Sudden Sadness

In the midst of all things that have been happening lately, last Friday I went through a tough time with no particular reason. Well to be honest now I think the culprit was receiving an email from a future employer saying that they had to cancel my upcoming interview due to the situation, and that they’re unsure when they will be able to reschedule it. When I first got the email I didn’t feel anything, it was something that I actually have thought about because of the current situation with coronavirus and all that.

Then I went on to live my day, until a couple of hours later I suddenly felt this surge of sadness and cried uncontrollably. I literally sobbed until I was almost out of breath and felt very confused at the same time, because I didn’t know why I felt the surge of sadness.

Poor husband woke up from his sleep after a long shift at work only to find me sobbing uncontrollably. He tried to console me but I was too distressed and could not find the words to explain my feelings.

He then had to leave again for work so I was home alone and thankfully managed to calm myself down. I remembered that I had downloaded an app called Sayana – I’ve used the app several times before to help me understand my feelings and calm me down when times got rough.

So I opened the app and reported my feelings… and I got this very nice tips that I now keep in mind in case such thing happened again. As you probably know I’m almost running out of capacity on my wordpress account so I apologize that I can’t post pictures, instead I’m just going to write the tips here, hope that it will benefit you as much as it has benefited me.

The Thought Express by Sayana

I want to share an interesting metaphor about how we can observe our thoughts to avoid getting into negative emotional states.

Imagine yourself standing on the platform in a train station. The PA system tells you that there will be an express train coming by, so you need to stand back from the tracks.

Now imagine that train coming – you can probably feel it as well as hear it coming. The noise increases as it thunders through, buffeting you with a blast of wind.

Despite the intensity of the experience, we usually just let those express trains pass on by without a second thought. But when it comes to thoughts, we don’t let them go by. We get worked up and hop onto “thought express” without understanding where it takes us.

The express train metaphor shows how negative emotions and automatic thoughts work. They come on pretty quickly, and sometimes intensely, but if we don’t engage with them, they pass on by.

If we feel anger, hatred, jealousy, or any other strong emotion, we tend to dwell on it and that can have a long lasting, negative effect on our overall emotional state.

So, instead of jumping on that thought train, we can stand on the platform, notice the thoughts and feelings that come to us, let them pass until the right train arrives that will take us to where we want to go.

What do you guys think? I personally really like it and will try to practice it next time I feel a strong negative emotion. Do you have any other tips that you like to do when experiencing such thing? Do share and let’s support each other during these weird and difficult times.

As always I wish you are all healthy, safe and happy. Take good care of yourselves! πŸ™‚

Life in The Time of Coronavirus

Judulnya Bahasa Inggris tapi isinya Bahasa Indonesia, hehe. Apa kabar teman2? Pengen cerita soal kehidupan kami di Amerika akhir2 ini sejak COVID-19 sudah disebut sebagai pandemi.

Sebenarnya kan berita soal COVID-19 sudah ramai terdengar sejak akhir tahun lalu sejak pertama kali kejadian di Cina. Waktu itu kehidupan disini masih normal,bahkan sampai minggu lalu menurut saya kehidupan juga masih normal.

Mulai berasa hari Selasa minggu lalu ketika saya masuk kelas di kampus dan dosen bilang kalau baru aja ada pengumuman resmi bahwa UCLA menghentikan semua kegiatan pembelajaran di kelas, mengubahnya menjadi online sampai awal April. Hari Rabu nya saya masih ke kampus, ketemu beberapa teman untuk mengerjakan tugas kelompok. Hari Sabtu saya masih ke acara ulang tahun teman bersama 4 orang lainnya, hari Minggu masih ngopi bareng 4 orang teman.

Minggu sore dapat berita kalau mulai Senin kota LA mulai memberlakukan “lockdown”, yang artinya bisnis tutup kecuali yang berhubungan sama kesehatan, bahan pangan (supermarket) dan pemerintahan. Restoran cuma boleh terima order takeout atau delivery.

Minggu malam saya dan R belanja ke supermarket, hampir nggak kebagian apa2. Bukan niat nyetok barang sih, tapi emang kebetulan biasanya jadwal belanja mingguan kami hari Senin, nah karena katanya Senin mau lockdown ya kami belanja hari Minggu. Eh.. baru pernah liat langsung betapa kosongnya toko Target tempat biasa kami belanja, terutama di rak makanan kering, rak peralatan bersih2, dan minuman. Ngeri juga sih liatnya.

