A major changed happened in my life in June 2022; my life-long dream to move to and live in a develop country finally came true, my visa to Australia (via student visa) was granted on 1 June 2022 and I flew to Australia one day before my 32nd birthday (11 June). “New age, new life”, that’s what I thought. And I thought that I had prepared myself enough. Well, I’ve got the communication skills, professional skills, the personality and also the look that can fool people—especially men—about my age (lol). I thought I at least I had most of it calculated. Even if some errors happen, it shouldn’t affect my stability, THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT.
Has my life in Australia been as what I thought it would be? It’s been almost a year since I made the big move, and the short answer to that question is that I am just just one button click away from making an OnlyFans account. LMAO. That’s how hard life’s been for me in the last 11 months. Unfortunately, the first thing I adopted from the first-nation world is their depression. LOL. Jokes aside, I couldn’t believe I put myself in this situation. The first time I ever needed a professional mental help was the day my fiance passed away in June 2020. Ever since that, though I have to deal with the sadness, I’ve never been this low. And now is the second time I have to say, I need some professional perspectives to get me through this time and get my life under control again.
Life’s been giving me punches, side-kicks, jabs, and uppercuts from all angles possible. Some of it happened outside my control (like my parents’ health back home, etc), but the biggest fatal mistake was made by me. I should’ve known and done better than this.
I knew that every big migration will come with adjustment period that’s gonna be tough and I am totally ok with that. I had to adjust with the weather, winter mood swing, a drastic change of lifestyle (and standards), building up relationships with people, living cost, etc. But I was prepared for most of them. Of all the things mentioned, I was only shocked more than I expected with the change of lifestyle. I was so used to the island life and digital nomad freelancer and the social dynamic in Bali. I was not used to having to work full time, the last time I did it was in 2016. Meanwhile when I moved to Australia, I have to work more because the living cost is higher and I have to study at the same time. I had to change my major from Patisserie to Graphic Design because for me patisserie study demands too much of my time and physics. As I’m paying my school by myself, I couldn’t afford losing most of my productive hours 5 days a week to study, I’d rather make money. So I changed my course to something easier for me, like graphic design, because I’m already a designer. The course change costed me material loss but I considered it as cutting my loss short.
I initially was relying on my freelance work to cover my bills and only finally decided to start applying for local work in February 2023 (8 months later), because of the burnt out of the situation that kept worsening as a result of the biggest mistake I made, that I havent revealed yet in this writing. I didn’t realize how bad it was because of many things, one of them is because I keep tolerating the discomforts that I should’ve cut off before it got worse. I’m quite lucky to have enough skills, experience and portfolio to compete in the professional job market even without any Australian academic qualifications. Unlike most international students from Asian countries that just look for hospitality jobs—because they’re the easiest to get—I applied for office jobs in the graphic design and marketing fields. In just three weeks since starting the job hunting, I got accepted for 6 jobs in the same week that I could choose which ones have the better career development potentials and which one I enjoy doing more.
Having lived here for 11 months, to be honest, I haven’t felt that I lived at all. I don’t know whose life I’m living right now because it’s so far from my life that I used to know or the picture of my ideal life. My life right now has been getting better or heading to the right direction, but I’m still dealing with the mess that was caused by one stupid mistake. And I hope and am working to clear out this mess as soon as possible, one problem at a time. Every day I feel like I just wake up to tick checklists after checklists, and unfortunately, there’s no space for mental health or just having a me-time in those checklists. As a result, I finally burnt out and checked out from life, I haven’t opened my emails, inboxes, not even replying to my own brother who lives in the same city for weeks. A part of me is thinking and blaming myself more for sabotaging my life but another part of me is just very exhausted and begging for a pause to just breathe.
I guess I look my absolute worst now, similar to the time I was dealing with my late fiance’s cancer. I lost 7 kg already, I dont have enough sleep, haven’t really exercise much, I don’t and can’t care about my look at all. If a guy’s hitting on me and trying to flirt with me, I’m like, “Really?? Either he got eye problems or his standards are lower than mine.” Lol. However, people still mistake my age, they think I’m in my early 20s, I don’t know if it’s because I look younger than my age or I just look broke and foolish 🤪. The truth is, for me I don’t look like my normal self. Even I don’t like seeing myself in the mirror right now. If I take selfies, I can see my smiles are different, they don’t really look happy.
