Goodbye is indeed the hardest part of hello; especially, seeing my kids cry and cling on to me was the most excruciating – feet are heavy from taking a mere step away from them. Worse, re-booking my return flight to Abu Dhabi placed me in a much much cheaper carrier of Sri Lankan Airlines (flight affiliated with the new Mihin Lanka). I know 4 and a half hours is much preferred than the 9 hours to fly between Manila and Abu Dhabi but for a melancholic soul like me who can never sleep in planes, without entertainment to keep me by, this will seem like eternity. The e-books on my phone would have sufficed but we were unfortunately prohibited from using devices even on flight mode. I would have also asked for reading materials from the cabin crew but then found a pen and a piece of paper (where my ETA to Sri Lanka was printed) inside my bag so I hand-wrote this entry (typing it up now that I am reunited with my laptop and an unlimited data package from Etisalat). I am so glad that the baby of the passengers in the next seat has fallen asleep; finally, some peace and quiet after an hour of wailing cries; I am also glad that the air-conditioning has started to fill the cabin with cool air and I stopped using the menu as a make-do fan; I also could not be happier that the passenger behind me is no longer stomping his big foot against my chair so I have avoided an argument in case I would not have been able to be patient no more and told him off. I guess, in the midst of all these petty things, I was just swaying with my loneliness and homesickness from being away from my kids and husband – the loves of my life, next to God and myself. I can hardly breathe and find myself fighting the tears every now and then but it will get better – it always does get better.
I am blessed to have shared this wonderful vacation with my boys by the grace of God with the bonus of having my parents come over for a visit – an unexpected visit I am so thankful for as they get to spend another month with their grandsons. As for me, I will be happy to see and be with my sisters and their families back in Abu Dhabi. That is another silver lining; most overseas workers leave their family without having anybody to help ease the pain of separation from loved ones. I guess there is really no rhyme or reason for me at this point but one thing is for certain – I will journey back to SL to be with my own family very soon.
UAE has been good to me for over a decade but I can’t help the truth that it also presented me with so many rooms for errors and temptation to commit them. Not that I blame it but I did make a lot of bad decisions and mistakes in it. A few good things it offered me was the opportunity to bring my parents, siblings and families over; it offered me good career growth and learning; mostly, lessons learnt from implicating circumstances that I wouldn’t have thought I will be in – not in a million years. But this is because of the mistakes I have made. But more importantly, I got married to a kind and loving man and he gave me 2 beautiful sons.
It is never too late to correct this mistakes and live a life of love, forgiveness and with God in the midst. This time, priorities will be in order, prioritizing a must and setting priorities is my mantra now more than ever. I came back to work with the same professionalism and dedication to my company but my ultimate priority is my family – more but no less. I will see how I can realize all these, threading a long path, which will lead me back to them at the end of the line.