(I have realized that as much as Facebook can give space for my lengthy reflection statuses, it cannot hold my thoughts enough. So I retreat here instead)
I stand at the beginning again, with eyes wide open and a soul much stronger than last time. I cannot count the ways 2013 had made me grow up, despite my many ways to avoid doing so. And in good timing too, since I do have to mature since this is the year where all patterns shatter. This is the year where I can no longer differentiate mere summer vacation from job-hunting periods, no longer handpicking when to vacation for semestral break, and the Christmas season becomes even shorter. It is not only the death of vacations, but the death of uniformity in general.
Now I understand the heaviness in my parents’ eyes, their constant worry, and the stress they’ve been going through. The “real world” is getting so much more real as days pass, as the count gets closer to zero days before I’m finally out of school. And here I am still problematic about whether I should bring my charger because my phone’s battery runs low or what book I should read to pass the time. I still have much to learn, but before I get to that, let me tell you the story of 2013.
I never knew turning twenty turned out to be such a big deal for me, as I found myself blurting out my insecurities in Philosophy class. I told them that I haven’t matured yet, I don’t have answers but questions still, and yet I feel like the world is being thrown at me already with its many burdens. Maybe that was why I retreated instead to looking for the child in me, to shrink instead of grow, and to run away from decisions I knew I had to make by myself. At one point, my heart hardened so I had lost a bit of belief in everything. I get over people really fast, sometimes burned bridges with people, and saw the terrible. I’d change myself to suit the taste of another in the hopes that he would want HIS dream instead of just me, the way I am. In the past years, I have changed so much to the point that I lost myself in the process. Who was I to you, to them, to me? It was again one of the many questions I could not answer and the cause of my demise as the months flew past.
I hid behind unsaid words and feelings that would fleet, and I would find myself breaking down instead of looking up. Days on end I would sit in my bathroom wondering what I had done wrong to deserve losing myself for the sake of another, giving my heart in exchange for nothing, losing it for nothing. And yet I shed no tears, no feelings of regret, which was good since I could let go easily, but I felt as if I didn’t love quite enough. Like the feelings were used to produce some sort of output and not really feelings I felt deep inside me, which to me felt wrong. That wasn’t who I am. That wasn’t who I am after all.
But in the last few months of 2013, I felt a change within me. Some have come back into my life and by that time, I cemented those who I know love me for the person that I have become even if I hated my own self. And in that process, I have become happier and more alive. I got hurt for the first time even if for a short while and I shed tears (lots of them) for what seemed like ages since I’ve done so. It wasn’t a feeling I wanted to have, but it was something I missed anyway: the feeling of hurt over someone you really cared about. This year made me feel even more brave, as I spoke up more, and really told people how I felt about them. My energy increased tenfold (ask my friends) and I found myself loving without malice, without any hidden agenda. I loved for the sake of love and I love because I love you with no labels, no classification whatsoever. That was the only constancy in my life: that in the process of losing myself, I could not lose love. Love for family and friends, finding significance in every little thing that gives me a memory of you. And in that sense, I felt more courageous, more brave, and more patient.
So 2013 must have been the #YearofSelf then, much as I didn’t want it to be. I have learned to love myself more even if others did not. I was tired of impressing so many people because at some point, you get sick of their dumb nuances. They are either negative or just out of your league, in a sense that you can never really connect even if you try so hard to go beyond hellos and his. I have people I don’t need to impress and that is enough for me.
With that said, I could say that 2014 is the year of uncertainty, the year of not knowing what’s going to happen. But I will not face it with a cower, a quiver, and a shiver, but with head held high, a brave soul, and conviction. I will face it with the only energy I know how: happiness. I will pursue it with no hatred, (less) negativity, and pure love. We are lucky to have been part of this opportunity of searching even if you’d want to find it at some point. You know what they say, the journey’s even more fun than the destination. I hope I can prove that right.
Happy New Year, everyone.