Saturday, September 19, 2015

Half-Year in Malaysia: Six Things I Learned About Love and Life

The past six months are probably the most identity-changing phase in my life. I moved to a new country away from my loved ones and away from the culture I am familiar with and then, the only person that was giving me the courage to move forward in my new endeavor decided to abandon me in the worst way possible. My best drinking buddies are miles away, alcohol is expensive and there are no good beaches near Kuala Lumpur.

I have always thought that I knew a lot of things about love and that I am mature enough when it comes to matters of the heart but this past half-year made me realize things that changed my deep-rooted beliefs. 

I perceived myself as strong and independent but as it turns out, it was just a facade. I have been through a lot since I was a kid and I never expected that a broken heart in a foreign country will bring me down, but it did.  One night I found myself wanting to end everything because nothing makes sense anymore and the pain I felt was just too much. 

But here I am, still alive and still able to write this entry in this blog.

This cathartic experience taught me some valuable lessons that are not really new ideas to me but I never believed them until now. Here are the six things about love and life that I learned the hard way on my six months of stay in Malaysia.

1. Courtship is important

A year ago if you ask me about courtship, I would say it is a waste of time. I believed that I was one of those people who immediately knows if a person is right for them the moment they meet someone. Why go through a phase where you put your best foot forward if you already both like each other. Right? Wrong.

A person could show off his or her best self during formal courtship but as you spend more time together and share deeper conversations with each other, eventually, courtship will reveal who the other person truly is. Taking time in courtship benefits both parties, it will make the two of you realize if you can stand each other and if you really want to take your relationship to the next level.

2. Destiny provides the great balance

Do you believe in destiny? A year ago I would have answered no. I would have said that we make our own destiny and that if we work hard enough, we could get anything. But sometimes, no matter how much effort you put into something, if it is not meant to happen in His time, it will not happen.

Now, I believe in destiny but not the fairy-tale kind, not the type of destiny that provides happily ever after. I believe that destiny exists to ground us, to give a little joy and hope in the middle of our sorrow and to inject a bit of sadness in our happiness. 

As how my favorite Alanis Morissette song goes:

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

3. You would know a guy is serious with you if he has a future plan for the both of you.

This has got to be the ultimate lesson I need to learn, the lesson that life tries to teach me over and over again and I still can't and won't learn it.

One of my closest Malaysian friend is the one who said that, "you would know a guy is serious with you if he has a future plan for the both of you". According to him, if a guy doesn't have a vision of how our future is going to be like, then he is only testing the waters. My friend added that I shouldn't commit with a guy if he himself is not ready to be committed.

In my every failed relationship, it was always me who had a future plan. I thought I just love to plan things and it is a girl thing but planning for the future determines if a person is mature enough to handle a serious relationship.

4. Value Relationships.


I remembered having an argument with one of my friend about my relationship with my ex-boyfriend. My friend told me that we would not last forever but I told my friend that what we had was real, that if we take it day by day, we will be able to have a journey to forever. But forever is such an extravagant promise.

I am not being bitter but in reality, nothing lasts forever. Everything in this life is transitory. Every relationship we have will end. Our parents, our friends, our cat, our favorite pair of shoes, even ourselves will eventually expire. This is the reality of life that we have to accept. That is why we need to value every relationship we have. We need to give our best to the people we love while we still can because one day we will wake up and we already lost the chance to show a person how much we value them.

5. Be Grateful

Being grateful is what helped me survive depression. In one of my favorite Youtube channel, London Real, I have watched different successful personalities and all of them are grateful for everything they experienced in life. Hard times teaches us wisdom so we should also be thankful for it.

I am grateful for the amazing friends and family that are always there for me. I am grateful for being able to experience vulnerability. I am grateful for this life lesson that helped me grow. I am grateful for simply being alive.

6. Never Stop Loving 

Having my heart broken made me want to toughen up, to harden my heart, and to cease to believe in love, but I realized that this resistance will only cause me further pain. Now that I know how bad it feels to be left behind, I choose to be a better man (or woman) and never let anyone feel the same.

This world is a cruel place and this life is not a Disney rom-com. People will bring me down multiple times, people will disappoint and hurt me, but I accept that these experiences are not aimed to destroy me. They are meant to teach me valuable life lessons so I could grow wiser and this wisdom will help me fulfill my purpose.


  1. Lahat ng Buhay dumadaan sa ganyan may dumarating at nawawala... masakit pero i enjoy ang buhay :) makakahanap ka rin ng Mr. Right

    -Manong Unyol

    1. Naks! salamat sa words of wisdom sir! :) Happy for you and your girl sir! :D