Ten Years Later

I hate the thought of having to feel weird about coming home. I have here in my flat a pair of luggage, a box, and a backpack; and it’s strange to see them all ready for my flight in the next ten days. I’m half excited, half anxious because this time, it’s gonna be “for real” and I’m bringing with me ten years of my life back home. It’s not as if I’ve been living in the other hemisphere – not even out of the country – but I’d love to exaggerate things a bit, so I will.

When I left home for university ten years ago, I had a grandiose plan. I brought with me some big dreams. I’d be this, I’d be that. And I dreamed and daydreamed of them at every chance I had. I did imagine gathering flattering titles and then landing on a really nice job in the metropolis, where I’d have to always put on corporate clothes and talk big things with big people. Sooner, I’d be rich. I was ambitious. In fact, very ambitious and it was a good thing, except that life, surprisingly or not, didn’t go as planned.

I thought…I thought…I thought of so many things…of a different kind of life – one that’s different from what’s coming home with me. 

Ten years later, what have I become?

Precisely not how I imagined it. I look at myself in the mirror and I am ordinary and life’s definitely far from grand. No titles garnered, no flattering awards, no overwhelming place that I personally own, no car, no hacker-friendly bank accounts. Oh, and not yet married, got no kids! But I managed to work for a company though small was award-winning, and where I had to look business-y when talking big things with big guys. It somehow made me richer – at least a bit richer than when I was just imagining life after school. That’s basically the story.

When I think of all those years and chances gone, it’s only failure after failure I could see. Errors, I’m made of errors. The beautiful token expected of a ten-year story turned into a rusty trophy made of brittle pieces. Many times I asked myself, “What have I done?”

Then I see my bags and boxes all packed with my story of ten years away from home. “Who have I become?” I smile a pretty one because there are so many things to be truly grateful for. I had my plans but God had a story to tell.

My purpose for leaving home was university but life took me to a maze full of right and wrong turns. I made it a point to be always different but I found joy in sisterhood, friendship, and belongingness. I prayed so hard that life be grand but I bumped into its simplicity and I felt the bliss.

I was wrong to believe that this decade-long adventure was all about beating expectations and chasing dreams. Nobody told me I was to live a story to make me understand who I am, accept what I am not, and be grateful for all that there is.

Thank God. It’s been lovely. Now, fly me home.

Love,
Ayna

 

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Ten Years Later

A Year To Myself

February last year, I became single after ending an 11-month long relationship, which was beautiful enough to last for a time but not forever. And funnily as if there wasn’t any better time, on that perfect lovely day when exclusively (or not) dating young men and ladies, boyfriends and girlfriends, engaged and married couples, and all other kinds of lovers were celebrating their love – February 14, 2013 – I declared to all my systems from my split ends to the callouses on my toes that at least for one year, I will have no other lover than myself. That was a deal.

And I made it to a year all to myself.

During little gatherings with friends or side chats with officemates, a usual question would make its way to the conversation, “Don’t you miss dating someone?” Damn it, of course I do. I miss that feeling, you know what I’m talking about.

But the question, though tempting and strongly suggestive, also appeared to challenge me as to how far I can go with the deal. And I’m glad I managed to keep myself at pace.

Through this period, albeit relatively short, I believe I’ve come to understand a lot about loving myself and the lessons keep coming.

1. Love yourself and love it more each and every day. Because it is wise to realize that if in case no one else will be there to love you, you have your very own self who will never leave you come what may.

2. Those who leave are not meant to stay. So please don’t allot an eternity to mourn over a breakup. You don’t have forever to fool around a drama not worth crying for. Always be ready to get your shit together and love again, with a little bit more caution than before.

3. If you love yourself, you become a sturdy foundation of a lasting relationship. Otherwise, your lack of confidence, trust, and respect for yourself might even cause your partner to question him/herself how s/he did even come to like you.

I know it sounds like I recommend staying single. Well, up to you. We all have our own preferences in life. Go figure it out. 😉

Love,
Ayna

A Year To Myself