Malaysia was the best place to have a "lifeline career" and be an independent author
This was my career shift after my attempt at nursing, that of an indie author with a day job.
In the fascinating book, Career Solutions for Creatives, Ronda Ormont introduced the concept of a "lifeline career". This was a job that served as an anchor to the artist. The world of arts is a turbulent one, often without any stable income, therefore the lifeline career is supposed to provide the artist some measure of stability by giving him enough money for "food, shelter, money in the bank, a stable schedule, security and ideally a retirement plan".
I was out of balance as my day job was as turbulent as my fledgling artistic career.
The job I accepted in Malaysia became that lifeline career I needed as an anchor as I pecked away at my novels and worked at launching my indie publishing enterprise. So far, while not perfect, it's working better than my jobs in Australia.
My health was not the best
I have talked about my health challenges before. And to be honest, I'm pretty reluctant to talk about my health in general. But here's the thing, I had to decide: "Which one's more important - my health or that Australian dream?"
I chose myself.
And that should be the way.
But I've seen many immigrants putting the Australian dream before their well-being and happiness. A lot of them say they did it for their children, though sometimes I wondered if that sacrifice was even necessary.
I missed my family and friends dearly
I was hit by homesickness hard. I realised that without friends or family around you, the Australian dream can be an empty one. Now I have rekindled many of the relationships I've neglected before and I'm happier for it.
I also realised that the Australian dream may not be my dream
It was the hopes and dreams of my relatives, friends and perhaps even the whole of Malaysia. But mine? I wasn't so sure. When I found myself wishing that I'd FAIL to get the Permanent Resident visa I knew my heart was trying to tell me something.
So, do you regret moving to Australia?
Never! I learned so much in those three years. I'm the person I am today thanks to my time there.
Will you return to Australia?
Being a nomad at heart, I'll never say never.
Your reasons for coming home are yours. There's no right or wrong decision. Don't let ANYONE shame you or belittle you for making that move. You have made the best decision you could at that time and it's not wrong to put your health, sanity and happiness first. Yes, you can find happiness in Malaysia! If there's one thing my jaunt overseas (for work and as an expat) taught me is that Malaysia isn't as bad as the negative nellies paint it. Malaysians need to open their eyes and be grateful for the blessings that they have.
In the end, don't let your happiness be tied to a place! :)
Also: Malaysians, no need to migrate! Malaysians abroad, it's time to come home!