Tag Archive | lessons

The Return

I’m coming home. As I walk the last few miles, I know that the girl who will arrive is not the girl who left. I have changed. The scars on my knees from the times I stumbled on the path are testaments that the journey hasn’t been easy. I lost my way more than once. Several times I was tempted to quit. In those moments, when not even the thought of the destination could lead me on, only the strength I borrowed from fellow travelers kept me going. No, it hasn’t been easy.

But was it worth it? Yes. A thousand times yes. For every step I took away from what I knew, I came closer to what I needed to learn. For every time I fell, I discovered another way to get back on my feet. For every wrong turn I took, I found a new means to get back on track. And the people I met along the way – on my palms are invisible imprints of every hand that I clasped. Never again will I underestimate the human capacity to help. But for those who walked with me I never would have made it.

It’s been a very long time. Now I’m coming home.

To stay? Perhaps.

I’m almost there. Wait for me.

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THINGS I WISH I LEARNED IN HIGHSCHOOL

Most people have a list of some things, both trivial and essential, that they wish they knew earlier. Here’s my own list:

  1. Making a wrong decision is like taking the wrong turn at a crossroads. The sooner you admit your mistakes, the easier it is to turn back and correct them.
  2. You can never overestimate your parent’s love.
  3. There will always be someone who’s better than you at whatever you’re good at. Do everything you can to learn from that person.
  4. It takes superhuman strength to resist chocolate.
  5. You will always remember your first love. Choose well, so that the memories will outweigh the regrets.
  6. No one is immune to stupidity. Just try not to make it a habit.
  7. Not everyone who talks about love knows what it really means.
  8. You can strive for excellence but not perfection.
  9. There is nothing – absolutely nothing – you can do to make God love you more, and no sin you can commit to make Him love you less.
  10. Having a “sleepover” with friends does not necessarily mean you will actually be able to sleep.
  11. The right thing at the wrong time is still the wrong thing.
  12. Never subscribe to unlimited text when major exams are coming up.
  13. The ability to refuse is essential to staying sane, as well as the ability to laugh.
  14. Watching VCD’s until 3am kind of means you won’t be able to wake up in time for your seven o’clock class.
  15. You never know when an unbeliever is observing you. How you act may mean the difference between his conversion or his mistrust of everything you believe in.
  16. During youth camps, slumber parties and other overnight affairs, never go to sleep when everyone else is awake.
  17. Emotional healing is never instant.
  18. You will learn more from criticism than from praise.
  19. It may seem highly unlikely, but yes, you can survive without your cellphone.
  20. Procrastination never pays.
  21. Love is spelled T-I-M-E.
  22. Listening, really listening, is a gift that costs nothing but is worth more than anything you can buy.
  23. You can learn a lot about a person simply by observing how he treats the people he doesn’t like.
  24. No one ever died of embarassment. Laugh it off.
  25. Some dreams are better left unfulfilled – what you want is not always what you really need.
  26. You can’t rush maturity.
  27. There is no substitute for a handwritten letter.
  28. Always, always be ready to explain and defend your faith. You never know when the opportunity will come.
  29. Love that lasts is love that is built on a committed decision, not just emotions that are easily changed.
  30. He really does make all things beautiful in His time.

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This is me now…

I’ve been reminiscing today…reading my journal and that tattered notebook where I scribble poems. I haven’t been able to do that lately – reminiscing, I mean.

It is a bittersweet experience. I read old letters to myself, unsent letters to him, and journal entries of every special memory. Everything rushes back. All those giddy, triple-exclamation-point words tell me how deeply, how hopefully I loved. I was never able to write a real poem about us. I wrote one for him, for his birthday, but it never even came close to saying how I really felt inside. I guess that’s just how it is – when you’re happy, intensely happy, words don’t suffice. And I was happy then. Joyful, exhilarated, intoxicated with dreams and endless possibilities. Anything, everything was possible. We were in love.

I move on through my journal, a few months after that first my-dreams-are-coming-true entry. Here, the exclamation points give way to question marks. The poems fill seventeen pages. The unsent letters are more than I care to count. There are tear stains on the paper. Here, the emotions are fresh – I do not need the words to bring back memories of the pain, the confusion, the emptiness. I can remember. It was almost a year ago, but I can still remember everything. How every unanswered question I wrote down cut like a knife. How I doubted the reality of the memories I recorded a few pages before. How I couldn’t write more than a few phrases before giving in to tears. My words recall my journey through denial, disappointment, grief, and finally resignation and letting go. I read the lines “maybe some dreams are destined to die…” and a part of me, a small part really, wishes that I didn’t have to grow up and learn that. Strange how a few months can change a whole lifetime.

As I read the last poem, I remember writing it and wondering how I would feel someday, wondering if I would ever heal. I can finally answer those questions. Yes, I have healed. Yes, I can smile again, real smiles that hide no tears beneath the surface. I can laugh again without feeling like a fraud. It is amazing, really, to remember all that and realize that I am finally free. Only now are the questions being answered, but renewal has already taken place. I had something more than time to heal me. I had Love. Perfect, steadfast, forever Love. It is enough. No, more than enough.

And so I look back and smile. I do not deny that I still have regrets and questions, nor do I claim to have quelled the love that has given me so much joy and has taught me how to cry. My life is a work in progress, and healing is not the same as forgetting. But I am no longer tied to the memories. I can, as the cliche says, move on. Live on. And someday, at the right someday, love again.

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Special ang summer ko

This is the busiest summer I’ve ever had, grabe! And daming activities, one after the other. Katatapos lang ng DVBS Camp tsaka retreat and seminar ng youth, so area summer youth camps na naman ang pinaghahandaan. I’m new at this, I’ve never had this much responsibility before. Right now puro kanta ang nasa isip ko, kasi we’re also preparing dance and drama presentations for our church anniversary next month. Pero despite the hectic schedule, ang saya! I’m learning so much and stepping out of my comfort zone, nakakatakot na nakaka-excite.

Ngayon ko lang talaga nakikita yung purpose ni God in keeping me here in Palawan. Although I miss summer life in Diliman (especially my friends there!), I feel like this is right where I’m meant to be. I would never have grown this much in my Christian life without the experiences I’m having this summer. God is good, He has worked wonderfully through my mistakes and wrong decisions to bring me to this point. I have never been this fulfilled, but I know that I still have a long way to go. I hope I travel far this summer. ; )

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Coming Full Circle

The cherry trees are in bloom again. I sit under their shade now, on the spot where we said goodbye. I am alone, but this is fine. I have already let go of you since the last time we sat here and watched the cherry blossoms fall. I realize now that what we had then wasn’t meant to last. The pain is gone. It took quite some time, but it’s finally over. I am healed. Time does that to all wounds – it soothes them. So now, as I sit alone under the cherry trees we used to watch together, I think of you. And I’m glad, because after all the confusion, hurt, and disappointment, I find that I can finally smile. And it gives me hope that one day, this pain that I am feeling from a recent goodbye will also fade, just as the blossoms that fall today will lose their blush tomorrow.

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