Fearful of driving, I relied completely on public transport during my first weeks here. I would take the bus, drop my daughter at school, and be stuck wondering what to do with home being a 50-minute walk away. Many shops are closed early in the morning and my husband often had classes until dusk.
Those were dull days, dictated by unreliable public transit. Once, my daughter and I waited one hour for the bus on a deserted street while a drunk, dishevelled man staggered nearby.
After that, I forced myself to drive. This has been a gamechanger as I can venture out and do more in less time.
I also keep my mind sharp taking online classes. I recently completed a certificate in diversity and inclusion, and am eyeing another on non-profit fundraising. These topics are aligned to my interest in a social impact career.
Loved ones ask why I don’t just take it easy. But I don’t want to Netflix all day. Most trailing spouses want something that gives our days purpose so that life doesn’t just revolve around family and chores.
FADING AWAY, REDISCOVERING A NEW IDENTITY
In Singapore, I had colleagues, friends, and achievements. I felt seen. But since coming here, I’ve had to fight to avoid becoming invisible.
Let me illustrate what invisibility feels like.
Shortly after arriving, my husband connected with classmates and joined a group for student parents. My daughter made friends in school and was soon invited to classmates’ birthday parties.