Senin-Selasa-Rabu kami kebanyakan di rumah, hanya keluar untuk hal yang benar2 perlu, itu juga keluar-masuk cepet2. R kebetulan libur hari Senin dan Selasa tapi hari Rabu kemarin dia sudah kembali bekerja, walaupun ada larangan kerja dari pemerintah setempat Orange County. Maklum, R kerjanya di bidang medis jadi tempat kerjanya memang lagi sangat padat dan butuh orang banyak, malah diminta lembur kalau bisa dan mau.

Kalau ditanya gimana situasi pasca lockdown di LA? jawabannya bervariasi. Peraturan pemerintah pun cukup bervariasi dari tiap2 daerah. Misalnya State of California punya peraturan sendiri. Orange County (tempat saya tinggal) dan LA County pun peraturan nya beda. Dalam County ada beberapa kota, dan LA County pun bukan hanya LA city. Jadi waktu hari Senin peraturan di LA city mulai berlaku, saya di rumah di Orange County belum merasakan efek dari restoran tutup, karena peraturan serupa baru resmi dikeluarkan di Orange County hari sesudahnya.

Mulai kemarin di Orange County ada peraturan baru yang mengharuskan warga untuk membatasi pertemuan kelompok dalam bentuk apapun termasuk kerja. Katanya bakal ada patroli dari aparat yang berwenang untuk memastikan semua mematuhi aturan. Kantornya R ngasih panduan untuk karyawan harus jawab apa kalau kebetulan di stop aparat sewaktu dalam perjalanan ke kantor.

Minggu ini juga saya dapat email dari kampus kalau UCLA memperpanjang periode belajar online nya sampai akhir spring quarter, kira2 di awal Juni. Minggu ini juga saya dapat kabar kalau jadwal interview urusan imigrasi saya tertunda entah sampai kapan, sampai kantor imigrasi beroperasi normal kembali.

Terus terang saya merasa takut dan sedih, pertama dengan adanya pandemi ini dan melihat jumlah orang yang terinfeksi rasanya makin banyak aja tiap harinya. Sedih juga karena beberapa rencana harus ditunda dulu, walau ngga seberapa tapi jujur tetap berasa kecewa. Kemudian saya juga jadi merasa cemas, terutama mikirin Indonesia, namanya juga keluarga saya ada disana. Ragu apakah Indonesia bisa menangani pandemi ini dengan baik? mikirin keselamatan dan kesehatan keluarga dan teman2 di Indonesia. Makin cemas juga rasanya lihat keadaan ekonomi, khawatir banget kalau sampai ada kejadian krisis ekonomi.

Saya berusaha untuk melihat sisi positif dari kejadian ini, tapi terus terang masih susah. Yang bisa saya lakukan adalah terus berdoa semoga kejadian ini cepat berlalu, semoga kehidupan bisa kembali normal, dan semoga yang sakit segera sembuh, yang sehat jangan sampai sakit.

Gimana keadaan di tempatmu tinggal? semoga semua aman dan yang penting sehat selalu ya πŸ™‚ *virtual hugs*

Tahun Baru

Di awal tahun baru ini saya sempat mengalami serangan kecemasan ringan yang untungnya bisa saya hadapi dengan baik. Kata terapis saya kalau ada apa2 (maksudnya kalau lagi merasa overwhelmed sama pikiran2 dan jadi panik), hal pertama yang harus dilakukan adalah menerima keadaan tersebut dibandingkan dengan berusaha menghilangkannya saat itu juga (yang bisa berujung pada denial). Bener sih, dengan menerima, saya jadi bisa lebih mengerti diri sendiri dan juga mendapatkan sebab2 dari kepanikan atau kecemasan yang saya rasakan dan bisa move on dengan kondisi yang lebih baik.

Jadi, sebabnya adalah saya stress lihat kejadian kurang menguntungkan yang terjadi di dunia pada awal tahun kemarin, terutama banjir di Jakarta yang dirasakan imbasnya oleh beberapa rumah tante dan om saya juga teman baik saya. Tahu sendiri kan waktu di Amerika bagian sini lebih lambat daripada di Indonesia, jadi di saat saya lagi menunggu detik2 countdown di downtown LA, grup whatsapp keluarga lagi saling menanyakan kabar soal banjir dan sepupu saya kirim foto rumah keluarga yang kerendam air kira2 setinggi meja makan 😦 Hancurlah hatikuuu…

Terus kebetulan juga tahun ini saya punya banyak rencana pribadi yang ingin saya capai, yang sudah saya pikirkan dari akhir tahun lalu. Pengen ini, pengen itu, harus ini, harus itu.

