The idea of writing this entry has been lingering in the air for a good 2 weeks already. While I was thinking of what to write about, I sort of got lost in a tunnel of memories. This is because I looked at some old photos and it brewed some sort of melancholic mood that ended up in some tearful fit.
Twenty-one was a significant year for me. I cannot even begin to stress how I have lost so much in life. But also, how much the universe has surprised me. I went through a lot of messy things, tried to escape them, and lost myself almost completely. Everything was hanging on a thread, and it wasn’t a pretty picture.
There were moments when I wanted to pull off a Margo Roth Spiegelman and run away because my problems were just too much to handle already. Though, a lot of you may think that there are Worse Things in life, I guess, I have never hit rock bottom as badly as I did at 21. The context of how poorly I handled situations just prompted me to make even more unwise decisions that I needed to own up to.
Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, March 2011
But I won’t discount the fact that Great Things also happened at 21. I was able to travel the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore. My puppy, Rocket became part of my life (and he has been the most wonderful and most loving ball of fur I could ever wish for). I met new people, reconnected with friends, and deepened relationships. I learned the importance of Never Settling, mulled over doing a List of Things I Want To Do in Life, and took steps to achieve them. Finally, I met a very special person who has willingly held my hand through storms and sunny days. That same person, also, has been teaching me to be brave.
Without courage, all other virtues are useless. – Edward Abbey
I think, if anything, courage is the one thing I have been lacking. Being brave scares me because it means facing the unknown with a blind kind of faith; the kind where you just need to believe and trust. I’m the kind of person who guards her heart. I guess I’m the in-between of a risk-taker and a play-it-safer when it comes to emotional investment. I don’t want to be the one who gets hurt or disappointed (needless to say, who does?). I always want that one-up card, but I realized that it’s unfair and cowardly. I seriously need to grow up and graduate from this state of mind. I also think that I have to loosen up and stop allowing my fears and pensive mood to get the best of me because I’m stirring up needless drama.
I usually get so gung-ho about birthdays because they’re all about “new beginnings” and “starting over” and blah-di-blah. But I’m really tired of all this rambling, and seriously, I just want to make a fucking conscious effort to get my shit together and just basically be a better human being. I have learned that words will only be hollow letters strung together; meaning only follows when they are acted upon.
I don’t want to waste my energy worrying too much, because most of these things I worry about, I cannot control. I want my energy to be geared towards things within my sphere of control…even if they’re hard. Things like my time, my thoughts, my budget, my perspective, etc. All it takes is an iota of volition to make each drop of energy valuable.
I guess all I’m saying is that I’m tired of fucking up. I know there will still be times when I would, since we all are, really, only human. But if I could just make a conscious effort to do what’s right, I know the repercussions would be more tolerable. Coming clean with all my faults was the hardest thing I had to do, but now, I want to pick up every fragment and start building something beautiful with all the broken pieces.
The battle that was 21 took away so much of me. I hope to claim my victory at 22, and here’s how:
If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel— as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them— wherever you go. – Anthony Bourdain
So to close, here’s a song by Owen called Places to Go. It’s been on loop for hours now, probably it because it gives me something to think about. There’s nothing stopping me now.