Fast forward a few months later, I find myself in Dubai, UAE. It was my first time traveling to a foreign country alone--although the previous year I went to Mexico (again, for another wedding), but met up and stayed with a group of people I knew. My cousin and her adorable son met me at the airport and helped me get settled in my AirBnB. There was an interesting circumstance here, but long story short, we saw each other one other time before I left, so I don't really count that as "staying in a foreign country with family" (more on this some other time).
As few days before the wedding, I was happy to join the festivities. I had my hands adorned with henna, and I was invited to tea at my friends home. Lovely all around. I loved the company and tea.
Conversations and customary getting to know you's were had. I found that a few of her friends, professionals in their own right, had businesses. One has a jewelry line and another has a fashion line for bags. This intrigued me.
I found it odd that these lovely women who were established in their respective professions created their own businesses in their spare time. I mean, it's not unheard of, but I began to ponder 'why?'. However, after a while, I supposed that the 'why' didn't really matter. I supposed that they did it because they loved it. I wanted that, too.
In a succinct cultural commentary: being a first generation immigrant--coming to the US at a young age--I have observed that my parents (immigrants themselves) had this mindset, like many overseas workers. The mindset of "getting by". Granted, we came to the US legally because my mother is a professional--others are not as fortunate to have entered with the status and bearing (another topic for another time).
I've heard other people make apt comments about the "getting by" mindset. Namely, someone mentioned that "Filipinos tell their children to 'study hard' so you can get a job, not 'study hard so you can have your own business'." I've had this in mind for a while, and seeing my friend's friends with their businesses, inspired me.
One of the conversation topics with the friend I visited yesterday was about my job--the job I've yet to actually begin (another story)--or the [current?] lack thereof. I stated that "I don't want to work for anyone else", and with this, she gave me a boggled look.
Not for nothing, admittedly, I like to shock people. I don't like to be pegged by their preconceived notions. But those who really know me understand my quintessence.
Digressing, for the sake of my future family, my mindset has changed. I don't want to be a part of anyone else's rat-race. I've one life to live and all...
I wish that my fellow Filipinos can have the confidence and courage to think outside of this 'getting by' mindset. I find it sad that they waste away in a foreign land not feeling the embrace of their loved ones, but especially, growing old without an enriched life.
Apologies. I had meant for this post to be light and short. More pondering about all this on my end.
Proverbs 31: 24-25