And just like that, August is done.
Tomorrow, September will rear its head and we’ll start hearing Christmas songs in the malls and taxi cab radios. There will be a certain bite to the wind and a sudden feeling of urgency begins to make itself felt.
I will know no such thing, though. Halfway through September, I’ll be making my way back to Bacolod. Energized and, as Toff would say it, galvanized by the events that have transpired here and some lessons I’ve come to learn about myself, I will not just begin to feel the urgency but I will accept it. I’ve always sort of felt it. As far back as when I was a kid. I wanted to do great things. But the folly of my youth, I was so easily distracted by the sparkle and the shine, and I was always so afraid. Afraid of failure. Afraid of rejection. Most of all, I was afraid of my own power.
I’ve always seemed to have cued in to the complaints about difficult people, people who weren’t nice, people who weren’t grateful, people who were so demanding. Somewhere along the lines while I was growing up, I decided I would not be that person. I would be nice. I would be cheerful. I would be supportive. I would be good. I’ve tried to be good.
I’ve always known that I have put other’s needs first before my own. I’ve known that on a head-level. Now, I feel it on a heart-level. I want to put me first. I want to put my needs first. I want to finally not be afraid to ask for what I want.
I’ve been here for 20 days now and I’ve been surrounded my magnificent people — my friends who are like family to me and my brother and his wife, Datu and Kristi, the ones who live here. They’ve asked about my life and how I felt and what my plans were. They didn’t tell me what to do. They offered up suggestions, discussed my ideas, defended theirs, and we had a wonderful time doing it. No demands, no easy answers, just an opening of ourselves to each other.
They opened their lives to me. They told me about their thoughts and issues and plans. There was always something new. There was always something different. And there was a willingness to learn even more.
I feel safe here with the people I’ve come to call my home. I feel safe that I wouldn’t just wilt or stagnate. I feel challenged and inspired. I feel like I can be myself here and that it is perfectly okay to be me. I’m not alien here. Or strange. I feel like I fit.
I am going to work at coming back here again and being well and making it on my own. I’m going to put my needs first and I need this. I need and want this.