You’ve already made up your mind. You just don’t know it.

That’s what a good friend told me a few weeks ago. I stared at her incredulously, and she sighed.

“What can I tell you to convince you that I’m right? You just want people to agree with you about your decision, actually.”

She isn’t the first person to tell me I’ve made up my mind. Okay, she’s the second.

And after a week in Hong Kong, immersed in the sights and sounds and remembering how much I love, love, love travel. I have to agree with her. I have made up my mind that I’m going. I’m scared shitless about doing so, but a big part of me is saying, “Go. Because if you don’t, you’re going to wither in some way.”

As I read blogs about people who decide to go on a career break, a sabbatical and travel the world, I realise that this feeling – fear, anxiety, panic – is pretty normal before making the big leap. What I’m feeling is normal, not an indication that I’m about to make the biggest mistake of my life. A lot of these folks felt the same thing I did, felt the fear and did it anyway. And many did not regret doing it.

I want to make the move to Australia because I need to. I just simply need to. I can’t really put it in words. I’m not moving because of my kids (don’t have any). I am not moving for “greener pastures” (what the hell does that mean anyway?). I am, cliched as it is, trying to find myself.

I felt almost guilty for abandoning a job that has given me so much, and which was my dream job for years. Like, I should be happy. I should be happy with this for the rest of my life, right?

No, because people – and companies change.

After a recent ‘pep talk’ by our CEO, I realise how much my vision has changed in line with the company’s. To put it simply, my company’s  vision is no longer my vision. For the longest time I thought I could ignore that, just be real, and chug on.

A colleague told me, when I was telling her about this, that I must be a person who believes in utopia to think like that.

Actually, LOL, no. I am such a realist that it stands in the way of living my dreams. Here’s the thing: I am no longer content to live my life closing one eye. 

So I’m not happy with my work – but it pays the bills. I hate how the company does things, but if I stay low and pretend that it’s not happening, I can pocket my salary and buy nice things. I may not be happy being in Malaysia, but as Zewt always quips – but the food is good. I’m tired out of my mind doing what I do, burnt out to the gills, but I have a nice apartment and a 42″ flat screen TV.

None of this is enough anymore. What I want is a life worth living!

Can you relate to that? Have people looked at you sideways for even daring to voice that desire out? Well, I can tell you that they won’t be happy that you’re trying to bust out of something they’ve grudgingly accepted. The thing is to focus on what you want for your life and to hell with everything else.

Though, I am only learning this myself 🙂

6 thoughts on “You’ve already made up your mind. You just don’t know it.

  1. Hi Susan 🙂
    When I made that big decision 8 years ago, I think most of my close friends and family thought I was a little mad. And that is after they totally understand why I had to do it….aside from moving for love, I remember feeling restrained and uninspired being where I was and feeling the need to move out from my comfort zone. All that you are feeling right now is part of the process of mentally preparing yourself for the change and of course it is daunting but brave thing to do.
    Consider it your biggest adventure (and it is!!):)

    Cheers to your courage and determination to live a fuller life!

    Talk soon
    PS:Philip Yancey was in town but I was not ale to go for his event..

  2. Hi,
    I am Vivienne from Singapore. Right now in Perth visiting my brother and family before I move on to Adelaide. Sep 18 is THE day to start a totally new life in Adelaide. Kinda scary but if I don’t do now, I will keep wondering whether I will regret it in future. So here I am in Australia.

    I keep telling myself that if it does not work out, I can always go back home and start again.

    • Oh by the way, I got subclass 475 last year in Aug 2010. Made my initial entry in May 2011. When I first got approval, I could not sleep for a week, worrying about many things. It took me 1 year to come to terms and also to tie up any loose ends in Singapore.

      Proverbs 3:5-6 and Joshua 1:8 kept me going.

  3. Hi,

    I come across your entry while browsing the MIA facebook. My family is on 495 visa similiarly to your 475 visa. Prior moving, I was working in private sector in Malaysia in the professional category and earning a high income and was enjoying a good and high quality of life.

    We stayed in Adelaide for 20 months at Magill and my son attended kindy and primary school at Magill Primary which is 10 minutes walk from our house.He was happy in school and so was my wife. My wife’s family is staying in Melbourne (they migrated there 15 years ago and now operating 4 Malaysian / Asian restaurants). We stayed in Adelaide to fullfill the visa requirements. The first
    I did is to apply jobs as apart from fullfilling the visa requirements (i.e working 35 hours per week for a year). However jobs don’t come easily and only after 8 months of trying and applying various jobs (from the one equalvalent to my profession to the lowest like janitor or take away delivery boy). My job requried me to work permenantly from midnight to 6 or 7 in the morning and during weekends. When this job came along I was happy because I am going to fullfill the visa requirements and lighten my financial burden even I was paid A$18 per hour and evethough was working 12 hours per week for the first few months. As time passed, I was working up to 30-35 hours per week, it was hard work and I hardly have time with my family as I sleep during days. Some weeks I only managed to see my son when he was sleeping and every day he asks his mum the same question after school (around 3.15pm) “Where is daddy? Sleeping?” With such income I was bringing home (after high deduction for tax), my family is in the low income family categroy. I still have to substantiate my family with my saving (brought in from Malaysia; running low as the days passes) even we changed our life style and lived like a low income family. As I am on 495 visa (temprorary resident), we have to purchase costly private insurance (no Medicare)in addition of the high costs of living. I have no saving and hardly shop and eat outside. My quality of life has dropped and instead of enjoying good family life, I worked harder and have no family life. My physical (now suffering high blood pressure, constant dizziness)and mental health are being affected too and I was going into depression and suffering from low esteem. My wife saw these changes on me and she was heartbroken. I was a cheerful and happy guy but changed into a grumpy and sickly oldman. At the same time, I kept on applying for various jobs (I was doing it until the day I left Adelaide, hoping for a change) only to meet with either negative or no response.

    I was not happy living there. Sometime in June this year, we decided that “enough is enough” as we can’t go on living in such circumstances. (Note: My wife was a public accountant in Malaysia; she can’t get such job in Adelaide and managed to get part time job as a supermarket cashier earning A$8 per hour).

    Eventhough we have discussed and decided in June, I was adamant not to leave Australia as I don’t want to give up fighting. We also talked to our relatives and friends to seek their views and have considered moving to Melbourne and Hobart. Finally, this month I made my journey back to Malaysia and came back on 12 September.

    I hope I have not in anyway discourage you or put fear in you of going to Adelaide / Australia. I would say to you, “Go and have a look but don’t severe all ties in Malaysia” and do have living expenses (in Australia’s standard) ready up to 9 months.

    I sum up being in Australia “Nice place to stay, hard place to live”.

    (Note: I have got a job as consultant and starting work in October whereas my wife says she needs a rest to settle my son’s schooling). You can reached me at my email.

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