Step 3: Make or Break

Customer Service – what did I know about the role? Basically, that I needed to answer phone calls, pick up on technology, and sell stuff. BTW, I’m to be supporting software I knew nothing about. Nice! So me! Truly so me!

I told one of my best friend’s back home about it and because he knew me so well, the only words he could say were – brave soul.

Training Week Day 3 – I quit!! I decided this role wasn’t for me and talked to both my trainer and team leader about it. They, however, convinced me to give it a try and see how I go for a week or a month (can’t remember so well what they advised). So, okay I stayed. Good decision? Bad decision? To this day, I can’t tell.

Not that I didn’t perform – in fact, I can proudly say I picked up quickly and delivered quite well in terms of performance targets (clap clap!). Now on the goal of fitting in, that didn’t seem to be happening. I wanted so badly to just be normal, sort of blend in and not make much of a noise. But, I was excited too – new country, new opportunity, new friends. Anyways, all in all, none of that happened. For some reason, I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb from day 1. I tried the try and try until you die motto but as the weeks/months went by, things seemed to be getting worst.

Do you know the feeling when you know you are hot topic (in a negative way that is) but you don’t really know what the fuss is about? Subtle and sometimes not too subtle glances and remarks are thrown your way but you just don’t know what they’re for. You wanna ask but maybe it’s a scary thing to know the list of things they think is wrong with you; so, you shut your mouth and roll with it until you just can’t take anymore. Yup, that’s what happened.

Three months into the company and already I started to feel nervous about work. What would I encounter today? What will I hear? How do I take it so it doesn’t bother me? How do I change their perception? Is this even fixable? Just some daily mental grind. Not much! LOL!

I chose not to talk to anyone about it in detail – not even my family. Coming from a Christian background, I did what I knew was best – I prayed. I also asked friends for prayers but more for direction because early on I knew I wanted something different. The role didn’t fit in with me and I didn’t fit into the role. Bad match indeed!

I stayed on ’til I hit 6 months and then that was it – I knew it. I needed to get out of there before I completely lost it. To cut the long story short, my life, emotions and maybe even sanity went into a downward spiral and the thing I dreaded the most happened – depression.

*True story – My husband and I watched a movie together earlier on but still during this 6-month period in my life and there was an ad about depression – infomercial of sorts giving people information on support for those who struggle with this. I remember remarking, ” In the Philippines, you can’t really go around saying I’m depressed. People don’t really accept it as an excuse. Get over it!” Little did I know, while making this remark I was on this very road.

NEXT STEP – HELP!!!

Step 2: Project Stepford Wife

Apartment taking shape, husband back to work – what was my role here?

Coming from a Christian background, I knew that God’s plan for me was to learn to become a wife. At that moment, I believed, that basically meant house-keeping (not something I dreamt of doing but needed to do anyways.) Fun! :/

I learned a bit of it at home and also during a period in my life where I lived independently in an island I was teaching at in the Philippines. The difference was that, back then, I served myself and had no one else to consider. Shin cup + a pack of chips + yoghurt + yellow mangos + cream cheese and crackers + coke zero + coffee comprised most of my diet. That definitely would not work with my husband who was pretty health conscious and has an awesome cook for a mom. Talk about standards! But then, I was up for the challenge. Google and our household help back in Manila became my best friends when it came to recipes. I am also a clean person in essence so wanted the same for my house.

!REAL STRUGGLE – hanging clothes in winter! My fingers shake and it takes an entire hour to defrost my extremities after; but I have to say I got pretty good at delivering.

After a while, the tasks became repetitive and I got tired of it. You have to understand, I didn’t feel like I was raised for this. It was all new to me and felt meaningless. I didn’t feel productive and helpful. I wanted to do more and I wanted to do it now! Sounds bratty. Yes, that was my intention because that was exactly how I was.

From the experiences of other teachers who moved from the Philippines to Australia, I believed I wouldn’t be able to teach here or maybe I would but it would take a lot of time and probably some studies. So, I applied for different roles. I could see myself in Administration but after a month or so of trying for that and not getting a single interview, I broadened my search. Customer service?!? I saw some postings but thought ‘so not me!’ People who know me as a person would probably say the same, and some did. I am not a social butterfly – in fact, I don’t like big groups of people. I find it too much! But I was desperate. So…

Applied. Got a call. Interviewed. Call back. Training. Hired!

Great?!? GREAT!!! Great?!? Okay, here we go.

Next Step: FIT IN!!!

 

Step 1 – Two Bigs To Handle

April 17, 2016 was my “big day!” Everything felt right – not perfect but good. Small in size but really meaningful. The flowers, my dress? pants?, my look, the cake, pictures and videos, our vows, the guests – all felt wonderful. It was a good feeling knowing I was marrying a man who would love and care for me for the rest of my life. I was set!IMG_1588

Getting to this day, however, wasn’t as easy. I didn’t think I would ever be a “bride-zilla” but to some extent I was. I planned my wedding basically on my own since my partner was, most of the time, overseas and he just had to show and perform on the day itself. How convenient right?! Anyways, the choices and numbers of all kinds got to me and I stressed before I enjoyed – or actually, I stressed while I enjoyed!

Anyways, we made it! What’s next?!

Background – – – I am a 30 year old girl from Manila, belonging to a somewhat conservative but liberated family, who married an Aussie-Cambo man raised in Melbourne also belonging to a somewhat conservative but liberated bunch – the same but totally different.

After our wedding, we planned the next big thing which was our move back to what I would have to call my new home, Melbourne. Exciting, yes!, but also nerve-wracking to be migrating to an entirely new place leaving my dear family and friends behind. I had to leave my comfort zone, my haven, my sanctuary, where the polluted air felt like pure oxygen when times were tough. I had to leave all that I knew for what was unknown. If you put it that way, sounds really suck-y. Truth is, I also had the chance to try for a bigger-better life, independence, breathing in actual freshness and the chance to fulfil the big dreams my little heart always longed for. This is it!

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So, May came and I rode a plane bound for what I would make my new casa! (Spanish term for home – don’t be fooled! I hardly speak it but I’ve heard it all my life and took a few lessons so I understand some of it.)

We have arrived! The apartment – wow! I mean, it was a one-bedroom unit and not really large; but it was so clean and white and new and pretty and well the view – plus, it’s ours!.. I felt like a big girl – very promising indeed! We immediately got to work cleaning the apartment for day 1 and 2 and then went to the different furniture outlets to get what we needed. Week after week it started to make sense and look great. The pieces we got spoke a lot of who we were and what we wanted to accomplish with our little space. They were simple but home-y. Success!!! We turned our space into a home that we loved to come home to.

I probably make it sound so easy and that is annoying because it actually wasn’t. We DISCUSSED and CHOSE and DISCUSSED AGAIN before actually making decisions. I tell you, my husband had a week off and after four days of just looking and making NO DECISIONS WHATSOEVER, we went back to the first store and decided to get one of our first few choices for a bed frame. Are you kidding?! But yes, this week – our first week actually living together – I realised, marriage is definitely hard work. It is a choice plus another choice and another. Well, that’s done. We made it! Hurrah!

Next — Project Stepford Wife.