Everyone around is congratulating me. I see their honest smiles, feel their gentle tap on my shoulders, and hear their well wishes for a foreigner who has tried so hard to blend in and has strived patiently to come up with a successful four years of postgraduate studies. I am moved, my heart is consumed with joy . There is nothing I could utter but my gratitude to God, my family and friends as my ears are filled by the clapping of their hands. I am blessed, truly blessed.
It has been a long day. The meeting is now over and I am heading home. I walk down the stairs, staring blankly at the steps leading to the back exit door. It's almost half past six. My back aches and my eyes are sore. I realize that I am not wearing my eyeglasses. Yes, my eyes have gone bad. Maybe I have abused them over the years of working with minute materials or with hours of staring at the computer, bleeding for words to write on my paper. I wish I took better care of the windows to my soul.
I step out of the building and the cool early summer wind greets me. What a relief! I close my eyes and raise my face up to take a deep breath, and as I slowly open them as I breath out, I see the deep orange hue overwhelming the sky. I remember my little hometown of San Andres where I would stare at the setting sun until it disappeared behind the island of MIna de Oro, right across the rugged sea. Life was simple yet much happier then.
Now, another chapter of my life is closing soon. I have mixed emotions about everything. My studies here in Japan has been successful, yet the my future in my own country is so full of uncertainties. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night just to ponder and to pray for the right decisions. There will truly be much more opportunities on the other side of the fence, but I am thinking about my family, especially my parents.
My Papa is already past 60, and my Mama is soon to retire. God knows how much I miss them since I left my hometown many years ago to study in Manila. I was so occupied with my studies and with other things so that when I looked back, I saw how things have changed. My sisters have bloomed into young ladies and my brother has grown into a principled man. The years that have ticked away became obvious on my parents faces. I became what they wanted me to be, but the time that I have spent away from them will never be recovered back. I always went home during school breaks, but I knew it would have been a lot different if we spent more years living together as a family every single day.
It surely will be a tough decision to make, but I am certain that whatever the future holds for me, it is God's will. My parents and siblings will always be there for me no matter what, so I am not afraid to take steps and dip my toes in the water. What's the use of my reputation as the most aggressive member of the family if I won't have the guts to zealously move forward? So, I have to brush my cares off and just do my best, one day at a time.
It is Monday tommorrow so maybe that is why I am a little depressed tonight and started writing about reminiscences and reflection. Do not worry, I am as resilient as can be. After I have posted this in my blog, I'll watch the latest episode of "Grey's Anatomy" and be mesmerized again by the great story and cast. It's a damn good show, isn't it?