Alhasil kena lah serangan panik. Kepala saya rasanya penuh, mikirin saya musti ngapain? liat kondisi dunia yang kacau terutama soal global warming, saya bisa apa? apa iya pakai sedotan kaca buat minum boba dan bawa kantong belanja kemana – mana cukup untuk mencegah dampak global warming? Belum lagi soal perkembangan diri sendiri. Saya mikirin gimana saya harus mulai hidup lebih sehat, nah terus lebih sehat itu indikator nya apa? Turun berat badan? mau memperbaiki kondisi sehat fisik apa mental? atau keduanya? Jadi harus olahraga dan melatih mindfulness? caranya gimana? nulis jurnal harian? bangun tidur minum air lemon hangat? Yaampun pusing kan… panik deh akhirnya.

Untung paniknya nggak berlangsung lama. Kejadiannya waktu itu pagi – pagi sehabis bangun tidur, jadi saya tenangkan diri dulu beberapa saat, sambil berusaha tidur kembali (untungnya masih libur). Ketika bangun kedua kalinya, pikiran sudah tenang dan badan lebih enteng rasanya. Fiuh.

Sejak saat itu, saya masih berusaha sih supaya nggak terlalu menaruh beban pada diri sendiri. Jalani hari demi hari sebaik mungkin aja, baik itu untuk lingkungan dan juga diri sendiri. Yang pasti saya coba lakukan tiap hari sih berusaha lebih aktif di tahun 2020 ini, demi tujuan hidup lebih sehat jiwa raga.

Semoga kita semua selalu sehat dan semangat ya! Salam semangat! πŸ˜€

10 tahun

Sudah lama saya nggak cerita di blog ini, nggak terasa kita sudah ada di akhir tahun 2019 aja! Tadinya saya sempat nulis draft kilas balik setahun kebelakang, eh tapi liat post nya Deny tentang perjalanan satu dekade, jadi tersinspirasi pengen ikutan cerita. Terima kasih ya Deny inspirasinya πŸ™‚ Okelah, langsung aja kita mulai ceritanya…

2010 – 2013

Saya mulai dekade kemarin ini dengan optimisme tinggi. Awal tahun ada di Inggris, menyelesaikan program S2, usia saya 23. Tahun baruan di depan London Eye bareng teman – teman kuliah, bener – bener pengalaman yang nggak terlupakan sampai sekarang, termasuk pengalaman ketinggalan keluar kereta bersama seorang teman lain, hingga akhirnya harus menumpang nginap di tempat orang yang baru kenal (orang Indonesia juga) sambil nunggu kereta berikutnya di esok pagi… yaampun, hidup saya kayak kisah serial TV rasanya hahaha.

Setelah kemeriahan tahun baru 2010, saya bekerja keras mengerjakan tesis, lulus, pulang ke Indonesia, dan berjuang lagi mencari pekerjaan. Alhamdulilah dapat kerja di perusahaan yang sangat berkesan bagi saya, dan mulai bekerja di minggu pertama Januari 2011. Tapi nggak disangka, malam sebelum hari pertama kerja, saya diputusin pacar yang pada saat itu sudah pacaran lebih dari 2 tahun dan saya kira kami akan menikah di tahun 2011 itu. Hancurlah hidupkuuu.. hehehe. Setelah patah hati parah, saya berusaha untuk menata hidup kembali. Saya banyak berteman, baik dengan teman lama dan juga bertemu teman baru. Saya mencoba berbagai kegiatan baru, mulai dari olahraga hingga traveling.

Ternyata saya jatuh cinta dengan traveling. Waktu di Inggris saya sudah beberapa kali jalan – jalan sendiri, tapi nggak terlalu jauh dan lama. Di tahun 2012, saya pertama kali jalan – jalan sendiri keluar Indonesia dan ke negara yang saya nggak bisa bahasanya …. Vietnam dan Thailand. Setelah itu ketagihan, saya punya grup teman jalan yang kira – kira setahun 2x pergi liburan, mulai dari Surabaya, Bali, Karimun Jawa, Bromo, Padang, Lombok, Derawan.. seru!

