Tuesday, March 20, 2018

10 Lessons Living in the City Has Taught Me

I was born in the province and spent my idyllic time in a small town where everyone knows you by your kin. Mornings were for climbing trees and afternoons were often filled with adventures exploring the fields. As a child living a simple life, nature was my playground. By mid '90s, we moved to another countryfar away from the familiar, comfortable and happy childhood memories. I don't remember having bitter recollection on the big transition since my parents never forget to make us feel grounded. Also, Abu Dhabi in the early '90s was the ideal place to raise a family. My father has been there since 1990, and even my grandfather in the early days. Like a tectonic shift, my life was rearranged. I became the expat kid.

Some of the struggles were switching schools and building new friendships. I was completely crippled with culture shock dealing with other kids who spent a chunk of their childhood in the city. In addition to my tale of woes, my English was really bad to begin with. Instead of feeling alienated, I was inspired to be bold and courageous. Eager to reach their level of academic skills, I taught myself Arabic phrases and alphabets using my dad's handbook before moving to Abu Dhabi. I kept challenging myself to learn more as much as I could at an early age. I had this fixed mindset that manifests itself as a desire to prove that a girl who grew up in the province is capable of anything. Eventually, I learned to slow down and warmed up to my classmates; majority of them remained my close friends up to this day. Some may say that being a teen was tough but I had my fair share of sweet memories, if not, the best.

I've moved a lot during my adult life. Manila to Abu Dhabi, back and forth between cities. There were so many things to do, so much going on, and even left being caught up with everything at the same time. In my early 20s, I was in-charge of my destiny. I've envisioned myself as a career girl in a big city, living off a certain lifestyle. Being in the city has its own inconveniences, too. Sometimes you have to accept that it's part of the charm. It intoxicates you with its aura when you're out in the jungle chasing your dreams. While everyone in the city seems to be hustling to make things happen, I appreciate the valuable "adulting" lessons that greatly influenced me as a person.

  1. Don't let life in the big city swallow you whole. Stay true to who you are.
  2. Learn to stand up for yourself. Toughen up.
  3. Take advantage of the resources you have.
  4. Trust in the timing of your life. Be patient.
  5. Put your free time to good use.
  6. Get out of your comfort zone.
  7. Kindness goes a long way.
  8. Spend your money wisely.
  9. Stay aware and be safe.
  10. When city life starts stressing you out  leave for a while.


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