Somebody once asked me if there were times when I feel like giving up. I smiled and replied, “I was born a fighter.” He believed so. But deep inside me, I know I was kidding. Who am I cheating on? Myself. I was not born a fighter; I was too weak to even claim such. But for the sake of inspiring the little fellow to answer my quiz, I told him the said answer. But when do we consider somebody as a fighter? Strong? Courageous? Brave? Adventurous? Risk taker? I don’t know. But let me tell share to you this story.
Once, there was this girl who was contented with life in the four corners of her room and went happily chasing dreams and aspirations of characters she read on Dan Brown, Paulo Coelho, John Green, Bob Ong, Sonia Francesca, Rick Riordan, Edgar Allan Poe, Harper Lee, Masashi Kishimoto, and many other novel and manga series. On her spare time, she usually converse with anime, foreign and local movies and series. She believed that life was at best on that milieu. But on the second decade of her life, everything changed.
Come 2015. On the first month of the year, she had her first airplane ride to the capital of the country, toured to the cold-weathered province of Tagaytay, and got lost in almost all places of the National Capital Region. But more important than that, she got a once in a lifetime glimpse and experience of having the Pope in the area.
On the second and third month of the year, she busied herself for the summer getaways. She even got the courage to apply for a passport, with high hopes that she’ll be able to set foot on countries outside her beloved.
Then came April. All the trips have been booked – both local and international – and the accommodations were all paid off when a fire devoured almost all her material possessions and everything she had worked for almost all her lifetime. She lost all the documents, medals, certificates and awards that proved her achievements and legacies. She almost lost her family and loved ones. She didn’t know how to keep going with everything burnt into ashes.
But she needs to move forward. Nothing will happen if she sulked in frustration. She can’t regain everything that has been lost. She needs to assist her family in reviving everything, even if it means starting from scratch. And her adventures? Yes, she pursued them, except for the international tour. Again, sulking in frustration won’t do any good.
In the middle of the year, she finally got the courage to apply to her dream school, however, because of some inevitable circumstances; she didn’t pursue this childhood dream. Instead, she enrolled into something “out of her world”
Then the “Ber” months came. Inside her mind things were playing like a roller coaster ride. She was so fired up that she felt like she can do all things if she believed in them. She forgot all her inhibitions in life and let her soul fly. She tried the 120 feet Skydrop, trekking, and canyoneering. And she proved one thing, nothing is impossible for somebody who has faith.
Then came the last part of the year. She knew it would come but she had been so busy planning things ahead that she forgot that the world does not revolve around her. Just as the Staying Philosophy said, “All people leave.” But again, she was not prepared. She was caught off guard. How about their plans? How about their dreams? What about the promises and deals they had? It made her frustrated.
Things had gone wild inside her mind. What would happen to her? Where did all her courage and impulsiveness go? Hmmn. There. There. There inside her, lying quietly and waiting to be recognized. And all their efforts were finally rewarded when the 21st of December came. Even without thorough planning, she packed her things, unplugged her charging camera and phone, and looted as much food as she can from the dining table. Then, without anybody to go with and only having her guts and impulses with her, she left. Alone. Solo flight.
You see, this is not an ordinary year for her; and though the challenges are quite hard, she has to face them head on. Because this is all part of what God has planned for her. She’d like to believe that these are all preparation for something better. She has to move, and keep moving. She has to venture, and keep going into adventures. She needs to travel, and share stories of aspirations and life to the children she’s teaching – including the one who asked the question on the beginning of this entry. Because she believes that if people are bound to stay in one place, they could have grown roots and not feet. Thus, with her, let’s keep marveling the infinite wonders of nature, be of service and inspiration to others, stand firm to our decisions in life (even if it’s against the norms of society) and be the exemplar of faith the Lord God wants us to be. Not necessarily be fighters, but we can be as faithful as we can. May we all have a blast this 2016 and the years to come. Happy New Year!