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Young Blood

Scab-picking

12:04 AM September 22, 2015

THE COFFEE’S in the refrigerator and my alarm’s set for 5 a.m.

I’ll wear my favorite hat—my most stupid-looking hat as well—and walk to a little spot on campus that I stumbled on when I was a freshman. I’ll sit there, sip my coffee, and breathe in the chilly air. Then I’ll watch the sun rise.

Someone once told me I had a flair for the dramatic. She’s not entirely off-target.

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It hit me at one point last summer that for much of my life I’ve been too caught up in the past. I wouldn’t be lying if I said it governed my life. Perhaps that would even be an understatement. Thoughts of the past were a constant presence in the back of my mind, clamoring for attention, itching like a scab that so desperately wanted to be picked at.

And pick I would, like how I used to when I was little, when all I cared about were my favorite cartoon shows, and the only thing in the world I resented was my oppressive bedtime. I picked at my life’s scabs impulsively. I never gave them a chance to heal.

The thing about picking at scabs is that they’ll bleed. They’ll hurt. I knew it was self-destructive, yet I continued to do it, with equal parts hate and relish.

I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.

It’s funny how I let this ruthless cycle go on for so long. I don’t know exactly what made me realize those dangerous tendencies, but I do remember it had something to do with the terror I felt reading last March’s journal entries. Or maybe it had something to do with beer and a movie.

Either way, I’ve resolved to quit dwelling in the past. I’m going to pull myself together. To quote a song I frequently emoted to when I was 14, I am not where I’ve been. I am what I am what I am. The past will not define me. Its ghosts will haunt me, I know, but I’ll try my hardest to shrug them off. Why should I be scared of smoke and mirrors and a guy in an SFX room, anyway? For the longest time, I’ve been filled to the brim with self-loathing, like an overheating machine about to burst into flames (and not in a blaze of glory, mind you). It’s about time I unloaded. I’ve been too busy picking at my cuts and bruises, scars and pockmarks to see the rest of me, which has begun to deteriorate out of neglect.

My wounds will heal in time, and I won’t get in their way anymore. I’ve done enough harm to myself, and to others by extension. The hatred, the shame, the regret, the could-have-beens, the what-ifs, the shouldn’t-haves—I’m letting them go. I’m setting them—and myself—free.

Megan Sia, 19, is taking interdisciplinary studies at Ateneo de Manila University.

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