On Year 26 and Turning 27

Nov 20, 2012

Nepal Bday
The Big Trip
October 2011 - February 2012

My 26th year was a year of highs and lows. It was a year filled with travels, dreams fulfilled and humbling realities. 

Dreams Do Come True

I welcomed my 26th birthday on the road, on top of a mountain to be exact, during our 10-day Annapurna Sanctuary Trek in Nepal. I woke up to a cloudless and clear blue sky, with snow-covered mountain peaks as my morning view. I remember being greeted with a Happy Birthday song in German by two other trekkers in the hotel. I remember sitting by the garden being served chai and soaking up the sun’s warmth and just enjoying the view of the Himalayan peaks. And then I knew and realized that dreams do come true. I found out that a crazy idea right after my 25th birthday, coupled with sacrifices, and His grace, could actually happen.

Life has So Much to Offer

This surreal feeling, I think, is partly being in disbelief that there are so much more beautiful things in the world, outside the life I’ve been living, outside my small office cubicle, outside the career and goals I’ve set up for myself. And the occurrence and realizations of these things were both wonderful and overwhelming.

Dealing With Changes

Five months on the road changed me in certain ways. The things that didn’t matter while I was living on the road seemed to be a necessity when I got back. The lessons and memories I had from the trip weren’t  that important or are foreign to the people around me. And to a certain extent, most of them do not understand me. And there are still moments when I feel so out of place, and moments when I’m scared that I might turn back into the person I was before I left. And it’s very overwhelming. But I am slowly learning to adjust, but still keeping all those good changes intact.

Humbling Realities

Some things just end. My relationship ended. It was such a humbling reality to accept. And I wasn’t prepared. I was so much living in the moment that I didn’t think of what might or might not happen. I am still dealing with it, one day at a time. But despite all the pain and loss, I have no regrets. I know that the end of it all will never change the fact that it was something so beautiful and wonderful. It was a beautiful story. A story I am proud of and grateful for.

People will disappoint you. A person who you practically grew up with can actually hurt you. I am learning forgiveness, but I am giving myself time. It used to be something foreign and it's something that you don't really feel the need to prepare for because it's something you never thought can actually happen. But I am learning to forgive. 

Never Stop Dreaming

People ask me when and if I am ever going to settle down. Not settle down like get married and have children. But when I would stay put and start a life here in the Philippines. Someone even said I don’t have any roots. Some people ask me how I do it, how come I can take risks and not get scared. Oh I am scared. And it’s not easy. I have learned this year that opening yourself up is also subjecting yourself to possible disappointments, heartbreaks, failure, and loss. And a lot of waiting. But I’ve also learned that those small and grand moments are all worth it. You just have to learn to let go and accept when it’s the end. You just have to have faith and enough hope to believe that something else is meant to happen.

I learned during my 26th year that we can make so much out of our lives. It’s just really up to us to decide and declare that this is what we want to happen. But always keeping in mind that dreaming big means more risks – more setbacks, more disappointments, more failures. But when it finally happens, when a dream is realized – all those challenges are so small compared to the rewards. But more importantly, life is not just about the realization of dreams, but also of the in-betweens that make us stronger. The in-betweens that give more meaning to the realization of dreams.

As I turn 27, I am learning to appreciate the in-betweens. Maybe someday I will settle down, maybe someday I will start planting roots in a certain geographical place. But now, I want more adventures. I want to see the rest of the world. I want to dream bigger and go farther.

So here’s to turning 27, dreaming bigger, forgiveness, and all the in-betweens. :)

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