Yesterday evening I looked at the pictures of my friends in Facebook. There were farewell lunches for a former boss in Singapore, lunches with former colleagues in Bangkok and old pictures from college. Most pictures were with friends and former office mates in Asia. I felt sad because these events depicted in the pictures recently happened (except for the old college photos from an old friend who posted them). I felt strange because I was not in them. If I were still in the old office (which I left about 2 ½ months ago), I would probably be in most of these pictures having fun and laughing with them.
It felt that it was ages ago when I left them but in fact it was not so long ago. I guess the newness of my experience, the work, challenges and problems that I now face since I left Asia have given me the impression that it happened ages ago. The break seems to be complete and the distance traveled is really significant. Of course, in terms of geography, it really is very far and I guess this has contributed to the feeling that I have left long ago. I felt that I am a ghost, that these friends no longer knew me and that I am a stranger to them when I happen to met them again someday in the future. It’s a strange feeling to be connected by Facebook and still feel apart despite that facility of connection.
Yesterday afternoon we had lunch with our friends here and we had baked ribs, pasta salad, rice, brownies and ice cream. We had a nice discussion and ended at about 5pm. afterwards, we drove to Best Buy to buy a phone card for my wife and son. It was a nice day and we attended mass in the morning before the lunch. I guess my family is now getting assimilated into life here. Our days are busy and a lot of things are getting done. For example, we opened their bank account on Saturday morning, went to the grocery and enrolled in the education service for their coming college class via Internet. I still have to write to the Ministry of Education to send their grade results and for my kids to take the placement exams.
I guess being busy is how people adapt to a new life. One cannot stop and wait and suddenly know that he or she has arrived. It is the busyness of life doing stuff and getting things done. I realize that my kids are at a significant age that is helpful for the time of our move. They have helped a lot (moving the furniture, helping mom, preparing for college, etc.). It’s a great time for them to be here and I thank God again for giving us this opportunity. The big concern for me right now is to help my wife with her medical problem, talk more with my younger brother in Manila who seems to be stressed and trivial things like working on my driver’s license.
I sometimes wonder if I am trying to adapt too fast. Maybe I am requesting for more responsibilities here than is normally acceptable. But I guess I wanted to settle down as soon as possible and get our lives going again. To minimize the interruption to our children’s education, to my work and career as project manager and analyst and continue my hobby or goal of being a writer. I guess that is why I want to do things very fast so we could get on with life again and continue with our dreams as a family. As for work, I guess the people here would like me to settle down and learn the culture and people here before attacking the challenges at work. But work is work and one cannot help but address the challenges and problems right away that keep happening every day.