In 2009, my father suffered from a stroke that impeded a tremendous shift in my life. We were in the Philippines at the time. My mother, currently living in the states, was notified and she immediately flew me and my brother to live with her. It became the most pivotal experiences in my life due to the fact that I had to not only have a major relocation at a prime age but also having to meet and live with a new family. I am up and leaving the life I was raised to know and completely doing a 180. The idea that I will be adapting another culture’s values, while keeping the traditions that I was raised upon, basically managing to overlap the values of another ones culture on top of my own– it’s overwhelming. Imagine thirteen year old me, although clueless, as naive as one can be, I still managed to adapt to the new culture as fast as I could, without me even knowing that I was acclimating to certain mannerisms.
Despite of my father’s incident that left me traumatized for quite sometime, there sprung the motivation to focus my energy on something else, school. To my greatest surprise, I easily excelled in my classes, made noteworthy experiences in every path I took and my friendly nature instantly gained me some trustworthy friends along the way. Tying it to now, having this in mind, I rationalized that wherever I end up, whatever I end up doing, as long as I get to experience things I haven’t had a chance to experience before, I will, in technical terms, still be living. And at the end of the day, that’s all we as humans really want to do, to LIVE. Not just to be alive. And at this young age, I realized that struggles in life are what pushes us closer and closer to our full potential.
So nine years later, looking at myself in the mirror, with all the wrong turns filled with fascinating stories with no regrets, a decision was made to relocate to Las Vegas after my dad’s side of the family offered for me to stay with them to make life easier for me while I attend college. The deal was, I don’t have to worry about anything else but school, they’d help me out with everything, I just have to obey and finish school. A typical filipino value. I took the offer and spent the year 2016 to 2017 in Vegas, I lived with my dad’s youngest sister and my dad’s mother– my aunt and my grandma. They lived their lives very well coordinated and with years of wisdom, they’ve established a routine. The simplicity in things is what drove them to their success. I came in the picture, twenty year old girl, straight out the city, still trying to figure things out. I kind of shook the house a little bit.
I relocated there for school, left my hometown to have a better environment and clear my mind to gain focus and center myself. Essentially, to find my own balance, to find myself. Steering away from anything that can possibly distract me from “true success.” Ironic, because the first significant event that occurred in Vegas is the complete opposite of my intentions. In the midst of my first semester of my second year, I met a boy. He charmed me and I fell head over heels in love. He was everything I could’ve asked for, (or so I thought). At 21 years old, I thought that “this is it, man.” Not taking into consideration that it’s probably just the E talking. With that said, after a month of knowing each other, we decided to move in and continue living this pipe dream that we can make it, as long as it’s just me and him. This thought and action obviously supported an unhealthy relationship, forcibly putting stress in each other to fulfill not our individual needs with each others support, but to fulfill each others needs altogether. My self entitled ass took my family for granted and moved out of their house, attempting to make it all out on my own without their help. I hurt them. I left out of the blue, I just decided not to come home one night. An inconsiderate bitch I was.
Not realizing that the temporary highs that we were feeling at the times we spent together were bound to end, not focusing on the everlasting values that we should’ve instead worked on in the relationship. Building trust and honing positive reinforcements and instilling an open communication rather than putting energy in the petty things. As predicted, the relationship ended bitterly. Despite of all its ups and downs however, out of all my relationships, it’s the relationship that I will be benefitting from in the long term. In that relationship, I learned that individual people comes with individual baggages, and those baggages are meant for only themselves to carry. No one else but their own. As I stepped back and analyzed, I thought about my faults, I replayed certain scenarios in my head and realized a few things that I could’ve definitely done more or done less off. The experience made me live, it made me learn. It made me want to be better.
Throughout my whole life here in the states, despite of it being a rough start, the most important thing I have come to terms with is that shit happens. It just happens, especially when it’s not under your control. Eventually, you’re going to learn and start to get tired of getting tired of shit happening in your life, so one day you just learn to feel it as fast as you can and move on. However, you have to feel all emotions to it’s maximum potential to properly feel the others just as much as the rest, the faster you get to fully feel an emotion, the faster you’ll feel the next. But keep in mind that there is an unspeakable joy when it comes to slowing down an emotion. So on that note, feel whatever it is you’re feeling the time you’re feeling it and take as much time as you need to properly feel the next emotion that rides your wave. At the end of the day, all you can do is try.
Correlating it in a present situation, I was scheduled to move to Vegas in the 16th of August to live with dad’s side of the family in hopes to finish school this second time around. After realizing my faults after leaving unannounced, I took responsibility and asked to be taken back to further finish school. I was granted a second chance (once again, or so I thought.) Although none of my bags are packed, typical procrastinator, my ticket was bought and my job was given a two weeks notice, my grandmother and my aunt decided it be wise for me to stay here in the east coast until the duration of my (expungement) Basically, I wouldn’t be able to move until next year. With my spirits slightly crushed, I was surprised at how instantaneous I gathered myself together despite of the negative emotions I was feeling at the time. I held back tears, thinking about the positive side (always), and the unexplored possibilities waiting to be discovered by me here, and at this time is where I remembered that it’s in the time of struggle would you only truly test your capabilities and your personal beliefs. I accepted that I will struggle here, much more than I would’ve had if I were there in Vegas, with the help from my family. But I suppose that this is where I’m meant to be at this time of my life. Whatever happens, a positive outcome will always prevail. Whatever happens, just like everything else from the negative things that happened to me in the past, I will end up okay. At most, I will gain a priceless experience from it. And to that, I say let’s go.