Don’t be afraid to take an unfamiliar path, sometimes they are the ones that take you to the best places.
That one Macchiato shot definitely did not work on me. I am still tired and sleepy, and I still got heaps of school work to be done, yet here I am only to find myself blogging. Prioritizing has not been my best asset lately if you haven’t noticed from my recent posts on Facebook. It’s amusing how I still got the time to follow people on social media and update my pages, when I’ve got a mountain of work to finish. Anyway, so I headed out early today for a trial in the kitchen at a hippie cafe just four stations away from where I live. It was a four-hour trial, and though these kind of things are not new to me, I still felt like starting from the very beginning. It was a very fast-paced working environment, considering it was a Tuesday. It’s not even the weekends yet, when people get together and hang-out. I figured, in the next couple of months, this is what I would be doing… juggling school, kitchen work, travel writing, food hopping, a little bit of photography, and social life. This is not exactly what I have in mind. Couple of months ago, I was imagining myself traveling around Australia on weekends while I do school stuff on weekdays and probably do some part-time job some time in the week. But apparently, I under-estimated the “school stuff” part. So here I am, being a “responsible” full-time Patisserie student, just staying put and “adulting”. Hahahaha.
ADULTING IS NOT EASY
This adulting thing was never an easy job. Nobody ever gave anyone a clear process on how you do it. It’s just that the moment you step out of college, you’re on your own, mate. Do what you want, do what you love, or do what you have to do. For the past years, that was exactly what I was doing. I did what I want. I entered a culinary school, worked my butt off for experiences, and gained myself a “chef” title in Manila. Next thing I know, I was doing what I love. I was cooking, and baking, and decorating cakes for events, and eventually I felt like I was at my peak. But then, the following years, I realized, it was not my peak. I could be more, I could do more. So I went out, found myself traveling and totally leaving my comfort zone. I went traveling alone, meeting new people, discovering new cultures, trying out new dishes, and everything just went different since then. The latter part now comes along. The DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO part.
TO BE COMFORTABLE, YOU HAVE TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE
I must say, I have been living a very comfortable life back in Manila. I wasn’t really a daughter from an opulent family, but I have to admit that it was the kind of life where I get what I want in a snap of a finger. There’s roof over my head where there is free swimming pool just few steps from my doorstep. I eat what I want to eat. I drive a car and go where I want to go. Life was easy. However, at some point, I got myself thinking. Is this really what I wanted for the rest of my life? To be living in all those “What if’s?” and to be questioning my abilities to live on my own? It was comfortable, yes. But at that moment, I believed it was not the most secure feeling. When you become an adult, you start to think how you see yourself in the future and how you will secure your retirement. Would I be running another cafe? Would I pursue professional traveling? What would I be 10 years from now? Would I be an employer, or would I be an employee? AM I REALLY HAPPY? OR AM I JUST COMFORTABLE?
Here in Sydney, I pay $9 for an hour of swim. I ride public transport to get to places which I never do back home and it would probably cost me a minimum of $3 per ride. I completely detached myself from all the comforts of home and introduced a brand-new routine. Even if it means cleaning dirty kitchen pots and scrubbing dirty work benches, I know I have to do it. I was used to being the boss of myself and the boss of my own company back in Manila, but right here… in the middle of a first-world country where everything and everyone is diversified, I find myself in the middle of a continuous learning process. I am but a third-worlder, living in a first-world country. It’s a very humbling experience as I get on with my day to day life. Sometimes, I even feel lost. No matter how you define the word, whether it is lost in translation, lost in between bus rides, lost in finding your way through and finding your way out. THIS IS ADULTING FOR ME. Oh yes, sh*t got real.
LEAVING AND LIVING
We all live in our own little boxes. The kind where we know what we want and we know how to get them. It has become repetitive. A lot of people would tell me how brave I was to leave my family back home and leave what I was accustomed to. To tell you honestly, it took me a year before I have finally decided to live abroad. I started making plans and thinking outside the box for several months. I had to consider a lot of things that there was even a time when I thought it was next to impossible. But would I consider myself brave? No. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling when you do things out of courage, and yet the uncertain reality of what’s gonna happen in the future would bite you back. It’s a combination of anxiety, fear, excitement, doubt, and thrill all together. Imagine all those feelings at the pit of your stomach. But, for me it’s OK. I have always believed that if your dreams don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough. To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.
Once in a while we must learn how to take risks. If you do what you always do, you will get what you always get. This “living in Australia” thing has taught me a lot about life in more ways than one. From being able to go out of my little confined box, to eating whatever is available (canned food or packets of instant noodles), to enduring crowded train rides, to getting my sneakers and jeans wet while walking under heavy rain because I don’t have a car and umbrellas just don’t work, to having to do the laundry late at night because you need to use them the following day, to getting comfort from Youtube music streaming, to traveling to the city for an hour just to see what’s out there, and everything that comes in between.
It may sound cliche, but yes. Truly, life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
“Choosing a path for convenience and speed is usually a recipe for mediocrity. The things that most enrich our lives usually demand a bigger investment of time and discipline.” – Gina Mohammed, Ph. D.