I opened my office laptop, powered up my email client, and started my day with a smile on my face. My passion at work burns so bright that even stress has no way of blocking my way. I locked my computer and stepped out of the office to grab a cup of coffee from the nearest cafe just across the street. It’s my daily routine; nothing much has changed since the day I got my hands tied again to a responsibility that I fully took with all my heart. It’s a blessing that came and I acknowledge it as such that I am thankful everyday for having a reason to wake up early because I’ll get another chance to make a difference in the world we all live in. Happiness is not the question. I am happy. There’s no way I can say I’m not because as a matter of fact, my happiness overflows…
13 years and counting… That’s the time I spent living away from the people I love the most, my family. If I tell you my story, I’m sure you’ll pretty much envy me, but I’m equally sure as well that you’ll start questioning my decision to leave the life not everyone gets to have. To cut the story short, I had everything I ever needed and wanted. It was all within reach and it would just take one simple request to my Lolo or my Mom; just like magic, I will have it in an instant. No pre-requisites. No conditions. No ifs and buts. That is what scared me the most.
Most people who knows me will say that I’m one tough soul who learned to venture the world on his own at a very young age. I can still clearly remember the day when I flew to Manila and left Bacolod for good. That was the morning of April 30th, 2003; it was sunny and windy at the same time. The greenery that enveloped our house in the province seemed to have glowed brighter as if telling me that I made the right choice. It sent me off with a happy heart. I was blankly staring at the face of my Lolo back then who undeniably felt devastated of my departure, but I ignored it because just like any child, I felt so excited to finally live my life the way I want. It was selfish, but I was young back then. I never really understood the pain brought by goodbyes regardless if it’s temporary or not.
I removed the cover of my coffee because the plastic lid was just too hot that it burns my lips even before I can take a small sip. I grabbed a copy of the daily paper from the shelf to check the news. I can’t really remember anything good about reading the daily paper, but I still continue to just so I am updated of the recent events that took place overnight. I turned the pages one after the other browsing through the different topics in the hope to find something interesting. I found nothing.
Life took a major turn for me lately. I’d like to believe it comes with age. I just turned 25. But more than that, I sincerely believe it’s the result of the decisions I made in the past that brought me to where I am today. I am happy, there’s no doubt about that, but this happiness is also something that I do not know how to contain as of the moment. Many people my age are envious of my independence simply because they do not know what comes with it. Independence is the pain that doesn’t go away. It’s bearable, but it will always be there waiting to be felt.
December 2014, I hopped on a plane going home. It was unplanned. Just a few hours after I made my decision, I was already 30, 000 ft. above the sky on board Cebu Pacific Flight 5J479. My one way ride was pricey, but it really didn’t matter anymore. I just wanted to be with my family. I just wanted to be reconnected again because after all the years I’ve spent away, I realized how much I’ve missed them all. Life is different now for us, but it doesn’t mean that how we love each other must also change. It can only get better.
Independence is such a nice concept. It’s glorious, prestigious, and makes someone shines brighter than the rest. It’s being able to live life to your fullest because you are not bound to obey rules or abide with anything to preserve your family’s heritage. It shows people how strong of a person you are and gives you a notion that whatever you do; you are self-made. Your successes becomes sweeter and your self-esteem blossoms like a well watered flower disregarding the fact that you are simply part of the garden and that you are no more than the wilted petals of people you’ve looked up to before. Someone made you and whether you like to accept it or not, you will grow according to how you have been planted.
Was I planted well? YES. I got my hot cup of coffee to prove that.
I enjoyed freedom at a very young age. It was all I cared about back then. I enjoyed every moment I spent without anyone asking me what I’m doing or why I’m doing that. I lived life to the fullest when I was in college and even after I graduated. Or so I thought, until I realized what I’ve been missing all these years… I was reading the morning papers with my hot cup of coffee today when I was suddenly struck by a longing that compelled me to stare blankly at an open space and think about what it would be like if only my brothers and sisters shared the hot cup of coffee with me. What would it be like if only I didn’t feel like a stranger in the world I’ve known for almost 13 years of my life. A world without them and a world that only focused on me being the center of the universe. I know it was just something crazy, a saddening thought I’m very sure of to say the least; but it was my own independence that caught me off guard.
It’s a manic Monday. I was being over sensitive this morning. I recognized my weakness in the wrong time and place. I miss them and I’m missing them more everyday, but life will always have a way to mess things up in order for beautiful things to come alive. Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful story to share and this is just one of it. My new found love for my family is what’s taking over my life right now. I’ve been taken off from the center of the universe I built and everything I do now simply equates to the love I have for them. I just turned 25 and I know that there’s a lot more waiting to be realized. I’m on a great shift. I’m still learning to ride the waves; the most important thing now is that at least I’ve found the courage to lose sight of the shore. There comes a point in our lives where a great shift is happening. Another is taking place in mine right now and I am very happy to say that I have gotten over the crossroad. I am sharing this read simply because I find it wonderful to finally come to terms with the reality that I am still a product of the unconditional love I had and still have from people who believes in me. My actions reflect this and whatever circumstance I’ll come face to face with in the future and how I react to it will be attributed to how I was taught to handle life. I am thankful and grateful always that I have been planted well and that I am rooted to the very core values I was raised to live by. Don’t rush independence when you’re not yet ready. Take that from me. I didn’t rush mine. Everything came to happen in its perfect time. I felt it. Even more, I prayed hard for it. It was given… just like magic. IT’S A GIFT only bestowed when you’re already completely capable.
I returned the papers on the shelf. Walked out of the coffee shop with my half cup full. It’s a beautiful morning; the sun is bright and the city noise is painting colors everywhere. I see people smiling, I see an empty few trying to find meaning in their day. My cup just overflowed with gladness. I didn’t mind the burning sensation I felt in my lips. My heart was beating fast. I know it wasn’t my cup of coffee. It was love… Lots of it… I started my day right. Life is indeed what you make it.
Happy Monday! 😛
Have a great week ahead!