Eres, you warm my heart every time you show all sorts of subtle affection – placing your paw over my hand, or your head on my lap, or sitting near my feet as I wash the dishes, or lying next to me when you are terrified of thunders. Thank you for all the joy and love and wonder I never knew my heart could hold.
Please never go away.
Yesterday, I turned 22. Twenty-two. It feels weird to say, or to think even, that I have been here that long. I guess it’s true what they say – that it’s only the outer shell that ages, and that you’re still the same person inside. Maybe if people were merely souls and had no outer shells, the only sign of one’s age would be one’s wisdom. Maybe.
Anyway. I decided to skip school yesterday and go on a solitary trip to Tagaytay. The moment I hopped on the bus, a strange sense of liberation and nostalgia overwhelmed me. It’s been so long since I’ve gone somewhere or done something on my own. Maybe it’s because I’ve made some really good improvements with my social life the past year. I think I might have spent more time with people than I have with myself, which is not bad at all. But with everything that I have been working on recently, I couldn’t help but cancel plans that day which involved socializing (sorry, cousins). I wanted to give myself time to breathe and process things.
I bought my CD walkman with me and listened to the recent mixtape I’ve made on the way to my destination. The mixtape contained songs which reminded me of my grade school and high school years. I read a book in the restaurant where I had lunch, and I wrote on my journal in a small coffee shop later that day. Prior to leaving, I also managed to watch a coming-of-age film that morning, which was about how a child celebrates her everyday life despite living in a harsh environment. So, yesterday’s trip really felt like a throwback of some sort, because I was finally able to do the things that I haven’t done in a while.
I looked back on the life that I’ve lived so far and I guess I had to forgive myself for all the versions of me that I wanted but did not become. Maybe I’ll still have fragments of those as I go on in life, but they will remain only in periphery in the form of a side interest, or a memory.
Twenty-two years. I don’t know what version I’ll become years from now, but maybe the current -flawed, thirsty for improvement- version of me is worth celebrating in itself.