Postcards From Home: Orange County, California

I am mostly known back home in the Philippines as Mejai, Jaime or Meleth. I immigrated to the US on July 2012 to be together with my longtime  boyfriend who is now my husband for over 6 years❤️❤️❤️ (Ayeeee🤣)

He was in the US Army and was stationed in Georgia for 3 years; we then came over to California when his contract finished. I am now working as a Behavior Interventionist in one of the school districts here in Orange County, California. 😊

My best memory of home is our fiestas. 

We celebrate fiestas on a provincial scale down to Sitios within barangays.

I love how everything is just so vibrant, loud, and fun. It’s a whole month of celebration too!

I remember how the sight of the banderitas hanging across electric posts throughout my tiny proud sitio of Pusok Cemento makes me all happy. It’s the perfect visual for me to let my brain know that we are in a celebration mode.

I also remember waking up very early in the morning over our neighbor’s loud music of Brother Louie and Touch by Touch, and then falling asleep to the sound of the mixes played for the disco-ral 🤣🤣🤣.

I miss just hanging out with my family and cousins to see the nightly entertainment during fiesta times. Eat Balot, tempura, green mangoes, peanuts, etc.

I miss the feeling of being surrounded by the people who love me and those I love the most.

My parents did not approve of me leaving the country. 

I had to ask my elder siblings to help me convince them to give me their blessing.

I am the baby in my family so I can understand why it was so hard for them to let me go. It wasn’t easy on my end too, I am very attached to my parents and I am very sheltered, leaving home would be stepping out of my comfort zone-extreme level.

The idea of being so far away from my protectors and acknowledging that I will be breaking their hearts if I leave was beyond scary.

I think to this day leaving the country was the boldest move I made in my entire life.

I found my peace in the thought that I will do great over here and make my family proud because of how much I have grown.

I immigrated to the states with nothing but the clothes in my bags.  

My husband on the other hand also had nothing because everything was provided by the Army for him(his housing and the food he eats).

In our first apartment, we had nothing. We are away from our family and friends. We didn’t get any hand me down furniture or anything to help us get started.

We slept on the floor, we had no chairs and we used the box of the cooking pots we bought as our dining table.

We used garbage bags as curtains to cover the windows.

Our resourcefulness was heavily tested during those times when we just started.

And after 10 weeks of playing house together, husband left for  Afghanistan and stayed there for 9 months. 

I was literally all by myself, spending the whole day thinking about my family back home and my husband in a hostile area. It was quite a change from being in a comfortable home surrounded by people who love you to an empty space by yourself.

I love how everything that my husband and I have now is all from our hard work. 

We literally started with nothing and now we are homeowners in Orange County, California. Looking back at how far we’ve come I say we have grown so much. Being away from family and having nobody else but each other made our bond stronger and our motivation to be successful greater. 

Parting words for people who want to embark on the same journey?

If you just started in a new place away from home it’s expected  that you’re having a difficult time right now so don’t be too hard on yourself.

It’s okay that you feel sad and angry, acknowledge those feelings and channel them to feed your motivation and your determination.

Acknowledge and celebrate your every success no matter how small-learning how to cook, do laundry, etc. Keep your positive attitude intact and you’ll be just fine. 😊 😆😆😆❤️

No comments