You know, it’s absolutely easy to live life when you’re indoors, when you’re all alone, inside your head, dwelling inside your thoughts, doing what you wanted. It’s easy to live life when you’re born in a family where there’s enough of most things, when your parents are the kindest beings, when you’re not at war with anyone else but your inner ego, when you don’t have a heartache to put a bandage on, when you’re at the top of some plateau where everything is going on a steady, straight line for you. It’s easy, it’s just like breathing. It’s everything you wanted. Until it’s not.
Now, it’s not.
So right now, I’m slowly folding up my bravado. Packing my courage. Stocking up sensibilities. Prepping up a good plan. Inching, slowly, I step towards that door that for a long time, has given me space to grow and learn and grapple in the dark until I accepted its reality and embrace its existence. Mortality. The impermanence of things. Nothing can save me from these. Not even a perfect life.
It’s about time to stir the world with my hands. I’m heading out now. This is my Exodus.
What’s the scariest thing in the world? Monsters? Nope. Skydiving? Nope. Giant oceans? Nope. Eleven-legged spiders? Nope. And there’s no such thing as eleven-legged spiders, don’t make up your fears.
The scariest thing in the world are misplaced lunches and hunches. The scariest thing in the world is to point fingers and blame someone for the wrong when everyone is tainted with all sorts of guilt. The scariest thing in the world is having your father’s heart completely crushed after an unexpected turn of events and watch his face turn inexplicably frustrated and sad and hopeless and angry and you just know he’s tearing up inside but everything’s too overwhelming for him to make up what he’s feeling. The scariest thing in the world is see your mother, for the first time, weak and alone and abandoned and shamed and you just hold her hand quietly, rubbing it with your warm fingers just to tell her you’re there. The scariest thing in the world is when you start to think that maybe, at this point, family won’t be family at all, and that everything changes from now on, because of one gigantic blow of emotions made up of two additional pair of feet that sets into your home one Saturday afternoon.
But you know what? When you go into your room, take some time to breathe, talk yourself that no matter what shit you’re going through, everything is already written in the palms of the Lord and this is for your own good, you go out brave. You go out strong. You go out ready to handle what life throws at you. Because the thing is, we don’t make monsters. Monsters make themselves. They’re not people; they’re pent up emotions of tragedy and dishonesty and suspicions and woes and they just burst out, voila, in the middle of what should-be a proper lunch. You look at those mean, cruel things and you tell them, straight to the point, “Okay, this is some sort of fuckery you got me into, but you’re not winning. God says I’m the victor, so watch me make you into my footstool.”
Yep. A footstool.
The scariest things don’t come at once. They come at mornings. They come when your dad is silent, looking over text messages, watching his Facebook as if hunting down some malicious comments as an outburst of emotions. They come when your mother, stricken with guilt yet holding on to her beliefs, watch him silently, and for the first time in 30 years, felt him distant. The scariest things come when you want to make things feel right but it isn’t right, and you wonder when, because, of course, it comes. But not now. Not now.
Now is a time of watching words and triggers. Now is the time to avoid name droppings and reminders of that stressful Saturday afternoon when the world goes amok and your seemingly-perfect life becomes imperfect, but you just pat the dust off your shoulders because you know shit is coming. Now is the time to put layers of blankets over the names of angry people, because wounds take time to heal. But now is also the time to remember that everything has been done out of love.
My mom just loves us so much. I used to hate that kind of love; so worrisome, so unnecessary, but at this point, me in my 30s, I start to appreciate it as some sort of extravagance no other thing can amount to. It is a love she willfully gives, facing all the bullets and throwing away questions like knives just to ensure that her family is protected from any kind of delinquency. My mom is a lion.
I don’t blame my titas for blowing up. That was too much. Wounds are still fresh. There are things I wished that could’ve happened, but what the heck; I myself is a part of the problem. I’m in no rightful place to say a thing.
One thing I can say, is that the scariest things are overcome by the day. You wake up trembling. You suck it up, move on with your chores, and try your best to do it joyfully. Never, ever let people see your pain, especially in the ministry. Your workplace is different from your quiet room where you can meditate and talk yourself out through the mess. At night, you’ll be surprised. The lights are out, but it’s not scary at all.
Not effing scary.
Inside, in your heart of hearts, you find yourself a lion too.
The Weekend Closing: Celebrating the doors we need to close to get to the ones we need to open.