How to survive Quarter Life Crisis. I laughed out loud upon reading the title of the book my colleague was seriously reading that afternoon. I was twenty-two back then and had known very little of what was about to happen in my life. But instead of getting offended, she shared how helpful the book was; then she added: You’ll never know when you’ll need one.
I wished I listened to her. I wished I had read that book in advance – because right now, I really need one.
I don’t know what got to me that day. I just found myself packing some things and leaving the comforts of home. My mom volunteered to come along after knowing I’ll venture on a trip on my own. “I’ll go with you so you don’t have to go there alone.” I know she meant well – that she was just showing her great love and affection – but such a statement only made me feel worse, more miserable. So I declined the offer and went somewhere uncertain. I hailed the first bus that passed by, sat near the window seat, and watched people go on with their respective lives. I could have gone with the rest of the trip just observing other people. But the bus conductor had no intentions of leaving me in peace.
“Where are you headed?”
I dunno. I wish I could tell him that. I have been asking the same question myself for quite some time now. To what direction am I really headed? What am I going to do with the rest of my life? These were the same thoughts that kept on hovering inside my head all through the journey when I noticed that I was already tearing up. I wiped it at first. But when the tears kept on coming, I got tired and just let them. I’m sure the teenage girl beside me noticed. But I was already too fed up with keeping my guards up, too tired of holding back those tears, too exhausted to keep pretending how tough I was. And so I let go of my inhibitions. Until there was nothing left.
Now I fully understand why the journey is always more beautiful than the destination. When I arrived at Mantayupan Falls, I was no longer as excited and amazed as I was back when I first saw it. No doubt it is still beautiful, but my emotions aren’t. I still haven’t found the answer to my destination but I’m sure the trip did a little help. You see, sometimes we really have to let go of what has been long holding us back – the tears, fears, dreams, and promises – most especially if they are no longer helping us. And we have to accept that life isn’t always as beautiful as how we paint it. There are days when it gets a little bit boring, a little too difficult, a little too much to handle. But we go on in hopes that one day we get to answer the ultimate purpose of our existence.
So brace up, this will be a very long journey.