Have you ever been to a situation wherein you had to choose if you'll continue doing something or just forget about it and simply quit? Have you ever found yourself standing on the thin line that separates "moving forward" and "going back" and whatever decision you choose would make a big difference in your life?
It was in early 2010 when my father told me that a relative of ours knows somebody who works in an agency that sends nurses to Middle East. Being unemployed for almost a year after I graduated, my eyes twinkled at the thought that I could possibly land a decent job in a foreign land through the help of that agency. I contacted my friends if they want to try their luck too and one of them uttered her interest in joining me. We immediately applied for our passport and paid the man who works in that agency a visit. The following week, we found ourselves in their little office along Ermita, Manila.
Inside the office, there were few others who also applies for other positions abroad. I was so nervous waiting for my turn to get interviewed. I had mixed emotions if I was really doing the right thing or I was just in a hurry to get a job. I was just 21 y/o that time.
The man who interviewed me was a Jordanian. He asked me, "You are already a nurse here in the Philippines, why would you want to work in the Middle East?" I remember that I answered with all honesty, "There is no job for a nurse like me here in the Philippines." Am I wrong? Maybe.
For an entry level nurse, he offered me 20,000 php of monthly income with free accommodation which includes food and housing. Things unfolded too fast and the next thing I know, we were already undergoing medical exam. The exam was shouldered by the agency but we turned over our credentials to them including our passport.
When I got home, I was so anxious. My mother told me that I could earn that money (20,000 php) here in the Philippines. Moreover, it is not so safe for me to go there.
I thought for a few days if I'll go or I'll stay. As I lay on my bed, I stared at the corners of our room and became teary-eyed a few times. I was so sure I was gonna miss those corners, the environment in our humble home and most of all, my family. I got scared at the thought that something bad might happen while I'm away and I won't be able to come home and take care of them. I was also scared for myself because the position the agency gave me was as a private duty nurse in a "palace." I am so sure even at this moment that I couldn't defend myself if monsters in the Middle East get in my way. You know what I mean. (Yeah, it took me a few days for these thoughts to sink in.)
I asked my friend if she still wanted to go and I was not surprised that we were thinking of the same thing: QUIT.
We informed the agency about our decision. We already know that they'll hold our credentials and passport unless we pay what they spent for our medical exam. It took us a few weeks before we were able to get the documents back. We felt so relieved after the last day we set foot in their office.
If you'll ask me now if I regret my decision, the answer is a big NO. I may have lost an opportunity by letting it go, but losing it opened new and better roads for me to travel. This experience taught me a lot of lessons and I learned them well.
I learned that it is ok to accept that you are not yet ready to do certain things. It is never wrong to admit you are scared and that you still need to take time to grow. To be wiser. Better.
Most of all, I learned that letting certain things go enables you to free your hand, for you to get hold of new things that are far better than the one you're about to let go. :)