I Have Less Friends Now, and That’s Okay

I was on my lunch break at work and I saw an instagram story by a friend of mine. We first met through blog back in the days, but somehow got into the same university although different colleges. She posted something where she tagged, surprisingly, another friend of mine. Friend number 2 and I went to the same college in university. I didn’t know friend number 1 and number 2 know each other… until I realized that they were at one point, colleagues.

Ah, small world. That’s Jakarta to me. When I still lived there, I had a multiple circle of friends, and I found joy in finding connections between my circles. I would often be part of, or even host multi-circle gatherings, which may consist of my classmates, and then a friend’s classmate, or another friend’s colleague… you get the idea. I would meet new people, new friends, and the circle would keep growing, hahaha it does sound tiring now as I’m writing this but there was a time where I was happy to be a part of it.

Seeing the instagram story today made me realize that here in the United States, I don’t have that many friends, and I don’t think I ever will. I only have 2 circle of friends, one that I know from my husband and one that I know myself. At one point I tried to expand my circle, I tried to make friends at university, or even at my Barre class, but none actually made it past the “acquaintance” or “social media friends” part.

I have a good relationship with the people from work but it’s hard to consider them as part of my circle. I think my perception of friendship changes over time, and for the most part, being an immigrant has a lot to do with it.

As an immigrant, I think I’m keeping my circle small, but that circle is my extended family. As an immigrant, I have to rebuild my network, similar to what I did growing up in Jakarta, but here, they way I’m building it is purely for business. There’s got to be something in exchange. And that’s okay.

I used to think that making friends is the biggest struggle as an immigrant. I understand why, considering how social I was back home. But now, as time passes, I realize that it’s not the case. The biggest struggle is actually comparing things here vs back home. Once I do it less (hard to say that I completely avoid it), I came to understand and accept that I have less friends now, and that’s okay. After all, quality > quantity, right? πŸ™‚

5 Months On The Job

Waktu pertama kali nulis draft ini, gue baru sekitar sebulan kerja. Ternyata sekarang udah masuk bulan ke-5 hahaha, telat banget deh. Jadi judulnya diganti lah. Anyway ini tulisan singkat aja, mumpung lagi lunch break nih ehehe… pengen cerita beberapa hal yang udah gue pelajarin selama kerja dan juga beberapa perbedaan atau persamaan situasi kerja disini dan di Jakarta dulu.

Hal – hal yang gue pelajari

Jadi gue kan cukup baru ya di posisi sekarang ini. Udah gitu industri nya juga baru, teknologi. Untuk posisi gue, yaitu Customer Success, salah satu skill yang penting banget dimiliki adalah skill mendengarkan. Gue liat rata – rata penyebab masalah muncul atau masalah susah diselesaikan tuh karena salah satu pihak kurang ngedengerin pihak lainnya. Kalaupun iya, kayak nggak bener – bener di dengerin gitu loh, cuma sebatas lalu aja.

Jadi gue lagi belajar, pentingnya ngedengerin lawan bicara gue dalam kerjaan. Apalagi customer. Penting banget buat gue untuk bisa mengerti masalah yang dia hadapi, kemauan dia, dan bahkan background nya si customer supaya gue bisa kasih solusi paling baik buat dia.

Terus karena gue kerja di perusahaan kecil yang modelnya seperti start up, gue jadi belajar buat wear many hats di kerjaan gue. Iya titel resmi nya customer success tapi gue juga kerjain marketing, project management, dan sebagainya. Hal ini cukup bikin kaget karena selama ini perjalanan karir gue di perusahaan multinasional yang udah punya struktur jelas, semua ada scope nya masing – masing.

Satu lagi, gue belajar jadi mentor! Hihihi. Salah satu program di kantor gue ini adalah mentorship, dimana karyawan baru di pasangin sama karyawan yang udah lebih lama. Walaupun gue baru 5 bulan, tapi per minggu ini gue kedapetan 1 mentee yang baru aja masuk hari Senin kemarin hehe. Jadilah gue musti belajar gimana jadi mentor yang baik dan juga memastikan dia bisa maju dalam kerjaannya dia. Bagian ini cukup membuat gue semangat sih.

Perbandingan Kerja di US dan di Indonesia

Kayaknya untuk sekarang gue gak bakal cerita terlalu detail untuk bagian ini, secara dari segi waktu perbandingannya belum banyak. Tapi satu hal yang mulai berasa, disini kayaknya agak lebih susah dapat kolega se-asik waktu kerja di Indonesia huhuhu.. rata -rata disini kolega ya jadi kolega aja, nggak lantas jadi teman deket banget bangetan kayak waktu gue kerja dulu di perusahaan minuman (you know who you are!).

Sebenernya masih mau cerita lebih banyak tapi jam makan siang udah mau kelar, jadi nanti di lanjut yaa.. hehe. Semoga teman2 semua sehat ya! Until next time! πŸ™‚

We Have a New Address!

Today marks the 5th day of living in the new house. We officially moved to our new place right at the start of November. Since we are renting from family, they are generous enough to give us the key to the house prior to our move, so we had gone back and forth in October to slowly move our stuff and also clean and prepare the house before we officially move in.

We are still living in California, still in greater Los Angeles, although different cities and zip codes now. While I was going back and forth last month, and during the last couple of days, I began to notice the differences between the two areas. It looks like my old house has a more suburbia feel compared to this new one. I thought they would be the same, since both are in suburban Los Angeles.

