I know that I have told quite a few sad stories to my friends about living in Paranaque. How.. inconvenient it is. How sad it is that my friends cannot just come over whenever they want to. How annoying and boring it is that I still have to ride a tricycle to get to the nearest mall (which isn’t really nice, I’m so sorry), to the nearest bank (for Mom’s errands), and even to the nearest fast food chains.
For the rest of my life that I will be living here, I might still keep these rants with me, because they are true.
However, I realized that it’s not all negative – that living in Paranaque isn’t that bad.
It is.. nice. It is.. wow. I mean, it is the first time that we ever lived in such condominium. *wow, Ysel* First time to have a swimming pool within the vicinities of our “home.” (I have to quote that because sadly, this still isn’t home to me).
For the past weeks, I have learned to travel all by myself. All my home-to-UP travels back in Manila were just 10 to 15 minutes, and here, I have learned to wake up early. To give myself 2 hours allowance to prepare and do things before I leave. Here, I have learned to love my family more. Because in this home, I always anticipate the time they get home, so we can eat together. I guess back in Manila, that seldom happens- me waiting for my parents. Here, time with them is so important. Because we come from different places. Kuya from UST, Dad from Makati, Mom from Manila, me… from.. wherever. The distances aren’t that bad, if you compare it to those with parents abroad or in provinces, but for a person like me, who had all her years spent with her family, this kind of distance is awful.
In this house, I have learned that you cannot have everything you want. No, I’ve learned that a long time ago, but here, that learning came back because of the simple things. If I wanted milktea, I will have to go 4-floors down, walk out of the compound, find a tricycle and wait for 5 more passengers for a regular fare. Same thing to do if I want Mcdo, or Jollibee, or if I have to buy something. I have learned that the things you want are not always going to be in front of you. You walk for them. You travel for them. You become an explorer in a place you’re living in for the first time, but eventually will become your home.
In Paranaque, I have learned that it’s actually okay to stay home. To not go to duty (kasi lugi talaga pamasahe palang), to not meet up with friends ALMOST EVERYDAY, to not text friends and ask them to go to UP so you could see them on duty breaks, to not see the professors you’re always excited to share stories with. It’s okay to be bored, because that’s when you anticipate that something good will happen. It’s okay to just lie down on your old comfy HAHA bed, in the room you share that has two windows, without any aircon or fan because wow this place has fresh air. It’s okay to just browse your Facebook feed, your Twitter and your Instagram using your old phone because everybody knows what happened to the new one. It’s okay to sleep, to get some sleep, to get all the lost time from studying so much back. Yes, it is. Sleeping is kind of boring for me, but that’s okay. That’s okay now. Now that I live here.
It’s okay to stay at home – with no one. Mom and Dad are at work. Kuya and Eli have classes. It’s okay to have no load. Because you tend to spend quality time with the person you have no time for – yourself. It’s okay to wait for Eli to come home, and help him with all his homeworks, because I never had the chance to do that back in Manila. I was always out with friends. Out with whoever I see and whoever I want to be with.
Yet, the best thing I have learned ,so far, from living here, far from what I called home for 6 years, far from the convenience of Manila, far from my friends, far from UP Manila, far from where I left my heart in.. is that it’s okay to be alone. To just be with myself. It’s okay to not call friends and ask them to accompany me. Back in Manila, I don’t usually go out without someone with me. Because when that’s the case, I feel alone. I feel bad, I feel.. sad. And I feel sorry for myself. I don’t like being alone. That’s like.. my biggest fear (next to heights). And here.. It’s definitely okay to ride the tricycle alone, with 6 people I never met (including Manong driver). It’s absolutely okay to spend money for yourself, for your cravings – because you’re not saving up for some getaway you’re planning with your friends. It’s okay to buy donut for yourself, to buy corn for yourself. To eat at Burger King with yourself. To drink milktea alone (even when that seems pretty sad). To watch people walk, talk, fight (sorry), to just see people being either wonderful or what.
And it’s okay to ride another tricycle back home.
To walk a few more steps to the elevator.
To press what floor.
To walk quite far from the elevator to the farthest room because that’s where you now live.
And to realize that this, years from now, will be home for you.
I miss Manila.
But maybe missing Manila is like missing you, *.
It’s sad, but I’m learning from it.
I’ll accept it.