As I write, I lean toward retrieving memories and trying to recall them one by one. There are a lot to remember, along with the little victories and little spontaneous adventures, and yet they never felt sufficient. Memories will never feel as though they were enough. Time was never enough, and as I go on, I remember not just the past or the present; I also remember you.
It was truly a brave and daring act for you to come into our lives, not knowing how terrible and cruel life can turn out to be sometimes. How valiant of you to present yourself to the world, having to face forbidding situations and, at times, having to share days with unkind hearts. It was your boldness that brought you and that bright young heart of yours to the surface. Yours is the kind of courage that doesn’t roar but, instead, penetrates. Pierces. Infiltrates beautifully. And how beautifully you have conquered the world.
So go on and forgive yourself for waking up every single day, complaining of how heavy you have become or how wrinkles have filled your face. Forgive yourself for wishing you were that girl who gained 100 “likes” in just a couple of minutes or that guy who completely has his life figured out. Let off every insecurity and begin with embracing the “you” that you are now. Listen when people say “Love yourself,” but don’t think it comes off that easily. Loving yourself doesn’t happen in a twinkling of an eye. It’s a process of you accepting who you have become now, along with forgiving yourself of the past and allowing yourself to perceive the future.
Forgive yourself for not figuring out the pattern of answers during your examination or for not remembering the things you have studied the night before. Forgive yourself for losing people in life and know that the people meant to be in it will never leave, and if they do, they’ll always find their way back. Forgive yourself for every little mistake and
always make room for a second attempt.
So thank yourself. Thank yourself for taking that phone call, for grabbing the lead role, for saying yes to friendships, for saying yes to waiting. Acknowledge every craft that’s been made by your bare hands, every song that wafts from your lips, every movement your body makes. Celebrate every little victory—for bringing your umbrella when it rained minutes after you left the house, for saving money the whole week, for waking up to see the sunrise.
And as you continue thanking yourself, recognize that you are human. You will fall. You will crumble. You will give in. In lieu of all the things that make you human, fall gracefully. Give in to the plans your Father has for you. You are human, and thank yourself for being a wonderful one. Thank yourself for friendships that make you grow and make you know more of yourself.. You deserve a pat on the back, a firm handshake and a light smile, for you have stood your ground. You have dug your heels in.
Forget all the ill words that stabbed your heart and pounded on your brain.. Forget the insecurities that used to build up your confidence and the mountains you’ve been carrying on your shoulders that you were only supposed to climb. Leave heartbreak of every kind and form and let it not destroy you but construct you. Leave places in which you feel you do not belong, people who hurt you and no longer care for you, things that only leave you breaking. Quit putting yourself down. Quit beating yourself up. Forget the “you” you no longer want to be.
This is for you.
For you who desire to see a new beginning, for you who desire to begin anew. This is for you who long to start things over again with a clean slate. This is for you—a eulogy to the old “you,” for eulogies do not just hold goodbye in it but also memories. The death of what’s toxic in your old self and the birth of beautiful things that make your life worth calling “life.”
I guess this is it then.
Goodbye always has hello concealed within it, and as I bid farewell to painting words in black and white, I say hello to sunrises that welcome the day and sunsets that welcome the night. I say hello to the self you’ve always wanted to be and the person you’ve always longed to become. Welcome the new you with no strings attached to the past, with no guilt in your heart, only hope that what’s in store will always be better, and that your better days are coming.
Carlisle Naudyn Caroro is a junior Political Science student, and this piece was featured in Philippine Daily Inquirer’s “Young Blood” section last February 12, 2017.