These Incoherent Fragments of Thought are Brought to You by Jetlag, and All that Goes with It.


I’m back on Philippine soil. I wish I could add, “where I belong…” but I’m holding off on that one.

As obvious as it sounds, things really do change. And in all that changing, so much stuff get shifted around. And in all that shifting, one finds there are certain pieces that no longer fit like they did back then.

Of course, certain things like family and real friendships feel right any time of the day. I’m talking more about our memories and the places we grew up in.

Memories. These can be so deceptive. Many things we imagine as perfect fail to make it to that level once we revisit them. I’m thinking, often times we idealize past experiences to the detriment of our present. Not only do we end up painting a picture that is as unrealistic as it is irrelevant, we also end up wasting today. And I think that is the greater crime.

Old places and familiar faces. It really did strike me as weird not running into anyone I know/knew while I was in Baguio today. Time was, you couldn’t walk up (and down) Session Road without having to stop and chat with a friend or acquaintance. This place has changed so much, and new faces have taken over the old ones. Or rather, new faces have pushed out the old ones. And my returning one can no longer find an anchor to hold itself in place.

Those of you who have left home to settle somewhere else will understand what I am trying to say here. While facing the challenges that come alongside making a foreign country home, one thing that never fails to cheer me up is the thought that in my hometown, I belonged. So to feel like a stranger in a place where ghosts of the young me greet me at every corner is a bit unsettling. {The feeling, not the ghosts.}

But, and it’s a major but, as negative as all these may come across to you, I am actually relieved. Let me explain.

Deep beneath the incoherence lies a gem of a thought that is pretty much priceless to me: I am growing up!

My love for my hometown {my home province, my home country} has not lessened. I have simply grown in my capacity to let go of the past, and to enjoy the present. Just as the world is getting smaller, my ability to see and accept the world outside of the familiar has improved.

And so from now on, I will no longer define myself simply by where I came from. It is no longer just, “Abet, from Benguet in the Philippines.” There is a long line of blank spaces to fill up after my name.

{I watched Midnight in Paris on the plane. It probably led to this rant.}

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