2013 – 2016

Di tahun 2013, umur 26, saya pertama kali bertemu R πŸ™‚ berawal dari iseng dan dorongan dari dalam diri saya untuk “menerima tantangan”, kami bertemu dan the rest is history. Kami sepakat menjalani hubungan jarak – jauh walau pada saat itu nggak tau arahnya kemana… tapi ada sesuatu dalam diri saya yang bilang kalau saya nggak boleh menyerah gitu aja. Well, here we are now! πŸ™‚

Diluar percintaan, di tahun 2013 saya juga dapat promosi di kerjaan, dan akhirnya bisa jalan – jalan lebih sering hahaha. Waktu itu teman – teman di sekeliling saya banyak yang sudah mulai menikah, membeli properti, investasi, dan sebagainya… saya sibuk jalan – jalan aja hohoho. Sempet merasa “kecil” sedikit, tapi setelah saya pikir kembali sekarang ini – salah satu pelajaran hidup selama 10 tahun kebelakang adalah…. waktu orang beda – beda. Hidup orang beda – beda, jadi jangan pernah membandingkan hidup dengan orang lain.

Setelah promosi di tahun 2013 itu, saya terus membangun karir di perusahaan yang sama sampai kemudian di akhir tahun 2015 memutuskan untuk pindah perusahaan dan juga pindah industri. Awal tahun 2016 saya memulai karir di perusahaan baru, yang pada ujungnya memberikan sebuah pelajaran lagi… dan membuka mata saya tentang hal yang saya benar – benar inginkan, dan hal yang tidak saya inginkan.

Pelan tapi pasti hubungan saya dan R juga berjalan ke arah yang positif. Akhirnya, di tahun 2016 R melamar dan kami melakukan prosesi lamaran dengan keluarga dan teman terdekat di Jakarta, tanggalnya pas di hari ulang tahun mama πŸ™‚

2017 – 2019

Saya memulai awal 2017 dengan melakukan perubahan di karir saya, memutuskan untuk berhenti kerja full-time dan memulai bekerja freelance. Sebuah keputusan yang cukup berani tapi pada saat itu saya harus mementingkan kesehatan fisik dan mental daripada jabatan dan karir.

Setelah berhenti kerja, saya melakukan perjalanan solo “terakhir” sebagai wanita lajang ke Shanghai dan juga mengunjungi Disneyland Shanghai. Sambil bekerja freelance di sebuah advertising agency di Jakarta Selatan, saya juga mengambil beberapa project online dan sempat kena tipu sekitar $500! Saya sudah mengerjakan tugas yang diminta tapi orangnya habis itu kabur… huhuhu. Ya sudahlah.

Di akhir 2017 saya menikah dengan R, lalu nggak lama kemudian saya pindah ke Amerika Serikat, memulai hidup baru. Pindah ke negara baru dengan status baru sama sekali nggak mudah, tapi alhamdulilah kami baik – baik aja sampai sekarang, dan hidup kami juga terus diberkati dan dibimbing ke arah yang baik.

Tahun 2018 saya kehilangan tante saya secara mendadak, kedatangan mama selama sebulan, berjuang melawan anxiety karena proses kepindahan dan perubahan yang terjadi… tahun 2019 saya mulai sekolah lagi, kedatangan adik selama 2 minggu, sambil tetap menunggu kabar baik yang belum tiba. Nggak apa – apa, semua akan terjadi di saat yang tepat πŸ™‚

2020?

Nggak kerasa ya 10 tahun sudah berlalu dan benar – benar nggak nyangka perubahan yang terjadi dari awal dekade hingga akhir dekade. Nggak pernah kebayang kalau jodoh saya bakal ketemu di belahan dunia lain apalagi pindah ke negara lain ikut suami…

Jadi, harapan saya buat dekade berikutnya, apa ya… yang pasti saya kepengen banget sih mudah2an kabar baik nya bisa segera tiba, semoga semua rencana kami diberkati Allah dan dilancarkan, semoga keluarga di Indonesia baik – baik saja dan dapat rejeki mengunjungi kami disini kembali… dan juga untuk teman – teman semua, semoga lancar ya semua rencananya! ❀

P.S: Post kali ini nggak pakai foto soalnya kapasitas wordpress gratisan saya udah mau abis… hahaha… jadi dipilih – pilih deh upload fotonya πŸ˜‰

P.P.S: Selamat hari raya Natal dan Tahun Baru untuk teman semua yang merayakan, untuk yang nggak merayakan selamat menikmati hari liburnya, untuk yang nggak merayakan dan nggak mau ngucapin yaudah nggak apa – apa, untuk yang nggak merayakan dan nggak mau ngucapin tapi ngelarang – larang ngucapin…… ya nggak apa-apa juga tapi nggak usah ikutan hari liburnya kali yaa.. biar adil gitu πŸ˜‰ *peace out*

A Small Victory

I have been dealing with insecurities. There. I said it.

