Of Opportunities and Big Life Moments

February 04, 2020

Note: This post was originally published on my Medium profile.

Alternative title: I’m moving to New York!
Two months ago, a friend from acting class asked me how I built my strength of character. This is not really something that I would readily use to describe myself so I had to take a moment to ponder.
I eventually responded that it’s… it’s being hungry, literally. Earning jack-squat as a fresh graduate with no allowance from parents 10 years ago, it made me really want a better future for myself. With no money, I had to be really creative. ‪Every opportunity I saw, I took it.
My first career shift 8 years ago happened after I helped out a random person on PinoyExchange, a Filipino online forum, get in touch with his hiring manager in the same company I worked for. While conversing with this guy’s hiring manager, I saw it as an opportunity to move into that department and learn a skill that I was sure could take me places.
After a while, it has become a habit to not be content in the comfort zone. If any area in life is not progressing, then there must be more that I can do to improve it.
Every time I’m on a cusp of another big life moment, I look back and see that the path I’m in now was also made possible by the decisions I made in those moments. What’s interesting to see is that these opportunities never really stop coming. At the end of the day, I just needed to keep on saying ‘Yes’ and fully experience what the next chapter has in store.
In a week, life as I know it in the past five years will change. I try to keep things logical so I make  and objectives that I can cross-off one by one, but the truth is I am very stressed right now.
I am moving into a country I have never been to, in a city that has a completely different culture from where I am based right now. I haven’t secured an apartment yet. I have to travel to another State, just days after I arrive. Basically, I’m shitting my pants but here I am trying to look okay on my annual vacation in Hokkaido, Japan.

Soaking in the private onsen tub in Niseko, Hokkaido

In a week, life as I know it will change. I’m moving to New York City, after all.
This journey started three months ago when I decided it’s the perfect time to move out of Singapore. Not that my life was miserable where I am. On the contrary, I am at peak comfort in my career and life. I have amazing friends who get me, and a partner who always challenges me to become better.
Alas, the need to always strive for self-improvement caught up and dictated that I move on once again. It came in rushing like a wave. One night, I’m presenting to a panel of 9 people in the US; Next thing I know, I’m carrying a big stack of papers from my appointed law firm on my way to my visa interview. The process from Day 1 seemed as if the time was ticking by so slowly but as I sit here waiting for my next flight at the New Chitose Airport, I wish I have more time.
It would be nice to have more time to say goodbye to the friends who I consider my family in my second home. It would be nice to be able to meet everyone who wanted to do a sendoff party of some sort. It would be nice if I actually have enough time to sell my stuff after this Japan vacation.
While I’m absolutely grateful to be given this opportunity to move into the city where they say dreams are made of, I also take the little time that I have to relish the relationships that I have now and enjoy the remaining days before I set off to the US.
I trust that everything will fall into place eventually.

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