Best Lesson I’ve Learned in 2017: You Will Be Fine
It’s been awhile since the last time I sat down and took time to weave words to pour down my musings from my revolutionary mind. It’s been a while since I felt this sudden tranquility in every sense of my being. As I am writing this down, I am sitting on a wooden couch in the little balcony in front of my little bamboo bungalow hut. In front of me lies the wide rice field being prepped by the local farmers for planting season. It is a bit hazy because of the weather, but standing tall around me are lush mountain range embracing this little yet beautiful town. It’s been almost a week now since I have decided to move in this province in northern Vietnam. At this very moment, I could only hear crickets, the endless sound of the mud churning machine in the rice field, and the locals talking in the language which I completely do not understand.
It has been a week now since I moved in to the countryside. It has only been a week, but it already feels like forever. I learned how to drive a motorbike. I am learning the local language. I have been eating every single meal in the most local way. I have mastered using chopsticks. I have been laying low from social media (unintentionally). I have not seen the blue skies for almost a month now, but I would wake up every single morning with the smell of the morning mist in the air and with the sight of the high lush green around my little paradise. I am almost 100 kilometers away from the city. I am living with people who barely speak English. We all talk using gestures and google translate. I met loads of wonderful people from different nations on the road, each one has a unique story to tell. I had been asked why I am here 7 days in a row. I already memorized what to say, that I am just taking a break. If only I could tell them that being here lights up my spirit, that the uncertainty of having no stable job does not bother me at all, and that I am happy. This happiness is not about being able to visit places nor hype slash in love sort of, rather this is a happiness of being at peace in this very moment.
Three or four years ago, I have told myself that I would want to live in a place like this where no one knows me and my story except my name, which people would wonder on where I came from, which language I do not speak, and which culture and traditions I would want to immerse myself within. This is all happening now, it is surreal. It just feels as if the universe had heard me long before and after years of preparation; it has finally thrown me to where I truly belong.
So yes, I have quit teaching for now. I am taking a break indefinitely. I have never thought that this time would come, when I would find the profession I loved for years dragging and no longer fulfilling. Don’t ask me what happened, because I honestly do not know why either. You may think that I was being least reflective, but I have thought of it million of times over. It was becoming a repetitive thought in my eclectic system that I had to put an end to it. And so It was my year-ender decision; I am taking a break from my profession. It is not that easy as we think about stability, especially that I was born in a city where that is the utmost priority; but this feels so right more than any other feelings in the world.
So if I were to put it into the simplest words, 2017 had really been a year of making a series of bigger than the universe kind of decisions and dealing with never ending as vast as the galaxy kind of situations; and I came out alive!
From quitting public school teaching after four years because I felt like I could experience more, to moving in to Thailand just because, to crossing Cambodia to Laos, to the first attempt of settling in Vietnam, to being damn scared I backed out, to going back to Thailand because it was convenient, to months of feeling restless in spite of the comfort and convenience, to soul-searching in Malaysia, to falling in love in a Javanese in Bali, Indonesia, to realizing my utmost priorities, to choosing my dreams and myself over any romantic relationships, to all the confusions, to more months of being depressed, to the ultimate turning point of whether to stay where I was and be stable and unhappy, to just go back home to Philippines, or to fuck all the worries and anxiety and just move to another country, to quitting teaching; to continuously persisting nevertheless; it was beyond crazy.
Now I am completely broke, but I am happy. I may be judged harshly because of series of drastic decisions I have made but I stand firm on being selfish for a moment in order to grow. I am a firm believer that you cannot give what you do not have; and so I am all for creating yourself and making it whole, exploring the endless possibilities as much as you could and as long as you could.
Also, amidst everything, if there’s anything that I’m grateful for the most, it will be that moment when I booked that one-way flight ticket last April. That very decision brought me to places I never knew I would go to, made me cross paths with the most wonderful people on the road, opened up endless possibilities in the universe, and made me know myself even more. I miss home, no doubt. I miss my life back home. I miss family, friends, and all the familiarity. I miss hiking, paddling, and climbing. There were thousands of moments when I thought of just booking a one-way ticket back home but there were also millions of moments when I imagined my life the way I have always been imagining. I think pursuing my dreams weighed more than those thousands of times I thought of quitting.
Now, I think I have found a temporal place where I can be still while rejuvenating my being. I hope you have found yours too or working on to finding it. Life in general is all about doing something that lights up your spirit, enlivens your soul, and makes you want to groove in the morning. To be honest, my personal choices still scare the shit out of me, but as what Franco Smit (one of the best people I ever met on the road) had told me on the first conversation about life that we had: whatever that is, you will always be fine. So I am saying it to you as well, whatever that is, you will be fine. So do not fret too much, you will be fine. No matter how hard that is, you will always end up fine.
2018 will be a year of exploration, self love, and it will be filled with more colorful adventures – and passport stamps.
About the writer:
She is a young teacher-writer-wanderess from the Philippines. She blends her passion to touch lives with her lust to wander and with her love for life. She’s consumed by all things pertaining to places, people, culture, and words. Follow her adventures on Instagram@pinaywanderess and on Facebook.