The Art of Returning

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Waiting for an hour for the 2PM bus on a hot and humid Saturday is nothing to get frustrated or impatient about, because I know what comes in the next few hours. For me, waiting doesn’t seem dull and boring when you have something to look forward to. Or should I say, when there is someone you are thrilled to see again after quite a long while of just being by yourself.

I say the latter. Happiness when shared is what I’m working hard for from now on.

The past weekend for me, even though the activities may seem ordinary to some, was very special.

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I arrived late afternoon in the city where I grew up in and where I studied elementary and high school. Ever since I started working last year, I only get to go home once or twice a month.

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Mima (my Mom! I call her Mima, while I call my Dad Dida!) picked me up and we went to the grocery store. Our humble city is quite small, so sometimes, we get to see someone we know in the store. After buying, Mom and I went to the mall to have dinner together.

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Then we went home and slept together like we always do even when I was a child. Our dogs Portia and Twixie were with us too. When I will have my own child if it is in God’s will in the future, I will raise her the way my Mom did. She and my Dad taught me lessons that helped me out from rough moments, and for those lessons, I am very thankful and humbled. They are my sun and my moon, my two best friends.

In these places I found home in with my parents, I can say that I have learned a lot. And just to not get too ahead of myself, I should rephrase that and say that I have learned and (still) relearning and unlearning a lot.

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Being in the past places I grew up in, studied, fell down in, and learned something from (And seeing the books I loved to read growing up)…

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Looking at notes my younger self has written a few years ago…

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These tell me how far I have come – how far God has brought me already. This is the art of returning. It is seeing things through a different pair of eyes. When before, I may have seen incompetence, insecurities, hurting, and pride, today I have a new view. I have a new set of eyes to see and believe in the kindness and greatness in everyone I knew and everyone I will meet.

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I wish to see the past as something that has catapulted me to where I am today.

And that is with God.

I thank Him for the chance to go home last weekend. Being in our home always calms me. Yes. The simple act of just being there. With my mom. With our beloved pets. With memories. In the place where we grew up. Where my Mom’s family lived before. Where I used to play with cousins. Where I would kiss my Lolo Ando on the cheeks when I get home from school. Where I would play in the garden that Lola had planted and my Mom has maintained and kept very beautiful and cared for. Where I could cook to my heart’s content for Mom and Ate Michelle. Where old loved pets were buried. Where love began, thrived, and survived, and lived.

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Home.

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Before Mom and I headed back to the big city at night, we visited a family friend of ours: Tita Linding. (And their white dog Snowbear!) We left her humble home dimmed by the shadow of the mountain and the night with the knowledge that I love Tita Linding! I think it was my first time to meet her. As we drove off, I said to my Mom that I love her. She was so nice, heartwarming, and thoughtful.

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Hearing about how tough it was for her before in the Philippines and how she worked hard to finish the house that she can call her own – it was very humbling. To think that I did not experience the things that some other children today are facing. Tita Linding’s parents and siblings depended on her before when she was still working as a teacher, so she had to work twice or thrice as hard. Only God knows the things she has gone through.

Only God knows what we all have gone through.

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After everything that we have endured, when we return, we may look the same;

yet we are better and kinder people than we were before.

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