Remembering the Beginning

There were those years when I used to really love taking photographs and writing captions on them just like this.  I took this one in Italy and I printed it out & framed it on an 8 x 11 inch frame to give to my grandaunt who loved telling stories about the love of her life.  There were those years when I would drink those conversations in and told myself that one day I will write about them.  My grandaunt has passed away for about 4 to 5 years and her handwritten journals are locked away in a chest that's gathering dust in the corner of my room.  

There were those years when I would write lengthy handwritten letters to my cousins and to my two bestfriends in college.  We'd exchange a great deal of thoughts in pages upon pages that I'd eagerly await in the mail.  The internet wasn't at its height back then so it would take two weeks or a month to get a reply but we'd keep at it anyway because the stories just brought so much warmth in our lives.  The connection to another through letters became a great source of strength.  

When I'd write letters I'd get into this deep place of remembering.  I'd remember the scent of places and the timbre of voices.  I'd remember the reasons why we laughed and why we cried.  I'd remember every facet of the conversation and I'd drink it all in because it was full of life.  

But these moments were overtaken by work that demanded so much of my entire self that I had to push back a part of me and shut the door to that side of myself that wasn't so afraid to wear my heart out on my sleeve.  Work demanded decisions to be made that were almost contradicting to everything I believe but yet for the sake of having an occupation and the feeling of stability, I made them anyway.  I let it happen and the more I let it happen I realized that I slowly wasn't standing up for anything.  My decisions now were made because I didn't want to lose the stability of an occupation and I traded stability for the nobility of remaining true to the principles I held and the kind of person I wanted to be.

Should I call myself a flake?  A loser?  Perhaps.  But it's easier said than done.  And the world can be so unforgiving towards those who make decisions that are usually the unpopular ones.  When decisions attack the financial stability or the continuity of one's livelihood, almost everything gives way.  Dreams.  Beliefs.  Even Faith.  

But do I want to be this kind of person?  

I suppose, the reason why I'm taking this month long vacation is because the answer to that question is no.  No, I don't want to be a flake.  But I also don't know how to be real to myself and at the same time be real to others without having to be always wary about coming off too strong, too deep or too lofty. But I remember walking into an MBA caseroom filled with business graduates while I only carried a degree in psychology and a certificate diploma from a music conservatory.  I was always different.  I almost always stood out.  I wonder why I draw myself to odd situations but it seemed that was the path I always took in my life.

Today marks the end of a chapter in my career life.  The chapter where I couldn't stand my ground and let go of my own principles.  It also marks the beginning of rekindling a lot of things that I've set aside.  It marks the willingness to be re-shaped and transformed so that I can make better decisions about my life without being afraid while guided with the wisdom to stand by them all throughout.  

Today I begin remembering that I was once a girl who enjoyed making beautiful things from life and seeing that beauty in places where it was least felt. 


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