My old place was located in a very quiet neighborhood with big roads, has a big neighborhood park but it’s almost impossible to travel by foot or public transportation to get around. I did it when I just moved to the US and before I was able to drive, but trust me it was not ideal.

To my surprise, my new neighborhood is very walkable! the house is located in the “downtown” neighborhood of the city, and although the road is more narrow (downside: it’s harder to find street parking should we want to host a big group… but who wants to host anyway, with covid? hehe), it’s within walking distance to the city hall, restaurants, main street, supermarket, and a weekly farmers market! AAAH I’m so happy! Since I left Bournemouth, I never lived in a place where I could walk to get essentials. This gives me so much joy already. Should I get a job in downtown Los Angeles, there’s also a Metro station nearby which I can take comfortably. The city also provides a free shuttle to get around downtown and I believe public transportation should be more accessible… but we’ll see. I can’t wait to explore more!

Another downside besides the lack of street parking is also the lack of Asian food in this neighborhood.. HAHAHA. I used to be able to get boba so easily and there’s a lot of good Asian food in my old neighborhood. Here I had to drive 15-25 minutes away, or just go back to my old neighborhood if I crave for good Asian food (the old neighborhood is 25 – 30 minutes away).

But so far I’ve been loving the experience of moving out – moving in and settling in. Although we are not yet homeowners but for the first time ever we now have our own space and I have the liberty to decorate… and I now have my own little reading nook! ❀ I hope this means that I would still be able to keep up with my Goodreads challenge til the rest of the year hehehe.

Anyway, back to unpacking! I still have to figure out how to organize my closet and there’s still a couple of boxes that haven’t been opened (mostly R’s stuff.. I moved from Indonesia 3 years ago so I don’t have a lot of stuff with me). It has been a fun and it definitely takes my mind off the stress of being unemployed… but I trust that everything will fall into place at the right time, just like our move. More house update to come and wish us luck as we transform this space to a home! πŸ™‚

What They Don’t Tell You About Moving Abroad For Love

I remember my initial reaction when I was introduced to my husband. “it’s not going to work”, was what came to mind when I learned that he lives in America. At that time, I had no slightest desire of moving to the US. The American dream was not part of my dream, if anything, deep down, what I wanted was to be able to live in the UK again, one day.

Long story short, today I’m approaching my 3 years moving-to-the-US anniversary, yet sometimes I still find myself in disbelief… wow I have really moved abroad for love. It has been quite a ride, full of ups and downs. I’ve shared bits and pieces about my immigrant story in the blog, but one thing I realized that I haven’t shared is the things that nobody told me before my big move.

There will always be that void in your heart

…from missing your family and friends in your home country. Of course you will build a new family together with your significant other, you’ll also make new friends, and you/they can always visit! But things will be different. I’m thankful that I moved in the era of the internet, where connecting with distanced loved ones is no longer a hardship. But still, there will be moments missed, connections lost, which, sooner or later you just gotta accept.

Starting over is hard…

…and it takes a lot of patience. For a planner like myself, my move abroad means having to deal with uncertainty, and many times it almost killed me. Over and over I had to face that plans do change, especially when you are starting over in a new country. Latest example? COVID-19, which of course caught everyone by surprise. Personally, it affected my job hunting after I finished my certificate program. Not going to dwell on it here, but you get the point, starting over is hard and it takes a lot of patience.

Your significant other might not get it…

…but it’s essential that they do! In the earlier days of our marriage, after my move, I realized that my husband did not really get the struggles that I was facing. Whenever I had a difficult moment, he could only say, “be patient”, without actually understanding why I felt whatever I was feeling. He would think that he “understood”, and started to think I was exaggerating, while in fact he did not. It took us a while to work on this issue – now he finally gets it, and even if he still does not, he now knows how to ask the right questions/ how to deal with the issue. It gives me so much peace and comfort knowing that I have someone who truly understands and it calms me during my difficult moments.

Slowly, you’ll find yourself letting go of what you used to know…

…and embracing what you don’t know. My long-time blog readers should know that this move is not the first for me. Back in 2009 I also moved abroad, for education, albeit only for 1 year. At that time, I had to rely on the things I know to survive. I used the way I do things to navigate through the move, adapting to the changes, surviving grad school… and everything that happened in that one year. But now, I realized that I can’t solely rely on myself. I have my husband and like it or not, he does have more experience here in this country. It took me a while to embrace it, letting myself receiving help in navigating my new life here, without thinking that it’s a sign of weakness.

You’ll find that the opportunities are endless…

…it’s just a matter of how you want to make use of it. I like to think that being a “love immigrant” puts me in a unique position. I’m married, in my 30s, with no children, living in the a new country, which means that I get the chance to reinvent myself, a thing that might not be the case had I stayed in my home country. Should I switch careers? should I open my own business? Should I be a full-time housewife? I feel that I now have the liberty to choose what I want to do next, considering that I now have a “backup”, that being the full support of my husband.

Did you also move abroad for love? Have other things to share? Would love to read them! πŸ™‚

The One Where I’m Job Hunting During a Pandemic

It’s no news but I have been actively looking for a job. You see I moved here 3 years ago, leaving behind a career in Indonesia. I knew I wanted to keep working after I got married, but I wasn’t able to work immediately after I moved here. So while I waited, I did some remote freelancing work, and once I was able to work, I took on casual work here and there while I settle down and trying to figure out my next move. I then decided to go back to school, enrolled myself in a one-year long Digital Marketing certificate program.

Continue reading “The One Where I’m Job Hunting During a Pandemic”