Yelly Writes

A decade of being lost in England!

“Change occurs slowly. Very often a legal change might take place but the cultural shift required to really accept its spirit lingers in the wings for decades.” ― Sara Sheridan

10 years ago I stepped off a plane at just after 6AM at Heathrow Terminal 5.  10 years ago, I was carrying a Philippine passport.  In July, I received my British passport and in it, confirmation that I was a British citizen.

A lot has happened in 10 years – that equates to 520 weeks or 3,652 and half days or 85,500 hours or 5,130,000 minutes or 307,800,000 seconds.  That’s a lot of moments, a lot of instances and a lot of situations.  It’s been quite a ride so far: I’ve met so many people, I’ve made new friends, lost some, learned about myself and the kind of people I want to surround myself with.  I’ve learned that you can’t please everyone, no matter how hard you try; that the opinions you need to focus on should be the opinions of the “right people” – the people who accept you for you, lift you up and respect your values and sensitivities.  I’ve also learned that you need to take care of yourself first.  Because no one else is going to do it for you, not really.

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Yelly Writes

Moving across the pond!

Well, okay, strictly speaking, this turn of phrase applies to people moving from the States to the UK, the pond being the Atlantic Ocean, and strictly speaking, the flight route from Manila to Heathrow doesn’t necessarily involve flying over the Atlantic Ocean at all.  But allow me the poetic license.

It was 8 years ago, on a hot and muggy afternoon, that I got on a plane with two suitcases and moved to the UK.  When I watched The Woman in Gold, a line that the character Gustav Bloch-Bauer said struck me as true for every Filipino who has moved countries: “We [will do] everything to contribute and belong and we are proud of what we’ve done.”  This is true not just for every Filipino, but for everyone who has left home to find a better life.  For those of us who do, we go to our chosen country, respect and follow its laws, its social mores, its norms, learn the language, the vernacular and its culture.  We want to be productive citizens and we want to contribute, we want to make sure that we put our best foot forward because we know, intrinsically, that whatever we do, our actions reflect back on our country, whatever we do forms people’s opinions of our country.

I’ve learned a lot in the 8 years that I’ve moved, about myself and about what I am able to do.  But the learning won’t stop there.  There are more experiences to be had and more lessons to be learned.  God has blessed me with the opportunity to expand my territory, and has surrounded me with people who will always have my best interests and well being at heart who are willing co-travelers with me on this journey of continuous self-discovery (awwwww!!!)♥

Happy moving anniversary to me!

immigration stamp