September 27, 2022
Herbert A. Otto
An ordinary person with a goalless, mundane, unexciting life, and an introverted personality. That's how I could define myself many years ago. I have a lot of dreams and goals, but less motivation and encouragement to pursue them. I was unafraid to leave my cocoon to step into a beehive. I was hesitant and don't always have a sole decision as I always seek other people's approval before doing anything else.
I seemed to have no control over my life, and just followed the path made by others. I couldn't seem to grow well or do things that my heart desired. I felt like my life just revolved around one place, and just moved for the sake of others, not for myself. I felt like I couldn't navigate my own boat.
My life seemed unfair as I couldn't get what I truly wanted. I felt stagnant and not growing. And looking at people I once shared my life with, my old friends and previous colleagues, they seemed to have achieved the ideal life they aimed for. They seemed to be successful in the field they have chosen.
Yes, at an early age, I became independent living away from home. A few years after I became an adult, I started counting my own money in my hands from the fruit of my labor. Yet, I seemed to have not achieved anything else despite getting the material things that I once wanted. I felt unsatisfied because they weren't what I truly aimed for.
I wanted to grow as a real person, and navigate my own life. I wanted to stand on my own, and control my own decisions. I wanted to pursue my goals, and make more dreams. I wanted real freedom, and to live the life that I wanted.
Until I mustered my courage to stepped out of my cocoon to beehive. I ventured into the risky world, the real world, and welcome the possibilities and opportunities that may come along my way. And I was determined to face all the unforeseen circumstances for the sake of my dreams.
Three years before I turned thirty, I traveled eight hundred miles away from home to look for greener pastures, to attain the life in my dreams, pursue my goals, and achieve real freedom.
I was looking for greener pastures, but that wasn't what I got.
New place, new people, new life, new challenges.
I thought things would be easier to deal with since I've been through a lot of storms in my homeland. But no, I was wrong. Aside from the overwhelming amount of work on my plate, the bumps and hiccups were constantly coming.
Storms seemed endless, and when I thought it was the end, there came another one. Sometimes they would arrive at the same place at the same time, making it difficult for me to deal with.
My journey abroad has been filled with bumpy roads, and only Him knows well how many times I fall. I had a lot of wounds that take time to heal, and each scar in my body has a story to tell and lessons learned.
Others think I have a better life abroad. It's always a misconception. A toxic job, toxic life, responsibilities, and burdens seemed to grow as I grew, and they don't consider that. Anxiety and depression always pay a visit, even though I don't want to.
They didn't know that I'd been through a lot of dark days. No one else listened to my emotions and feelings but me, alone. No one cares as they thought I am okay because of those upward curves they were seeing on my lips.
Unbeknownst to them, I battled with the monster in my mind alone, and get through it alone. That's the toughest part of being alone away from home. I have to deal with things by myself as no one was there to lend a helping hand. Not even those who are near me. No one cared. No one asked if I need help.
The farther the distance I get, the more obstacles are hampering the way that I need to withstand. Struggles become as high as the mountain. And a weak one would definitely go crazy dealing with them. So oftentimes, I just want to be back in the comfort of my home.
"I chose this path. And so I need to deal with it alone, regardless of the consequences." That's what I always remind myself of when I seem to give up.
However, above all the struggles I faced were lessons learned that helped me grow as a person. Just like what they said,
If you're not struggling, you're not growing.
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It's pretty easy to just stay where we are comfortable, but I learned that the more we are stagnant in one place, the lesser things we learn, and the longer the time we need to grow, not physically but as a whole person.
So being in a distant part of the world from my comfort zone helped me see life, things, and the world from different perspectives. I may have a lot of failures, and I got wounds, and more scars, but I am certain that I become stronger than before, and no storms of life can easily take me down.
It's been half a decade and counting. I never thought that a once timid, lack of confidence, undetermined, and a goalless person could come this far. Those experiences reminded me that life isn't just about joy and comfort, but more likely struggles that would test our resilience and perseverance, and allow us to learn how to deal with them.
I can probably say that it was worth it to take the risk. It's not the end of the journey. It will not end soon either. So expected challenges will come at any time. I just need to keep sailing. And hopefully, two years from now, I could go farther probably six thousand miles away from my home country. It will be another achievement if it happens.
This is my entry to #Dreem-WOTW S1R3 initiated by @samsmith1971 with the topic, "Distant." And since this isn't a fiction story, I thought it would be better to post it to this community. I hope Galenkp and other admins wouldn't mind.
(All photos are mine)