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YOUNG BLOOD

Fighting loneliness

05:05 AM May 15, 2018

There must be more than this provincial life.

A hopeful Belle sings as she strides through her humble town with a heavy book in her arms. The princess, like many of us, has a beautiful dream; for it to come true she is willing to risk so much.

Weeks ago I saw myself in Belle’s tiny slippers and echoing her words.

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I had been so persistent about getting an internship in the city. The thought painted pictures in my dreamy head, of city lights glittering beyond my window while I worked on my take-home tasks.

I was under the impression that I would be taking up a beneficial challenge that could train me for my future. But the best part of it was knowing that I would finally be spreading my wings which I had long kept still.

I had always felt like being held inside my comfort zone for too long, and now I would be greeting the real world with a bang!

The difference between me and Belle is that she lives in a humongous castle with talking furniture, while I stay in a tiny studio that I share with a colleague at work.

I have no problem with the accommodations; as a matter of fact, I consider it a real blessing that I am housed somewhere and not sleeping in the street.

But there are times when I hole up in our room by myself. And during those times, often I wish the furniture would talk to me in the voices of my family and best friends.

One thing I’ve realized is that we have so many blessings in our lives to which we’ve been so accustomed that we take them for granted.

Being away from my family and my friends has given me a heavy case of homesickness. As people often say, home isn’t a place but a feeling.

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I didn’t think I would so easily miss my mom’s delicious cooking, or laughing at the top of my lungs with my friends. I found myself crying like a child even before I left for my first week of internship.

The days of being pampered are over; this is the time to live the words “work, work, work” in my head and do things on my own. People call it living the “independent life,” but that life can sometimes be really lonely.

The closest you could get to hearing news of how your friends are faring in their own internships is watching their latest Instagram stories as they are too busy or too tired to tell it in detail through chatting.

They did warn me that adult life is much more difficult than handling classroom deadlines. It isn’t the work per se that results in the heavy feeling, but knowing that I am completely on my own and that the encouragement won’t come from Tumblr quotes or Facebook posts but from myself.

That also means having to lift my own self from drowning in negative thoughts and emotions. So I find myself asking: “Is this really what the real world looks like?”

Still, I know I can’t back down now when I’m halfway close to realizing dreams for myself and for my family. One cannot deny how difficult it is to live with loneliness and heavy responsibilities, but the mere thought of my family’s trust in me keeps me going.

I could easily drop everything and give up, but there’s a problem with that idea: Giving up has never been in my vocabulary. At the end of the day, everything just depends on us and how we choose to handle those difficulties.

Thus my thought: If Belle can face a beast and turn him into a prince, perhaps I can face the real world and turn it into my new comfort zone.

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Ingrid Angelica Custodio, 19, is a fourth-year communication student of Holy Angel University in Pampanga.

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TAGS: Ingrid Angelica Custodio, Loneliness, provincial life, Young Blood
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