It took me a while to understand it, before I was finally able to fully acknowledge and accept it, and now I’m starting to let it go.

To give you a little bit of background, let me recap what has happened in the past 2 years. I got engaged, quit my job, traveled, started freelancing, got married, moved to the US, dealt with numerous paperworks for immigration purposes, became a housewife, and just recently started school. To think of it again, it has been crazy.

Along the way, I felt insecure many times. All those changes opened up a door and I somehow let insecurities came my way. I tried so hard to fight it. I tried to count my blessings, I tried to enjoy the little moments, the small victories, but at the end of the day it was still creeping.

Maybe it was not that bad because I felt like I still had a good life. There were challenges indeed, but it was manageable. There were days when I felt so insecure but I somehow always managed to bounce back the next day. There were good days and bad days, and I was okay with that. Little by little things were starting to fall into place and I thought all those insecurities were part of my adaptation process and I managed to deal with it. Done.

But then I started school, and I realized that my insecurities was holding me back many times. I refrained from doing the things I used to do, like participating in class, engaging in discussions, and I started to notice how it could lead to bigger issues as I am preparing myself to restart my career here in the US.

After I did some research, I found iBunda.id, a counseling service that offers online sessions. I specifically wanted to find Indonesian psychologists/counselors because I thought they would be able to understand my situation better. I’m so glad that I found them and after my session I was able to understand what was going on with me.

Like I said, with understanding comes acknowledgement and acceptance, and now I’m starting to let it go. To say that I’m free of insecurities is not 100% true. I still feel it sometimes, but I can manage it better. I don’t let it haunt me nor I let it bring me down like it used to. Instead, I accept and move on.

I used to think that my school is not significant because it is “just a certificate program”, not a prestigious MBA or PhD. I don’t know what got into my head for me to think that way because that mindset led me to feeling insecure!

Thankfully that mindset did not stay with me for long. I have then learned to celebrate more small victories, appreciating all the little things, simply because they matter. Today I am celebrating another small victory – a satisfactory grade this term! Wait let me rephrase because that sentence was still influenced by some insecurities.

Today I am celebrating because for the first time in my academic career I got straight As!!!! YAY me!!!

I don’t know what the future holds but I know for sure that for as long as I work hard and do my best, I will be okay. I will try my best to not let insecurities hold me back, so I will be okay.

If you happen to be dealing with your own issues, I hope you remember to celebrate your own small victories, because they matter πŸ™‚ sending positive vibes to all! x

In America, I…

It’s the first day of September which means I am back with another post from the β€œStories from the West” project which I am doing withΒ Dixie! Each month we are writing 1 post about the same topic, to give you a glimpse of our lives as new immigrants (Me in the US, Dixie in Sweden). This month’s topic is about the things we learned from our adopted countries. Read mine below and Dixie’s here πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

I learned to live more sustainably

Actually, life here in general is far from sustainable, but somehow it drove me to live my life more sustainably. Let me explain. When I got here, I was quite surprised to see how common the takeout culture is, and the amount of waste that came with it! They made me realize that I needed to do something. You see, whenever you eat out here, you would get enormous portion (especially coming from Indonesia). Obviously not every time you could finish that portion, so the option is to bring it home. And when you ask your server to bring home your leftovers, you would get it boxed in plastic containers, with plastic cutleries, and plastic bag. And it happens so much that I started to feel uneasy about it. At the same time, I was made aware of recycling (something that I never do in Indonesia), so I did some baby steps by starting to separate my recyclables and trash at home. Then I went on with minimising the use of single-use plastic. A couple months after, I’m still far from being completely sustainable (To be honest I don’t know what the world actually means), but I am doing baby steps!

A totally unrelated picture but it’s so beautiful righttt? This was taken in Catalina Island πŸ™‚

I learned to work hard(er)

Hard work is nothing new in my dictionary but here I got to see how hard work can get you places. If I could one choose one thing that I learned about this country, I would definitely choose hard work! Despite only living here for a short time, I was able to meet a lot of people from different backgrounds already and they all showed me how hard work can be valued in this country. I guess it is true that this is the land of opportunity so it’s up to us to work as hard as we can to grab as many opportunities as possible!

I learned to celebrate individuality

Coming from a country which culture put a high emphasis on conformity, at first I found it surprising to see how much individuality are valued in this country. I learned that individuality does not mean a bad thing nor that it means you are selfish, but in the age of #selfcare, it is important to put yourself first and learn to accept yourself, in whatever condition. It’s okay to be different and it’s also okay to celebrate it.

