BY ANNE QUINTOS
Be prepared as the BE(A)R months are in. OFWs consider this time of the year to be the most difficult season to get through. It's cold and dreary, made worse with Christmas approaching and you're not sure if you could spend it with the family.
You feel listless and sad, as if in a forest where the tangled branches of trees are out to trap you. When you see something that reminds you of home, you'll try to enter it. It's tempting to taste a warmly cooked meal, find solace in a comfy chair, or to stretch out and rest in a bed that invites your tired body.
Still, as Goldilocks also found out, you'll complain that nothing fits you best. Or when it does finally "feel just right", you'll learn that it isn't yours in the end. Like other OFWs, you have one foot in and the other out in trying to survive sadness in another country that will never be home. That's the story as we know it. It ends with Goldilocks running away from the home of the three bears.
Too bad, the OFW story doesn't end with just running away. For us, we need to be strong to face our fears. There is another thing to understand: the bears we need to confront aren't part of our external world. The most dangerous bears may be the ones dwelling within us.
The lonely bearA grizzly is drawn to just hibernate during the winter season. That's how we wish it to happen when we're lonely. Bury ourselves in a cave of depression and sleep through the waiting.
The lonely bear is the first one to welcome the OFW. If you don't run away from it soon enough, it will introduce you to more of its friends. Why? Because misery loves company.
The hoard bearTo prepare for hibernation, bears eat as much food they can. While we don't have the capacity to stock nourishment in our bodies for months without food, we hoard on things for ourselves and families (and even our extended families) to fill such an empty space inside us.
The emptiness may be a bottomless pit, but our bank accounts and opportunities can easily run out. When you give in to the hoard bear, that's when you'll get to meet the third bear.
The lost bearFeeling lost is like how the bear market is, a term mostly used to refer to when the economy is weak and the future is bleak. It's a common reality for OFWs who lost track of their purpose while abroad. So they also spiral down or run in circles.
When you meet or start to feel like the lost bear, hang on. Things may, in fact, get better. It'll get better just long as you wake up to confront your bears and find your way out of the forest.
Which bear have you encountered, and how did you slay it?