Was browsing through my posts and I realized that I never really wrote about why we moved to Subic. Kinda strange, since it is the title of my blog. . 🙂
Anyway, my fiance has always been a government person. As early as college, when we first met, he was actively involved in student council (So was I actually, but he was hard-core. I was, like every career that I eventually got into, just trying out different stuff). Since being a first lady was a career option for me, we seemed like the perfect fit. Hehehe.
The decision to move to Subic happened very quickly. From what I recall, the series of events that lead to it came to pass in less than a month..
(Week 1, Monday):
His college e-groups sent out an email asking for people in his course if there was anyone interested in working as part of the SBMA think-tank. He’s the sort of person who cannot just do one thing, and the very idea of a new project always tickled his fancy, so he sent out his resume. He thought it was a brief consultancy position and not a permanent one though.
(Week 1, Friday):
A couple of days later, he received a call that the Subic people were interested in having him on board. BUT they were considering him for a permanent post. I think he was kilig at the prospect of being offered such a key position, so he revealed to me that he actually really wanted to go to the interview.
The thing was, before all of this transpired, we knew nothing about Subic. The last time I was there was when I was in seventh grade. My class took the nature trek conducted by the Aetas. Then we went to Duty Free and gorged on imported chocolates on the way home. That’s it.
Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly thrilled that he was considering the position. He assured me however, that he was only going because he wanted to see if he could convince them to give him one-time consultancy work.
(Week 2 Saturday)
Anyway, he goes to the interview and tells me that it wasn’t an option anymore because they don’t have anything for him that’s part-time. But then he also starts talking animatedly about all the exciting plans Subic has laid out for development.
Ok, I’ve been with him for YEARS. And I could read him like a book. I knew that despite his nonchalance, he was considering the position. So I decided to nip his enthusiasm in the bud. I told him flat- out that there was no way I was going to be in a long- distance relationship, and if he goes to Subic, I will break up with him.
Before you judge me, let me give you a super quick background of where we were when this was all happening. We were recovering from a series of really awful events and I was questioning whether it was right for us to stay together. We were in the process of rebuilding trust and establishing new dynamics as a couple. I seriously felt that putting a 90 -km obstacle between us will break our already precarious relationship.
In all fairness to him, he did agree with me.
Week 3, Tuesday
Just when I thought this Subic matter can be finally laid to rest, he experiences a major upheaval at work that made him decide that the job wasn’t for him. I really felt for him because there were alot of personal relationships at stake if he quits the job, so I knew he went through months of emotional struggle before he finally reached his decision.
Week 3, Wednesday
He meets up with his friends and he tells them about what was happening at work . He also tells them about the offer in Subic. They get all excited for him and encourage him to take the job.
He picks me up from a friend’s birthday to tell me about their meeting. Take note that I was a bit tipsy when he ventured the topic so I was feeling quite combative. I spent a good portion of the drive to my house ranting about how I felt backed up in a corner, and once again, I had to make sacrifices to make things work out. I remained staunch in my stand. If you take the job in Subic, I’m out. But then, he tells me with the utmost sincerity that this was our decision, not just his. And if I feel that I won’t be happy with him in Subic, he’ll let the opportunity go.
Here’s a secret trait of mine, I’m a very opinionated person. And I will not back down even if you huff, puff and scream at me. I will probably scream just as loudly until I get YOU to back down. BUT the minute you act all nice and considerate, my inner button for either guilt or compassion gets activated and I let you have your way (for friends who know me, please don’t use this information against me. I’m on to you! That goes for you too, fiance).
After blustering and sputtering, I told him with all clarity and calmness my inebriated state could muster, that I would go with him to Subic so I could make a proper informed decision.
He was ofcourse delighted.
Week 3, Saturday
We take the trip to Subic and it wasn’t off to a great start. When we got there, we met his potential boss in Starbucks and he invited us to his house for dinner. We were kinda not prepared to stay for that long. We thought we were taking a very quick day trip so we had no nice clothes to wear etc. Normally, this wouldn’t have been a problem, but, stupid me left the car keys inside the car. I had to sweet talk a mechanic to help us fish them out.
To add icing to this very rotten cake, a friend of his who was in the area also wanted to meet up. Take note that I had biases against this person. While I respect his friends encouraging him to move to Subic, I had sour spot for this particular buddy of his because he seemed to be pushing a tad bit too hard, totally brushing off the possibility that this move will wreak havoc on our relationship. It seemed like he was insinuating that career advancement was much much more important than our decade-long relationship. AND, he also didn’t seem to care that my keys were stuck inside the car. He wanted us to leave it where it was parked, in a place where we didn’t know anyone, so he and my boyfriend could talk. Humph (I was feeling sulky at that time. I’m over it though. I’m pretty cool with his friend now).
I wanted to throw a bitch fit. But I had to grit my teeth and endure the pleasantries while they talked about life in the Bay.
Needless to say, by the time the dinner with his potential boss rolled around, I was hot, sticky and cranky. I tried to summon my inner Jackie O. But who was I kidding? I was never a Jackie to begin with. I was more of an Evita Perron or an Imelda Marcos— on my good days. So the series of events had me all Jackie-d out. I really didn’t want to be the shrew but given the circumstances, I was afraid my efforts to be reserved and gracious would come out as sullen and grouchy.
My apprehensions were dashed however, when I finally met his potential boss’ entire family. They were all so pleasant and warm that I didn’t have to pretend to be having a good time. The conversation flowed effortlessly. What made things even better was the fact that they were all so genuine.
The thing was, ever since my boyfriend was in law school, I was taken aback how pretentious his world was. I grew up in a relatively simple and straightforward environment. Although my family’s quite comfortable, we can never be considered rich nor powerful. And even though my friends come from affluent backgrounds, they’re more or less unassuming and authentic. There are alot of good people in his circle, but it was also filled with ambitious individuals with hidden agendas. I could never really be myself or speak my mind when I’m around them.
I didn’t have the same feeling with his boss-to-be’s family. They were far from being the Brady Bunch, but they were more or less like the normal folks that I was used to.
My gut told me that given the internal struggles my boyfriend was going through, this type of environment would help him grow and rediscover who he used to be. And it became crystal clear that to me that this was where he belonged, at least for this particular moment in time. In my heart, I just couldn’t deprive him of this opportunity. I mean, this was more than just career advancement that we’re talking about. This was the perfect place for him emotionally as well.
When we got to the hotel, I told him that I really, really wanted him to move to Subic. I was now willing to support his decision, and will try my hardest to make the relationship work out. However, he also had to realize that if this proved not to be healthy for me, then he had to be willing to let me go as well. Maybe it was a sign that we weren’t meant to work out.
He thought about it and decided that it was the best thing we can do given the circumstances.
So.. there. Was mighty proud that we solved the problem semi-logically. Aside from my drunken outburst, we went through the process maturely and semi-painlessly. I think we even shook on it. 😛
Ofcourse, my resolve to move to Subic with him is another story altogether. It took months of confusion and uncertainty before I got comfortable with the idea… Until now, the gravity of this choice hasn’t fully sunk in.
But I’m happy that at least, after all these years, we’re finally learning how to make decisions together.