“I Feel Guilty!”

If the sky would speak and tell us how much tears it has witnessed from the plane passengers who left their country in hope of finding a greener pasture, perhaps it will run out of figures to describe the number that passed through its bossom.

Travelers have their own different purposes of crossing borders and I am one of those who courageously nursed their own emotions for the sake of dreams. A simple dream to have enough to support my family. A choice that wasn’t even listed to the option I had but I reached to a point that I needed to make the heaviest decision and that was to step out of my village knowing that I would miss a vital part of my child’s growing.

Sometimes in our lives, we make some decisions not because we wanted to but because it’s needed.

Adjustments weren’t that difficult for me upon arriving at my employer’s house because the family has been very patient while I was still learning the chores.

The real struggle was about handling my salary. On my contract, it was written that I can only have my day off after six months and within those months, I was being deducted, leaving a little amount as my allowance which was kept by my employer with my consent since I wasn’t going out yet and all my personal needs were provided including card top up.

Exactly one month at work, I had to borrow one hundred dollar from my co helper and asked her to send it for me so that my mother could purchase the materials needed by my daughter in school because I was very shy to tell my employer.

After six months of waiting, finally I had my first rest day and held in my hand the amount left out from my salary deduction. I was only able to feel it in my hand because on that same day, I had to send it back home to pay for my debts which I borrowed from two different persons which I used to process my needed documents. Within six months it grew up to seventy thousand pesos (P70,000) because of the interest. I wasn’t able to pay back at one time so I had to request for an advance payment from my employer to settle the debt and stop it from growing.

In between those months that I was paying back partially my employer, I didn’t stop sending for my family’s expenses. I wanted them to live comfortably. I pampered my daughter with things that she never had before when I wasn’t still working abroad.

The GUILT within me drove me to be so generous with the people I love not even thinking to save. I wanted to cover the times of my absence with all the material things that I could give. I didn’t have a control of my hand. It was too open. For three years of working abroad, I was only able to save receipts and the rest of my hard earned money I didn’t know where was it spent.

The Turning Point

Before year 2018 ended, I came to know Uplifters, a non-profit organization that gives online education for domestic helpers like me. I took the lessons seriously and it was a huge eye opener on how I’ve been living my life and how much I’ve wasted for the past years. It thaught me not only to build a dream but to make concrete plans for them. It helped me so much to be the better version of myself I never even think I will become. It awakened the sleeping talents I have and made it an instrument to reach and influence more people that they too can make a difference in their lives.

I realized that I wasn’t supposed to feel guilty being away from my family because I too has suffered so much emotional and mental stresses. I shouldn’t be feeling guilty of something that I’ve been doing for them, my dreams was for them and I was working so hard for them. I’ve been enduring hardships because of them so what for that I should feel guilty?! It wasn’t right at all! The past scenarios came infront of me and from that realization, I had to gather my courage to step out from the usual acts I was doing.

Breaking the old habits was the greatest challenge but when you have a solid VISUALIZATION on how you want your life to be in the next coming days, months or years, you will have a strong drive to resist all the unnecessary spendings that may happen.

Take a little pause. Think.Start practicing to say NO for something that are not really needed. Start identifying what are your needs and your wants. Start listing down your expenses. Start trusting yourself that you are more than enough and your ability to achieve your goals. Start breaking those habits that lead you to an empty pocket. Start now!

I encouraged myself to attend more financial literacy seminars and apply the learnings in my life. Slowly, I was able to get things organized. I am more confident to face the future mornings. I have plans. I started saving and investing. I’m equipping myself with the right guides that can be very useful for me. I can support my daughter’s education and basic needs. I am happy and most of all, I am debt free.

I believe that everyone of us has the ability to save and build the life that we wanted to have once we challenge ourselves to do it so and focus on the right steps. I do not want to spend the rest of my life working in a foreign land so I had to work on my own goal setting and planning. The beginning might be difficult but it is not impossible to achieve. Make every cents matter. It can become a thousand or a million if we know how to value even the smallest amount.

The more confident version of myself!

If you want to find out more about Uplifters courses please check on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/328347700962714/ and join their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/migrantdomesticworkerscommunity/?ref=share

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