This post started off yesterday completely different. I read Feyma’s article last week about OFW’s and how their life in America isn’t all it could be. It got me to thinking of a situation that happened to my family a few months ago, and I haven’t been able to stop rolling it around in my mind.
I wrote almost a complete article last night, listing out the pros and cons I considered when I was making my decision to stay in the Philippines, or go back to the USA.
But, the article wasn’t me. It was just a list. It didn’t convey any of the emotion that went into the decision.
It was downright boring.
So, I am starting over. I want people to understand why I chose the Philippines, when I have so many reasons to go back to my family in Arizona.
My Reasons for Moving to the Philippines
If you read my very first article on Live in the Philippines, you’ll understand what my life was like before I made the move overseas.
Like many Americans, I was living check-to-check, barely scraping by.
I was afraid to leave my house because of the crime. It seemed every other day I was reading about a school shooting or a road-rage incident gone wrong. My neighbors were having their houses broken into and cars stolen. The sad thing is, the area I lived in was considered a nicer part of town.
Although I would take the trip and see my parents fairly often, I was finding it more likely every day that my kids didn’t have time for me. I made the effort, but for reasons I have yet to understand, I felt like it was a burden for my kids to let me be part of their lives.
I was suffering alone with a serious mental illness, and even though I wanted things to be different, I didn’t know how they could.
I was miserable. The bottom line was: I didn’t like my life.
Deciding to move to the Philippines was very hard. I would be moving a long way away from the only family I ever knew. I felt like I was abandoning my kids.
But, I had a chance at a different life and I took it. I had spent my whole life thinking about others needs and this was the one important decision I made for the benefit of myself.
Life in the Philippines
My life didn’t change for me immediately after I moved here. It took a whole lot of time and effort to get where I am today. My wife and I had some very hard years: we fought, we struggled, we wondered if it was the right decision for me to be in the Philippines.
But now I can see that the decision I made to move here was the right one. For the first time in my life I feel happy and fulfilled. I am working again, writing, and planning trips and adventures. I am reaching out to people and making friends again. I am doing everything I can to make my wife and daughter happy because I am thinking more about doing for others than feeling sorry for myself.
Could I have made these changes if I had stayed in the USA? Probably in time, but I think I needed drastic action and a change of environment to shake me up. I think if I would have stayed in Arizona, it would have been just more of the same for me. I would have stayed unhappy and let my doctors medicate every emotion I had away.
Now That I am Doing Better, Should I Go Back?
I thought about it, and my wife and I discussed it for many hours. I had many a sleepless nights from my head over-thinking everything.
Do I really want to go back to that environment? Do I want to have to worry about crime all the time? Can I even afford to live there anymore? Do I want to go back to a place that would even consider a person like Donald Trump for President? Do I want to jump back into that rat race all over again? Won’t things just go back to the way they were before I left?
My Vote is For the Philippines
I’ve learned a new way of life in my 5 years here in the Philippines. I’ve learned to live simply, be happy with what I have and not always want something new, pay attention to what is important, and just be a decent and caring human being.
I love my life here, despite the bad things that go on here. But it is kind of the lesser of two evils and I am doing everything I can to make the rest of my life a good one.
Besides, we can always go visit the USA on vacation.