It’s 2016, finally. The Mayans never expected the world to last this long so I guess getting four more extra years from your ‘supposed’ expiration date is definitely something worth celebrating. For me, I am celebrating this new year for a different reason entirely. First, let’s go back a few weeks from today.
After the gruesome finals that we had last December I did a lot of thinking and re-thinking. The long Christmas/Semester break definitely provided me with that much time to get inside my head. One realization hit me with a bang by the end of last year – I’ll be turning 25 this 2016. For me, 25 is like a debut. Legally, that’s the age when you can validly contract a marriage without your parents permission. Meaning, you are given free reign to decide on very big decisions that will greatly affect your life just like settling down. Also, at 25 the skin begins to age and the body begins to degrade. It’s the age that most dermatologists recommend that people start using anti-aging products and also when nutritionists tell their patients to eat healthier. At 25, metabolism slows down as well. When before you can binge eat without getting those extra fats even without frequent exercise, at 25 you’d notice that you can’t anymore. The need to exercise more frequently also starts at this age. In short, at 25 you’re already a full adult. Meaning, you’re already old. Realizing all this made me re-examine the life that I lived for the past 24 years (as of now). I realized that my life had been static. It was okay and all was well but it was unexciting. I could summarize it all in just seven words: My life was safe but not fulfilling. By the end of the year I came to see that my life for the past 24 years has been a long horizontal line with no spikes. In medical terms, it was a flat line and a flat line only means one thing medically – dead. I was living as if I was dead. That realization was too melodramatic even for me but seriously, that was what I realized by the end of last year. Imagine how I reacted.
When the new year came I thought of ways of how to make my life more exciting. I wanted this year to be a year of total growth for me. I wanted to experience new and exciting things, but what? I looked back again and found that during the course of my 24 years of existence (Beauty queen lang ang peg?) I have collected an array of regrets in my life – many of which are regrets of not doing something and not knowing what might have happened if ever I just acted or responded to those little impulses. In 24 years, I definitely have a lot of What Ifs?. I began listing down those regrets one by one and thought about why I did not respond or act upon these things. I had my answer right in front of me the whole time – I was too afraid to fail.
For many years in my life I have been the model student and also the model daughter. I cannot count the many times my parents have told me that they were proud of me. I had good grades, no issues and no complaints. Many of my parents’ friends have been asking them how they were able to raise a kid like me. (No joke, serious ‘to.) They often say that they were just blessed to have me. (Ah, how sweet.) But because of the pride that my parents have for me I have been too afraid to disappoint them. The many ‘risks’ that I took in life were not real risks at all. None of them were truly indefinite. Most of them were planned. A lot of them even had their own back-up plans in case they fail. They were, in our colloquial term, surebol! And since ALL of these decisions had a certainty to them I ended up not appreciating them at all. I ended up getting bored with them just like I am right now. I have been living in the sureness of everything in my life all because I did not want to do things that I cannot control. If I can’t control them, I grow afraid that I might fail and in the end, I might disappoint the people I hate disappointing the most – my parents. I played it safe. Although playing safe has its merits, doing that for a VERY LONG TIME now definitely took its toll. Life turned out to be boring. It’s not that I am not thankful for all the blessings that I received in life. Unlike most of the people in our country, I am particularly luckier than most. However, I remained just that – lucky. I never was more than that. I lacked growth and the life that I have been blessed with turned out to be ordinary. I actually envy those who have less but are continuously growing. Their lives, though blessed with less, are better lived than mine ever was. I did nothing to make mine grow unlike them who have lived their lives to the fullest everyday. Because of this I finally decided that this year, I would definitely start a change. So for that list I had of all the regrets I have in my life, I will work to check them off the list one by one. I will make sure that by the end of this year, the same regrets would no longer be there or if there are still some that remain, I will make sure that they’re far less than what I have at the beginning of this year. I will also make sure that no other regret add to the list. In short, for this year the inhibition that I have which stemmed from my fear of failure will no longer hinder me from doing the things that I really want to do.
Last year, I finally made a dent in my straight scholastic record. I dropped a subject. Because of that I will be delayed in graduating for at least a year. My parents were not happy. I finally disappointed them and yet I don’t feel that bad at all. There was a reason why I dropped that subject and I believe that it was the most reasonable thing to do at that time. I did not feel horrible because in my mind, I just got delayed. It’s not like I actually got kicked out of school. Life does not end there. And even if I did fail, life still goes on. Like in the words of a popular song: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. My inhibition of disappointing my parents, I finally conquered it. I got free from it and maybe that is the reason why right now, for this year, I am more willing to take the real risks that life could offer me. I am now willing to go through doors even with the uncertainty of what lies ahead. I am more willing to make decisions even though I am not sure f I am ready to make them at all. Yes, planning is still good but if I really feel and believe that an opportunity will take me to greater heights then I would be more willing to take it even though I am not certain whether I will reach that intended goal. For now, I just want to grow and learn more.
All the signs began to show once I finally made that decision. It’s as if something or someone is definitely telling me to move forward. It’s telling me that I should not be contented in the safety of my comfort zone but actually take that leap of faith. Right now, I am starting to take that risk and I have never felt more alive. I feel as if I am in a free fall without the certainty of whether I fall to my death or if I finally learn how to fly. I am in limbo and yet it feels awesome. At this moment, I have been released from the shackles that have restricted me to take a step forward. I feel better and more alive right now. I have started to check off those regrets from my list, starting off with my regret of never ever attempting to finish a novel despite the many ideas I have already written so far. It’s still a long way ahead but at least now, I am trying and am determined to see this through. I do hope I finish before the semester ends so that I can work on the other regrets that I have. For now, I entrust my life and my future decisions to the one and only power that knows where my life will truly lead me and what my life’s purpose really is. Lord, Kayo na po ang bahala sa akin. I will close my eyes and leap. Do what You will. Amen.