Two years is not a long time I suppose. In 2013 when I left Jakarta I aimed at living my life differently – be me, who ever that ‘me’ was going to be but certainly not the ‘me’ I used to be. The ‘me’ I used to be was: enslaved by the so called career that I was so passionate about, working so hard with good compensation at a fixed amount at the end of every month that provided monthly financial security and independence. But I was so dry inside, lost and detached from my girls and family due to the lack of time I spent with them. I kept arguing that quality time cannot be measured from the quantity of the time I spent with them and that the financial independence and security would provide me with a peace of mind without realising what really mattered to me most. I measured success from the perspective of having a great title that depicts my position in the hierarchy. Then what is the value of success if you don’t feel content, genuinely happy and enlightened?
The opportunity of moving to a country that is much more basic than mine seemed to be a good start. I had big dreams for myself though they might not be big for most people. I wanted to be the opposite of what I wrote in the last paragraph.
So I moved to Yangon in August 2013, assuming a new role and duties with no title attached to my name. I was just a wife and a mother of two girls who were so happy with the fact that their mom can now spend more time with them. As days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, I was longing for challenge, a way to actualise myself. To be honest, I felt that I was being subordinated by people around me and felt under-valued. I felt so useless and trapped. So when that opportunity came I took it, of course with the ‘blessings’ of my family.
What started as a casual work with flexi hour turned into full occupancy of my time. I did enjoy what I was doing so much but I was so consumed with work that I forgot the promise I made to myself. Gradually I began to feel the dissatisfaction I felt before without even realising that time flies really fast. What have I achieved? Am I closer to my dream? Do I feel content, satisfied and happy? The answer to all these questions is NO.
You may think I am not grateful for what God had given me. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful but I also feel that I think Allah is laughing sarcastically at me right now. In search of a way to reverse my discontentment I decided to take a course that I had always wanted to do, hoping that when I come back from it I can feel much better about myself and what ever I have.
Prior to living in Myanmar, a few people had told me that if you want your dream to become a reality, you must create and write your dream on a timeline. By doing that you unconsciously set your mind into telling yourself to achieve what ever you put on the timeline. I never believed it, because I thought it was all bullshit. But there I was among 30 participants hearing the same thing again. My trainer and some of my fellow trainees were so convinced that writing your timeline can actually help you materialise your dream. We were even taught how to write it, imagine it and condition our unconscious mind to envision and internalise it into our system.
Though I didn’t believe enough of it, I was actually enjoying the process and was so emersed into it. I wrote my dream on a timeline, visualised it, created my own internal representation of it and imagined in to the point that my body was so drawn to it. Then I started to remember the 2 things I ever written about what I wanted to achieve (when I wrote them, I was with a very positive state of mind that I will achieve them somehow). These two things were: to marry a diplomat and to be a certified NLP practitioner. Guess what??? I have been married to a diplomat for the past 11 years and at the time I was remembering, I was attending the very course I must take to become a certified NLP Practitioner.
I wasn’t 100% convinced yet but the more time I spent in that training room the clearer my mind had become about what is it that really matter most to me. I haven’t kept a promise that I made to myself, and in my religion that is the same as keeping a debt. I have debts that I owe to myself. So I decided to bring home the timeline I wrote in class and promised myself that I have to pay my debts: pay attention, create and spend more time with my girls; write; be my own boss; improve my spirituality.
With a much clearer head, I boarded the plane that took me back to Yangon. I felt different when I saw my girls again after 10 days. Somehow the heavy weight I had was gradually lifted off. Amazingly, step by step I am paying my debts and getting closer to my dream – success with a new twist. This piece of writing proves that I am paying my debts. Bismillah…the rest with follow.
Bottom line to my story: when you promise yourself something, write a timeline of when you will materialise it. It is okay to be in debt but it is not okay to stay that way (be it to yourself or to others). Mingle with people who motivate you, but use people who demotivate you as a reminder of what shame feels like (I think shame is worst that failure).
I bet Allah is now smiling happily at me 😀
Dedicated to my girls and my fellow friends at Batch 32