Living in the city at 18

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Most of the people who knew me probably think I’m not gonna make it. I was timid, overly-sensitive + emotional person, and very very dependent to the people around me. That was I think the sole reason why I hardly convinced my parents to live independently when I was 18. They were terrified for the welfare of their most delicate child.

But none of those reasoning mattered to me. I longed for freedom and personal growth that no one could ever give but me alone. I’ve always thought I could do more than being swamped in an overly recurring environment. My heart was craving for risk; something that makes me want to feel alive. I remembered being caught up from pedestrian signals, chase a running bus, run back and forth at the University over again, and talk to different strangers just so I could reach my designated time and place for a University application during my first attempt alone.

I was so eager that I feel like I’m some kind of a protagonist in John Green’s story that has come to life – a sheltered teenage girl from second district who left home to find herself and comprehend the meaning of life that lies within. 

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“Home”

Two years and I became more open to matters of social awareness. I’m a living witness of everyday’s impunity and life’s prejudice. This has been said though, I’m slowly learning to be keen for every vandals on the wall that has a message to convey, to look beyond the misery on the eyes of unfortunate people whose home are layers of carton stacked altogether on the corner of the streets. I’ve met different people and heard different life stories everyday where some of which are even life-enlightening. 

What’s good about being exposed to these kind of scenarios was that I realized – you have to listen so you could see. The world has all the answers and all you have to do was to pay attention; hear the cries of the people that surrounds you, things they are fighting for and the truth that they believed in.

I remember an acquaintance saying, “Kailangan alam mo kung anong pinaglalaban mo, walang in-between o neutral. There’s only two sides, so choose”.

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Bonifacio day protest along Morayta

The thing is, life is too short to deprive yourself of the things you desire. Do not let the society dictates you of what is wrong or right; you have to stand up for yourself.

In my case, people has always defined my silence as an act of weakness; someone who cannot withstand the chaos and demands in the city. But the heart wants what it wants so I took the leap. And I’m just glad I did, because I’m continuously learning. About people.. about life.

 

 

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