To love yourself is the beginning of a lifelong romance

At 25, I’ve felt the famous quarter life crisis knocking on my door. Was I really living my life the way it ought to be? What did I really want? What’s my purpose?

An excerpt from Cheryl Strayed’s “Dear Sugar”  had me contemplating about the life I had to live and love:

I’ll never know, and neither will you of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore”.

What beautiful imagery that had. It also got me started thinking about starting anew. Leaving everything I had in Manila to start a new life in the United States. It would be painful, cold and lonely but if did not do it, I would be crying and regretting, instead of saluting the ship that didn’t carry me. I just had to get in that ship. If I had not, I would’ve been tormented by a voice in my head asking what could’ve been. As it is terrifying and debilitating to feel the burdens of my aloneness and freedom, for the first time in 25 years, it is as liberating and sweet. Tabula rasa. Clean slate. Washing away all the dirt, is healthy for my soul. The responsibility of my fate is all mine.  No mother to cling to or hold accountable for, no lovers to fall back to for convenience. Fearsomely exhilarating, the ultimate paradox. Now I only have me myself and I. The only person who will be there at the end of the day, so why not love her and her alone?

I write to give myself therapy for my loneliness. It is so easy to fall back in that dark void of depression but so difficult to get ones ass off and struggle to climb off that hole. I choose to indulge in the latter. After all, conquering something difficult is sweet victory. The poet Maria Rainer Rilke said it better: “It is good to be lonely, for being alone is not easy. The fact that something is difficult must be more reason to do it”. I’ve wasted so much time in my negativity and playing victim to all the obstacles life threw at me. Now I choose to be reborn and look at things in a new light. These scars made me stronger. My adversaries led me to seek comfort in writings in Philosophy. These books taught me wisdom. I am proud and happy I’ve had to swim through the muck of events and people for without it I wouldn’t have emotional battles cars, and these emotional battle scars is what makes me strong, experienced and wise.

“To love yourself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” – Oscar Wilde

“Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress.” -Milan Kundera (a quote that helps me see the beauty of trying to get by)

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