Generally, I’m a happy person. But happy people make mistakes too. Some mistakes are more costly than others, they cost me peace. I miss being me. I know I will get there again eventually, it’s a matter of time, but I just have to be patient if it’s taking longer than my wish.
You might be wondering what it is the mistake that I keep saying. Well, here it is; jumping in to a serious relationship too quickly when I just moved here and barely knew the person. From there, it led to more and more wrong decisions because I kept tolerating discomforts, holding on for too long trying to fix things because I was fooled by own feelings of the spark that I didn’t feel for two years since my fiance passed away. So when I finally felt something different again, I got too excited and thought it was meant to be, though I fully knew since the beginning that the compatibility is not there, at all. There were so many little moments since the beginning that I told myself that it’s gonna be bad, but I kept trying. I held on longer than I should have. And me being reserved about my relationship even from my best friends didn’t help at all, because my boundaries became blurry, I got accustomed to the unhealthy situations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bad-mouthing anyone here, unhealthy situations can still happen even without the persons involved having negative intentions to one another because we simply are not compatible. And that’s exactly what happened.
And that’s probably where I couldn’t see lines, because I kept saying, “maybe he didn’t mean it, maybe he didn’t realize it, maybe it’s because of his past, etc etc.” Well, I was too naive to think that I could be someone’s therapist.
I don’t need to share in details of how bad things went wrong and the situation ended up with, in conclusion, it’s bad enough to get me to talk to a professional help because I need to do something about it. And the only one time I ever needed to talk to a psychologist was when Mike passed away. The damage is comparable. I felt grateful that I seek help early after the loss, so I don’t see getting a professional help as something to be ashamed of because acknowledging our problems is the first step of being responsible about taking care of them. I’ve learned the hard way that people who refuse to acknowledge they got problems and refuse to work on fixing them are gonna be the ones that I won’t be able even have friendship with.
So, back again to the question, “Is moving to Aussie worth it?” Well, despite how shitty my life has been since moving here, I don’t regret the move at all. It only got hard because of the mistake, not because of inability to get jobs etc. If I hadn’t made the hasty decision, I think I would’ve managed it pretty quickly. And also, that mistake can happen anywhere, no matter where I live, no matter how old and many experience I might have, I will not always make the right judgement about people. It’s how we learn to be more careful. I’m still optimistic about my future here, especially Adelaide. It’s very small, if you get the skills, I find it quite easy to stand out. I’m thankful for having worked as a freelancer for years because it built up my range of skills. I just need time. A time to fix my life and to finally live the life I know and dream of again.
And although I keep saying the word “mistake”, I don’t regret it happened because all the mistakes I made in my life are the mistakes I needed to have/ make.
However, it’s enough to say I’m quite giving up on relationships. The last one is traumatizing enough for me. And I guess I’m just gonna accept the fact that I am one of those people who are lucky with brain but not with the love life. There are many things that I have more than other people are given with, but I lack of luck in love. The one I wanted to spend my life with died, and after that it’s been a roller coaster. Two years of being numb and almost one year of fooling my self ending to a catastrophe. I give up trying.
I don’t believe in the concept of the one, I believe in the one person for a particular period of your life. Just because Mike died, doesn’t mean there won’t be another special person for me that I will love and love me too, but I just give up in trying. I just want to have my life back. With or without a man, I will be ok. If something is meant to be, it’s meant to be. If it’s not, then it is what it is. I have zero expectations in relationship, especially now with me looking like the main bad character in zombie movies, I’d be surprised if any guy would hit on me, let alone have feelings for me, I’d slap his face and mine to wake both of us up.
I love my life, and I want it back and build it more. I love the way I see life and the world, and I want to be that person again. The person that no heartbreak can take away from me.