I have another 3 more working days, after today, left with my current job. I’m not leaving unprepared; I’ve got my plans all laid out before me. I’m equally excited and uncertain with my next phase in life.
I’ve not seen my (legal-er) wife, Constant Companion RR, since February of 2020 since the pandemic started and we are situated in different countries. The restrictions to curb the pandemic, both on flying overseas and our jobs made it impossible for us to travel. It wasn’t possible for either of us to take the necessary time off from work to fly; two-weeks quarantine on both ends already took up one whole month.
Fortunately, thanks to technology, we are able to see and chat with each other over the internet on our phones whenever we want.
I remember a time when I had to buy phonecards to call her overseas and the only way to chat online was on a computer, hooked on a 56k dial-up modem. It was less convenient, compared to today’s standard, but back then it was the most readily available method for me and our interactions were magical to me. I never realised that there will be a day where I can video call someone anywhere in the world (with internet access) right from my phone without paying a premium fee for it.
In fact, I remembered during one of our exchange over MSN messenger, Constant Companion RR told me she could only get internet access from a very specific location in her living room. The idea of being online wirelessly completely blew my mind; I remember being baffled by that. Nowadays, I know what Constant Companion RR did was “Wifi Theft“. Hahahah!
I guess I was contented with what I had as the world continued to advance.
In May 2020, we missed celebrating our first wedding anniversary together. Both of us were in lockdown in our respective countries. “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” just got released on the Nintendo Switch.
Constant Companion RR bought herself a Nintendo Switch online and we played many hours together. She never quite did develop her island like everybody else did though, being perfectly happy with catching bugs and fishes and selling them for cold, hard cash. For our first wedding anniversary, I built her a rose garden with pictures from travels, surrounding one taken during our registration of marriage.
Once again, it’s May. Our 2nd wedding anniversary takes place some time later this month and there is no way to celebrate it together physically.
I was chatting with my colleague yesterday, when she showed me a video of the new tutor teaching her young son. It was taken from a hidden camera and at one point of the video, the new tutor got frustrated with the young boy and tapped the kid on the back of his head. While it didn’t look like he used much force and the child wasn’t visibly in pain, I can only imagine how much pain it must have caused my colleague.
For as long as I didn’t meet Constant Companion RR, my colleague has not seen her young children as they continue to grow up under the care of their grandmother, across the Causeway in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. After showing me the video, she looked absolutely defeated and she told me that she really felt the urge to drop everything here in Singapore and go back home to her children. I completely understand her impulse to just “drop everything and go”. This impulse is frequently romanticized in movies/ shows where the audience will then cheer for the protagonist’s bravery. Real life doesn’t work that way. We are all bounded by something.
For my colleague, she needs this job to provide for her young children back home. If she “drops everything and go”, chances are that she will not find a job that will pay her enough, or if she can even manage to find a job back home at all. By any means, I’m not scoffing her, nor am I mocking her for her lack of courage to “drop everything and go”. I’ve been having the same desire incalculable times and some times, just by telling another someone else that you want to, can make you feel a little better.
Our situations are very similar and I don’t doubt that there are countless others facing the same problem of being distanced/ separated from their loved ones.
At times, this separation can get extremely depressing personally. Here we are, a year and 3 months since we last met in person. For a healthy, warm-blooded man like myself, this is a very testing period with no end in sight as nobody can be sure when things will go back to being normal.
However, I’ve every intention to stay strong by keeping myself focused on my new career and distracted with a healthier lifestyle and a possible new hobby (miniature making).
Now that I’ll have complete control of my free time, I would love to see whether I’m disciplined enough to exercise every day or I’ve always been lying to myself with excuses like, “my time is all taken up by my job/ working 12 hours sapped me of energy”.
Chatting with my colleague and knowing that we are on the same boat and that I’m not alone (I mean I know my current situation is not unique, but you get what I mean), made me feel a little better. That made me decide to openly writing about it to get it off my chest, in the hopes of better coping with my situation.
Also, this could be an interesting read for myself in the future.