Retrospective

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Goodbyes are tough…for most people.  But not for me.  It’s always been easy for me to up and go, reflect on events and even tragedies, pick up my lessons, and move on.  Maybe I take after my mom or guardian, or it runs in the family.  Who knows, really.

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But there was a time when it was tough.  I think only by getting used to it did it become easy.  Certainly, moving more than a couple of times, leaving friends behind, and letting go of ‘stuff’ to lighten the load made it easier along the way.  The downside is the value and meaning of people and things fade, or at least take longer to mean something.  After all, deepening roots and being invested in anything don’t happen instantly, anything worthwhile does take some time.

But I still think it’s worth taking back.  After all, learning to value, appreciate and love are correlated to REALLY living.  A wake-up call was when I tried to look back at the last 5 years of my life in my early 20s and nothing memorable came to mind.  That’s when I knew I had to change things up a bit.

Pretty early on I’ve also come to realize that at least 3 lessons enable maturity, that is, learning to forgive, to let go and to love.  The latter speeds up the growing up process but the former two are just as important to adulting.  Staring death in the face (thrice) early in life made this crystal clear.  In the face of my biological mom in her deathbed who had too many regrets in life, to another who succumbed to cancer peacefully, and then with my best friend  passing so soon in life, I became forever changed.  At that moment, I think having purpose suddenly became important.  Nothing is to be taken for granted.

On a (slightly) lighter note, I’ve learned that happiness is a choice.  Whether or not the choice entails leaving a relationship, a toxic environment or even your past behind, or staying knowing or not if there’s hope for change, boils down to a decision.  Only after this conscious step can there come peace, acceptance, or at least, resignation.

How about you, what are your biggest life lessons so far?

via Daily Prompt: Retrospective (final)

Anything But Ordinary

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On the surface, she looks like any well-adjusted, well-educated woman in her 30s, ready to take on the world and achieve her dreams.  She easily offers a quick smile with a spark in her eyes.  Sometimes, when you get a glimpse of it, she exudes an air of mystery, ever so slightly and briefly, when she tilts her head to the side while thinking, or observing something or someone.

You wouldn’t know just by looking at her what she’s been through to be able to give warmth to others.  She had to grow up quickly, at a tender age, when her parents separated ways.  She had to take on abuse–verbal, physical and emotional–and not know any better until she was old enough to process everything, the should and should-nots, what had happened and its aftermath.  She had to bring some semblance of normalcy to her family or what’s left of it, serve as a lynchpin, to what would otherwise be a badly broken and dysfunctional unit.  She had to learn to forgive, let go and not give in to bitterness, and eventually love, which was tough for someone who had absentee parents, emotionally unavailable and punitive guardians, and unreliable relatives.  Her friends never knew any of this; for a long time, she put up a wall for self-preservation, not letting anyone get close enough to hurt her.  She exuded ‘maturity’ at a young age, learned to live and fend for herself, and give of herself, sometimes a bit too much, to her family, the needy, the unwanted in her community.

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But inside she’s about to explode, like a ticking time bomb, if neither defused or dismantled.  What she didn’t yet know about herself, she later realized, could hurt her and others around her, if left unaddressed in the light under the sun.  It’s an extraction that will leave her vulnerable and weak, yet a necessary operation.

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A hard life calls for courage in taking the bad out, not just to leave the good things at the core but to replace the bad and heavy, with new and better things, so that sooner or later, there can be a lightness to one’s footsteps, a considerable weight off the shoulders.  Like a brand new lease on life.

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Daily Prompt: Core

Daily Prompt: Pedigree

Daily Prompt: Slight

Into the Woods

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A place of healing and solace.  A short time bathing in it brings a world of benefits to your well-being.

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But getting lost is as real as you and me and life itself.  Tread carefully.

via Daily Prompt : Forest

 

Breaking Free

via Daily Prompt: Rebel

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As much as possible she wanted to keep the peace, to stay out of trouble.  She kept her head down, tried not to ruffle feathers, while keeping her wits about her.  Oh she has causes she supports, but chose to work with authorities as best she can.  She loved to go out in the world, yet her own world she kept small and safe, away from prying eyes.

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But fate has a way of playing tricks on people on the verge of change.  And around her things start to unravel.  Just as she was getting more successful and courageous, people started talking, around her, about her.  Undermining her strengths, her worth, they spread rumors, imagined slights, petty issues of people caught up in the crab bucket effect.  Until she knew she had to go.  Up and leave.  In her openness and indiscrimination, her small world was infiltrated by the unscrupulous, the bigots, the small people.  People she allowed to gain authority in her life.  Her growth, identity was on the line.  She needed to crawl out of that place growing darker, smaller by the minute.  She had to.

And she DID.  She rebuilt her world from scratch, embraced her strengths and seized her opportunities, those she hesitated to take before.  In the process, she was gifted with people, friends of her choosing.  And other people came into her life, chose to stay, to matter, and she matters to them, too.

A Wacky Engagement

via the Daily Prompt: Laughter

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It was our second trip out of three lined up last year.  I call it trio of shorts.  It’s something I used to do wherein I visit a new place for a weekend or a little longer, savoring as much local cuisine and culture during the short stay.  I stopped for a couple of years until the travel bug bit again.  No problemo.  It’s the sort of condition I can’t complain about.

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We were preparing to go to El Nido from Puerto Princesa in Palawan.  While securing the bags, I saw his favorite hat in one of the front pockets.  I pulled it out without thinking and asked if he wanted to use it, when a small black velvet box fell out.  He was at the other end of the room and I was on the other, the box between us.  Having an idea now what it was inside the box, I tried to ignore it.  He did, too, but it was just too hard to do so and we burst out laughing, for a good 10-15 minutes.  On it went in between transfers and me lightly teasing him about his ‘plan’ and him getting embarrassed, we kept laughing on and off on the way to El Nido, a 6-hour ride from Puerto Princesa.  I couldn’t help myself, I kept teasing him, saying he didn’t have to feel pressured to do anything just because I saw it, that he could go ahead with what he had in mind when he planned it.

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He did pop the question on our last day in El Nido, by one of the nicest beaches I’ve been to.  This time we were just all smiles, no more laughing (must have drained all the laughs in me the last couple of days).  It was a beautiful morning with clear skies, the sun and breeze were gentle, the water so calm, the place almost to ourselves.

My first time to try taking on a challenge or participating in the daily prompts, what do you think about this attempt?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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