Thursday, June 19, 2008

No Goodbyes

In less than 24 hours, I will be off to Singapore to embark on a new adventure.

That’s how I choose to see it. It’s not a case of me leaving anyone or anything.

Partly it’s because I’m not too big on saying “goodbye”. I’m better at saying “see you later.” And after I’ve said my goodbye to my little brother, which really should have also been a “see you later,” I don’t think any other situation will be apt for a bye-bye. Nothing can be a real deal goodbye more than the goodbye I gave Nichi. (By the way, I did say my version of see you later to Nichi. I told him once, “see you in the next life, brother.” I said it the way Desmond of the TV series “Lost” does it. After all, Nichi and I are “Lost” fans. He is my “Lost” marathon partner. Boy, did I miss him when I breezed through “Lost’s” 4th season!)

That aside, I wish to look at my decision to fly elsewhere not as some melodramatic attempt to escape my life in the Philippines. I don’t think that beginning a journey with the burden of running away from something is a good idea. I want to start with an optimistic slate.

As much as it would sound romantic that I had to fly several miles to find my one true love, I don’t think that’s the case. I’m not even out to search for my ultra dream job.

For starters, the love thing—I think it’s a case of que sera, sera. What will be, will be. I can move in a cave and get married the next day if it really is meant to happen. But that’s how sappy I can get where love is concerned. Although my creative lobe, allows me to concoct sure hit romantic storylines, I think real life works differently. I’ve seen it. Believe me.

Meanwhile, the job thing, I don’t think I have major problems in that department aside from the earnings part of course. The thought that I could earn more somewhere else have always been enticing but the fun times I have at work (naks! And I now say it’s fun) kept me hooked for a long bit of time. I would be lying if I wouldn’t admit that money, or lack thereof, do bug me when I have my bills to pay and when I look far ahead in my future. But so far, I’ve learned to live with my more than 9.6 hours (not counting break times) in the office, my occasional 8 hour (inclusive of breaks) geeky gigs on weekends and my what-used-to-be-an-eternity-of-lesson-planning-for-a-one-hour-and-forty-five-minute-class.

I just feel that the time has come for me to throw myself out there, at the ocean of uncertainty where I wouldn’t have any other choice but to learn to swim. Again.

It’s a matter of trying to do this now rather than regret later, when I’m all wrinkly. Perhaps the possibility that I’ll earn more in foreign shores, all the better to sustain life in the inang bayan (where life gets tough as those in power—you can go literal on that…as in electrical power—continue to fatten their wallets and bellies), is a major plus which I simply can’t say “pass” to. But then again, I wouldn’t mind if end up doing what I usually do here when I get to the land that will witness my upcoming misadventures.

I may exploit how sort of broken we are at home and use it as reason for my flight. But I digress. I am not that of a coward to runaway from grief, especially when I know that it’s not only me who’s sad and sort of damaged. If there’s anything, I honestly feel bad for choosing not to see my brothers for a while when I should be there for them (to entertain and nag them—hehe) and for leaving my parents with only two kids remaining. I imagine that our home will be extra quiet without me there. I just wish quiet won’t equate to emptiness.

The morning of my birthday, I went to visit Nichi. I figured, if I go see him, he’ll be able to greet me. I was contemplating on a good speech for him on my way from the flower shop to his “pad”. I was holding a bouquet of white daisies when I tried to sneak inside the church where I had to pass to get to the ossuary. A wedding was about to start so I tried to make my presence as discrete as possible. When I was taking my first few steps at the left side of the church, Verdi’s Aida (Am I saying the correct opera? [Blogger's note: my dad just informed me I may be referring to the wrong opera! haha. I should have paid attention to Ms. Bandelaria more.]) began playing to mark the wedding march, I looked down to the flowers I was holding in front of me and, in my silence, freaked out. The situation was a mockery to me, my jeans and slippers, the flowers I bought for Nichi and my inability to get a boy of my own, but it made me laugh. Somehow, I felt that everything will be all right as long as I don’t take everything too seriously.

I didn’t have to explain to Nichi what I came to tell him. That he ought to know that I’m temporarily leaving not because I am going to try to forget him and what happened to him because, really, forgetting him is one of the last things I’d do.

In the grander picture, I’m not leaving my life in the Philippines, which despite some bumps, is pretty much comfortable and safe. My life is where I am and where I’ll be. And my heart goes with it. It’s the first thing that I’m packing inside my luggage. Now there really is no point in saying goodbye to the ones I love when I’m bringing them with me, tucked cozily inside my heart.

Perhaps all I am left to do is to buckle up and enjoy my ride which is scheduled to start in less than 24 hours!

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