I’ve been busy. For the past three years, mostly with motherhood. For the past couple of months, also with work. For the past thirty minutes, with reading old personal entries on this blog. This one stood out to me:
"There are very short periods of time when I’m not really here. Mostly, it’s when I’m walking from one point to the next, passing in between people rushing, walking leisurely, and standing still. The other day, I ordered my regular drink from Starbucks - or what was my regular drink back in San Francisco - and at the first sip, I completely disappeared from Ayala Avenue and was somewhere in between Sansome and Bush.
It is a little bit peculiar, this sporadic feeling of walking the invisible streets of elsewhere. Perhaps we take with us wherever we’ve been, and Home, slowly but surely, becomes not a place, but something that exists within us, something we keep inside our very selves wherever we go.”
That was August 2009. Almost five years ago. And I can certainly recall the feeling I described, but I can no longer feel it. Wherever I am now, that is where I am. I am in the Philippines, my heart and my mind are. The journey from August 2009 to January 2014 has been eventful, mostly great and happy events, with a sprinkling of major disappointments and disillusionment.
It would be easy to say that there’s a thin line between idealism and cynicism, but the truth is, there is a wide open space of apathy, ambivalence, and vague emotions between idealism and cynicism. Being away from the Philippines, my idealism was comfortably cushioned by the distance, by romanticism, by being away from it all. Coming back home, where the reality I only wrote about before actually is reality, my idealism was exposed to the elements. Reading my older entries, I realize now how romanticized my writing was, how cloaked in blissful ignorance, how naive. Perhaps that was important though, to build enough momentum for me to have come home, and at points of disappointment, for me to not completely give up.
So yes, my feet are planted firmly on Filipino ground.