a visit. There were times when I wondered what it felt like to live with her. Things would have been very different, I guess. I could learn a whole lot more. I imagined us doing groceries and cooking together for the family, gardening on Mondays, mountain climbing on Tuesdays, doing handicrafts on Wednesdays and indoor swimming on Thursdays. She must be a very active and talented woman as what I heard from stories. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to talk to her even on the phone. Whenever my father-in-law and husband speak of her, I could still feel the mournful aura around the house and all I can do is whisper a prayer.
Meanwhile, to keep me distracted and for my own sanity when I’m staying alone at home, I update my blog and chance to interact online with my readers and other bloggers as well. They are so lovely and kind and I’ve never heard a single discouragement from them.
Whilst joining classes and activities that suit my interest, I met lots of people from different countries and gained few friends (and lost some) in between. Although they already went back to their home countries, our communication still continues.
Often times, I also grab the chance to chat with my best friends, too. Our weird yet perennial friendship has been tested over the years that no matter how far apart we are from each other and live in various time zones, we still have interminable conversations. We can talk about anything and everything. Recently, we just had a short talk about Canada’s history.
By October, my whole family came for a short visit. We enjoyed our time going around Seoul and beyond, regardless of sleep deprivation. Danny and I wanted to show them some more of Korea’s attractions. I didn’t want them to leave and so, I was brought to tears when we sent them off at the airport on the day of departure. However, our communication grew stronger and more frequent after that. My parents worry easily so, we constantly send them photos of our whereabouts.
Soon afterwards, winter came in late November. Growing up in a tropical country wasn’t hard to deal with. I didn’t have to worry about changing another set of bed covers and blankets. I learned to appreciate the use of lotions, moisturizers, humidifiers and heating pads. Lastly, I’ve figured out how to bend and pee with those thick and heavy winter clothes on. lol
On some days when temperature drops to negative accompanied by a biting wind, I am hesitant to go out. Although, I was anticipating to build a human-sized snowman and sing the tunes of Frozen. I also kind of learned ice skating and skiing. Both sports are difficult especially to people like me who have 2 left feet. haha. They require balance and lots of practice.
To be honest, at some point, I got homesick and thought of why not settling back home. There are many things I definitely miss about home. I could name a few — I miss my family and friends, my mom’s cooking, our pet cats, and that lax atmosphere around Davao city. But, when that longing starts to sink in again, I would divert that to WHY I chose to live here in the first place. At least, those are some of the things to look forward to when I come visit home. Frankly, I have never been away from home for a long period of time. This sort of life is very fresh to me and I have to agree to what Neale Donald Walsch said,
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So if you’re feeling uncomfortable right now, know that the change taking place in your life is a beginning, not an ending.”
Fortunately, the technology of this new age is great enough that I could instantly send photos, videos and messages to my loved ones right at the end of my fingertips.
How am I now? Despite of several culture shock experiences, I am still happily adapting to this enigmatic realm, just like a 2-year-old kid learning how to walk and talk. I can go out of the house without wearing makeup, jewels or branded clothes and I don’t feel less pretty. I got Danny at my side who loves me and an omnipotent God who will never leave us nor forsake us.
As this current chapter of my life is still on process, I am still welcoming another year with arms wide open. I forgive the people who’ve hurt me and spoke harsh things against me. Likewise, if I have offended you in any way, I humbly apologize for my shortcomings for I am not perfect.
Note to self:
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 (NLT)
Lastly, we cherish those faithful people who went through thick and thin with us and we will build much stronger relationships to them from now on. I am always thankful to the Lord for all those marvelous moments and awesome opportunities that He had given us. I don’t know what God has stored for me and Danny in the coming year, but for sure, we’ll fill it up with more thrilling adventures, more good food to eat, extra laughters and exciting yet learning experiences that we always would want to remember and be grateful for the rest of our lives.
Farewell 2015, you have been really incredible and thank you for the very wonderful memories.
That’s all for now. I really appreciate your time reading until the end. Have a blessed Christmas and may you and your family have a prosperous new year. Enjoy the holidays, stay healthy and keep warm 🙂