To sum up, I know that my life here is just starting, I have this long road ahead of me. But I’m glad that I get this second chance of learning new things and expanding my horizons by moving to America. These are just the three things that I learned from this country, I might share more in the future, as I am adjusting myself more to the life here. Thanks for reading, and if you are also an immigrant, what are the things that you learned from your adopted country? I would love to hear your story! πŸ™‚

Notes From an Immigrant

Welcome to another post from the β€œStories from the West” project which I am doing withΒ Dixie. We will be writing 1 post each month with the same topic, to give you a glimpse of our lives as new immigrants in our respective countries. This month’s topic is about β€œbeing an immigrant”. I am sharing my notes about being an immigrant – the highs and the lows. I hope you enjoy the post, and don’t forget to read Dixie’s storyΒ here πŸ™‚

At first, moving to a new country sounds flashy. Especially when that country is America. I am one of the many who grew up watching Hollywood movies, listening to songs from American musicians, reading American books (The Baby-Sitters Club, anyone?) and drooling over American celebrities (Fun fact: I used to add DiCaprio to my name in my school notebooks hahahaha…. now you know :P).

Fast forward to many, many years later, I am now living here, in America! Sometimes I still find it hard to believe that this country is my home now. I’ve only been living here over a year but I understand that as much as I want to make this place home, I’m always going to be an immigrant to this country.

Foreign

Yep, that’s the word that I think will stick with me forever. For the first few months, everything seemed foreign to me. I didn’t know directions, I couldn’t navigate my way around, and I didn’t know a lot of people. As days go by, that sense of foreignness started to fade, but I know I’m always going to be considered foreign to some people, and at the same time, there are some things that I would consider foreign as well.

Loneliness

Not long ago, Dixie wrote a very good piece about loneliness in her blog, which I can very much relate to. Although I am thankful that I have family here, and also have made some good friends, but relationships that you have in your adopted country is pretty much different than what it used to be when I was still living in Indonesia. Here, everybody have their own things and sometimes our bonds are limited by distance because we are not living in close proximity with each other. And while I still keep in touch with friends in Indonesia, I’m unsure if things will remain the same for years to come…

Struggle

Struggle is a part of being an immigrant that one can’t miss. I wish I could say that living here has been easy peasy. But no, behind every pictures in Hollywood or every dream concert that I went to, there’s a big chunk of struggle behind it. At first, I struggled to accept my new status as a housewife. I felt useless because I did not know a lot of things, and I also had to let go a lot of things that I had back in Indonesia (my career, for instance). I also struggled in being patient. Being an immigrant to me means that I have to be patient. Adaptation is an ongoing process and it’s not an easy one, so patience is key. There were times where I lost my patience and boy, it was a struggle to gain it back. Lucky I had my support system!

Opportunity

Now that I have laid out the lows, it’s time to turn the narrative around and make this post a cheery one! It took me a while, but now I believe that with my status as an immigrant, comes opportunity. I am thankful to live in a country where opportunities are endless. I used to struggle to accept the fact that I am over 30 and I had to start over in my career, my life. But then I was able to turn the thought around – I am only in my early 30s and while I am currently “in transition”, there is nothing that can stop me from chasing those opportunities!

Me – currently chasing an opportunity to study

Freedom

They say that America is the land of freedom. Here, you are free to express yourself, free to stand by your opinions, free to enjoy your life the way you want to. Ain’t nobody can tell you what to do, and as an immigrant it is a relief that I have been waiting for. To me, freedom as an immigrant means that I get to chase whatever opportunity that comes my way, my family can live the way we want to, without having to worry so much about what other people will say. Although there are still issues that we need to work on as a society, but living in America has shown me what it feels like to have freedom. Freedom to practice my religion, freedom to stand by my beliefs, freedom to study, freedom to work, freedom to travel and freedom to enjoy life.

Although I did not plan to become an immigrant, I chose to become one the day I chose to be with my husband. Of course there are consequences, there are struggles that comes with it. But there are also opportunities! It is up to me to choose, which way will I take. Will I keep seeing my struggles as obstacles, or will I see them as opportunities that I’m free to reach? At the end of the day, I’m thankful that I took this chance, because being an immigrant in my 30s gave me the second chance I did not know I had before.

P.S If you’re reading this and you’re a fellow immigrant too, I’m always here if you want to reach out! Let’s support each other so we can rise together! x