Living in Two Worlds

It has been 18 months since I arrived in Norway. Many things have already changed in the way I think, behave and deal with circumstances and people I met. Generally speaking I must say, I learned to be humble and accept the fact that I would need to start again from square one, contrary to what I have experienced in the Philippines. It is an ongoing challenge for me to adapt with the new environment and integrate well with the Norwegian society, without forgetting the positive Filipino attributes. However, as I take one step closer to fully appreciating my life in one of the world's best societies, I am confused on how I could somehow make a significant mark in the Filipino society, given that I am actually turning my focus off on it. The greatest question would be, "Will I be able to live two worlds at the same time?"

There was someone who asked me why I do have to leave the Philippines, where I had a more comfortable life and secured future. Every time, I just answer that I am hoping for more opportunities in Norway, aside from the fact that it seems natural and obligatory for educated Filipino nurses to seek for and work outside the country. This is perhaps related to brain drain, which is indirectly encouraged by the government by regarding overseas Filipino workers as new unsung heroes of the modern times, as we contribute significantly to the economy by providing much needed capital and investments. It would sound odd however for me to leave the Philippines, where I could work with a supervisory or teaching position, with travel privileges and a salary above the national average. In addition, before I left my home country, I engaged myself in real estate and was learning the basics on how to own and manage my own company. Moreover, I was planning to start writing an educational book for healthcare workers. It is very enticing, but to sum up what I missed in 8 points, a list is provided below. All of which are starting in letter F.

  1. Family
  2. Friends
  3. Freelance job
  4. Festivities
  5. Food
  6. Free time
  7. Fun
  8. Future of sharing and giving

As part of my plan, I intend to create company that will help many and will provide quality education in different sectors of the society. In my lifetime, I would want to address certain problems plaguing Filipinos in terms of inequality of the quality of education and health service. I would not need to be a politician to do this. I will do my part and will work closely with others, who can help. However, the question would be WHEN and HOW can I start, given I need to fulfill some work and residency requirements in Norway. I can not also give up what I have started in Norway for there are several reasons why I need to stay and live here. The list are found below. All of which are starting with the letter N.

  1. New opportunities
  2. Network of kind and nice people
  3. Necessity of funds for capital and education
  4. Need to take part in Philippine nursing education
  5. New language and culture, including those of other European states
  6. "No stress" philosophy and admirable Norwegian work conditions
  7. Numerous chances for travel and fun in various countries
  8. Next family's generation's future (niece, nephew etc.)

Many would opt perhaps to stay in Norway, without even thinking carefully and repeatedly. However, I know I can do much in the Philippines. For now, my capacities and competencies in Norway are under-utilized. I would want to wait for the time that my worth is truly seen and appreciated, as it was in my home country. However, I understand that I have to go through the painful of process of starting anew. I need to be more patient for things to get better for me in Norway such that everything will be in the right place. Although there are a lot of uncertainties for me in the new situation I am in, here and now I learned to set my dreams again. I got to realize that I can still do more, as I expand my horizon day-by-day. This I have ceased to do before I left the Philippines, because I felt so contented with my life and became comfortable that I was no longer willing to take risk and aim higher.

Lastly, I really do not know what the future will bring. I do not have concrete plans as of now for the next few months. Whatever will come, I will accept it wholeheartedly. What I want really is to keep the best of both countries. Earn and live in the Philippines and Norway, having the freedom to work and travel wherever and whenever. That is my dream - to live simultaneously in two worlds.


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