This is a send-off letter for our parting. I had wished for you to be kind and patronizing as you began your days. I was optimistic and full of high hopes that you will grant my wishes and spoil me a bit because I had thought that 2017 and 2018 had not been very nice during their stay. I thought you’re different.
Yes, you’re different. But in such a way that you were able to make me look where I dared not to. The last couple of years paled in contrast to you and in retrospect, they even gave me a room for my excuse to not grow. But you. You’re relentless. You allowed my house of cards to crumble. All my dreams and hopes built in the winds were shattered.
Many people I loved left and some of them passed on; some friends deserted me. Whether they really intended it or not, I don’t know and it doesn’t matter anymore.
Come midyear, you were unforgiving. I felt myself trudge on an uphill climb; my battles with my inner dragons seemed unending. I struggled to be better than my previous self but blow after blow, misfortunes became the motif of events in your days. It seemed to me that you never wanted me to get up. It seemed that all you wanted for me was to drown in the abyss of dark thoughts and feelings of not being good enough, not loved.
By the third quarter, I had almost given up on my vision in life. Maybe, I thought to myself, these dreams are not really for me. Maybe, I am supposed to just let the rainy days go by and wake up when it’s sunny. But no. You didn’t want (or, at least, tolerate) apathy from me, either. So, you added the mundane cares at the top of the world that I’m carrying on my shoulders. I cried and cursed at the Heavens for letting these difficulties happen to me. I felt that I had been buried so deep underneath. It was too dark.
As your last quarter came, I was hopeless – and almost lifeless inside. But as though a manna from the Heavens, you have allowed a hint of light to seep through me. The Heavens came with drops of help through age-old words, I ran across Invictus once more, “It matters not how straight the gate or how charged with punishment the scrolls. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” But this time I had to bow down and pray, “Why God?” – those were the first words I uttered in prayer, imitating Job, the man in the Bible who first asked God this question. You have also allowed me to meet Lorna Byrne through her book Angels in My Hair, and though I may hesitate to admit it, her words are uplifting.
And then, in a blink of an eye, you revealed your true self, 2019. You made me turn my face to where I am really supposed to look. You forced me to accept those things that I have long been denying to myself. You fuelled me to change and leave the comfort zones that I had grown accustomed to even when it is truly uncomfortable. You pushed me to the wall and left me no choice but to grow. You allowed my friends to desert me but you also made me aware of those who are constant – those people who didn’t give up on me, day in and out. You also brought back in people I’ve always known to be of good heart – and added a couple of new ones too.
You allowed my dreams to crumble to pin it to my head and heart that I can always dream some more – and even stand a chance to make them come true. You placed the mundane cares at the top of the world that I’m carrying to draw out that inner strength that I never thought I had and to show me that, by Heaven’s Grace, it will feel lighter. You have made powerful my inner dragons to make me realize that I can become the braver and wiser knight than I once were. You buried me deep to show me what gem has my life become because of these experiences.
On top of that, it is within your days that earthquakes and other natural calamities came to our place. Scared was an understatement. But these things made me aware that there are people around us, and that I have to transcend my inner sentiments and reach out to others in faith and solidarity.
And my vision! Dear 2019, how you cast me into the fire to see if they’re true to my heart! As you near your end you showed me how golden it is to believe in the world where children can run free and grow and become the human beings that they ought to be!
But most of all, you brought me back something that I never knew I had lost. You brought me back my faith in God or in the Divine (or in the many Names it is called). You have awakened me from my deep slumber.
What great teacher you are, Dear 2019! As we part, my heart is filled with gratitude. I can’t be so sure if I want you to stay any longer, but I am as grateful as I can be. I pray that you have taught others well too. I forgive, love, and bless all the moments I had with you. Thank you, 2019, for making me realize that the Human Spirit can weather anything. Thank you for making me understand that the Heavens will always be around to replenish our souls when we turn to it for help.
Thank you, 2019, for making me stronger. I look forward to 2020 and allow the infinite possibilities to flow through me. So it is.
Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan is a teacher at Tuburan Institute, Inc. She is also a wife and a mother of two. For questions and comments, feel free to drop her an e-mail at email@example.com or visit her Facebook page, Joan Mae Soco.
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