The day I achieved my childhood dream

So, yesterday I was at the library typing 1,000 new words of my second novel. I’m participating in Nanowrimo, the crazy month where writers around the world attempt to finish a 50k novel in a month, and Thursday was a “bumper” day for me. I had written a whopping 7,000 words, and was pretty proud of myself. I finished my last thousand words at the Goodwood library because I wasn’t ecstatic about typing the words alone at home (That’s the trouble with being an extrovert writer. The writer’s lifestyle goes against what it means to be an extrovert!). Anyway, I logged on to my e-mail to send a copy of my tale to myself – and then I noticed an email from my migration agent. My heart skipped a beat when I read the title of the e-mail: “Immi Grant Notification.” With trembling hands I opened the email.

“I refer to the application by XX for a Skilled – Regional (VB 887) visa lodged on 10 September 2014 with the department.

I am pleased to advise that on 20 November 2014 a decision was taken to grant this visa.”

Shit. I just got my PR.

I’m an Australian permanent resident.

That e-mail informed me that I’ve just achieved a decades-long dream.

I felt numb at first, then panic set in as I realised that I have to sit for my driving exam in three months. I called my agent to thank her for her effort and told her now I have to worry about the driver’s test.

She laughed. “Aiyoh, you very kan cheong*  lah. Everything will fall into place, don’t worry.”

Yes me, professional worry wart.

I had imagined how it’d be like to get that notification. Surely the earth will shake and the stars will sing. Or some silly thing like that.

Nope. Everything is still the same. There are still bills to be paid, annoying people to deal with and problems to be solved.

I think we often believe that “we’ll only be happy when…” In actual fact, when we get what we think will make us happy, we are joyful for a day or too, and then reality sets in. You’re still the same person you were the day before.

Happiness, well, we can be happy now, not when. 

So now I have a PR visa, and I am not sure where to go from here. Stay, leave, study, work….? Ah, life goes on as you can see….

* kan cheong = Cantonese for “anxious, too overly concerned.”

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8 thoughts on “The day I achieved my childhood dream

  1. Oh, congratulations! I remember the day I got the news for my Canadian permanent resident, I cried… I was so happy, no more visa worries!

    Now, I guess the question is… will you stay, despite the bouts of homesickness? I’m guessing you have to meet residency requirements to keep your PR, like in Canada, right?

  2. Yup, gotta live here for two years. I’ll stay for now, give myself in a year. If things really go south I’m going home. I’m preparing to study as well and try to reframe my experience in Australia as a sabbatical where I’m trying out a new career 🙂

  3. Congratulation. I have gone through what you have been through. Australian economy is sick at the moment. A lot of people here are out of work. You are doing very well indeed. I would advise you to give Australia a chance. For me I will not go back to Malaysia as the environment there is unfavourable. I guess the only different is I have my family here. I definitely would not like my children to grow up in Malaysia.

  4. congrats!! So happy for you. Now that you are a PR, can you move to other cities? If you are thinking of leaving, perhaps move to another city in Australia before deciding whether to head back to Malaysia for good. I really hope you will persevere and dont give up on Australia. 🙂

  5. Well, I hope so too. Interestingly, when I decided that Australia isn’t the end all and be all I began enjoying the journey. 🙂 But I don’t get too attached to an idea, see. If I feel called to go to Singapore, Thailand or China, I’ll go 😉

  6. Hi. If you are planning to have children in the future then do not return to Malaysia. Your grandchildren too will not have any future in Malaysia. It is okay if you are from a particular race but not okay if you are not. Australia is a great country and will become greater in time to come. Don’t regret if you decide to return to Malaysia. Your doors are opening in Australia and keep then opening.

    • True, but only to a certain extent.

      Because of Malaysia’s protectionist economy, most Malaysians who have prospered in the last 20 to 30 years have done so because they face very little competition from the outside world.

      You can contrast this with the Australian economy, which is much more liberal and open. You not only compete with local Australians, but with a host of highly skilled migrants from China, Korea, Brazil, South Africa, Britain and so on.

      99% of Malaysians will flounder when they go up against such competition.

      More than once, I’ve heard someone say, ‘I want to return to Malaysia because at least I’m competing only with my own countryman. Over here in Australia, the job market is so tough that I cannot even cari makan!’

      Yes, Malaysia is corrupt and offers a declining quality of life, but with the right networking, you can still earn decent money and solidify your position.

      Australia, meanwhile, is free and fair, but it’s surely a tough pill to swallow when you are forced to compete in such a dynamic environment.

      This is the dilemma that every Malaysian migrant has to face. It’s not a win-win situation either way. It’s about what kind of life you want and how much you want to sacrifice to make it happen.

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