With my bandage off, I can now feel secure to leave the house and I did. Working on a special project with my Dad, I took a little road trip to Silay City to do some location checks for something I’m writing and a pretty symbolic happened.
I saw a road sign on the circumferential road. It marked that if you were going to the airport, you turn right and if you were going to Silay City, you turn left.
I wrote on my Instagram post of the photo that the symbolism didn’t escape me. It was as if the sign was telling me, since I was heading left, that I couldn’t return to Manila. “Your life is here now,” it was saying to me. “You cannot go back.”
In my head, I smiled and replied, “I can’t go back… yet.”
This is where I am now. This is the sum of all my choices and the circumstances surrounding my life and it has lead me here and I don’t know if that is where I am supposed to be but I’ve never believed in a grand design. We are where we are because of the choices that we’ve made. Our present circumstances are all due to our choices and how we have chosen to act and react to the world around us, whatever that situation may be. I need to be here because it is here where I can get better and where I can be cared for as I cannot do it on my own in Manila.
Everyday I get in touch with someone and they always ask, “How are you feeling and how do you feel about having to moving back there in Bacolod?”
There’s no other answer except that I must and I can choose to be sad about it or choose to be happy about it. And there is much to be happy about. I get to be with my parents and my brother whom I don’t see too often, especially if I’m in Manila. I’d have to get sick to find myself here in Bacolod, to be honest. How else would I be able to see them and spend time with them if I didn’t live here?
And now I get what I have always wanted: a chance to write. For the most part, my family has offered to help me out until I get better and while I’m doing just that, it’s time to use the time at hand to write. I have no excuses now. So I’m going to.
Because you can choose to be happy or sad. You make your choices about how to deal with what has become your life. And you can choose to be responsible and accountable for your actions and the eventual consequences or you can cry foul and sulk and rage and do nothing productive and that would be perfectly okay too. After all, don’t we all say that you have a right to feel the way you feel?
But I’d rather be productive and be happy than to focus on the things I cannot have. There is strength in that. I’ll hold on to that strength. I’ll be damned if I let this medical condition change me and what people like about me. If I change, it will be because I chose it and not because I’m just reacting to the roll of the dice. I’m just going to pick up those dice and roll them again and again and again.
I’ll keep playing because I am not spending this time I have sulking and being sad. I almost died. This is the third time that I almost died. If that taught me anything it’s that life is precious and all the cliches that come with it. I can still choose. Others aren’t so lucky. So I won’t insult them by pretending my life has ended.
It’s just taking a different turn and it can still lead me to somewhere wonderful.
Yesterday, the car turned left. One day, I’ll turn right. I’ll come back to Manila. For a vacation or to try it out all over again. Keep rolling the dice and never let the outcome decide who I am.