Seeing and remembering
Not being able to see and not being able to remember are my greatest fears in life.
I fear losing my vision, because it means being a burden to my family and being unable to pursue my passion. My vision enables me to read and to write—two of the most important things I love doing every single day.
I started wearing eyeglasses at the age of 12. I inherited this predisposition from my dad, whose eye condition prohibited him from working and pursuing a career in his late 50’s. In 2012, he underwent major surgery due to retinal detachment.
With the advent of technology and social media, I doubt if I could still prevent my eye condition from getting worse. My lifestyle includes using gadgets seven days a week. Losing my vision would not just mean being unable to see my surroundings and the people I interact with, it would certainly mean being unable to live the kind of life I have now.
Second, I fear losing my memories—from accident or old age, whatever the circumstances. I fear not being able to remember anything about my life. Maybe this fear is why, as early as now, I want to document my life experiences and the things I’m passionate about.
When my piece about self-love was published, it made me realize how I could use my love for writing to live a more meaningful life. It made me strive to get more of my works published—less because of fame and glory, and more because I want my writing to perform a function. If my writings are not read and do not serve to enlighten or inspire others, what’s the point of doing it?
There are so many things that are beyond my control, and these include my fears. They’re hypothetical, but also not impossible to occur. So I’ve promised to be grateful even for the sad, ugly and painful parts of my life.
It’s okay to see those scars. It’s okay to see those imperfections. It’s okay to see myself crying. It’s okay to see myself failing. It’s okay to remember how the people around me sometimes make it difficult to smile. It’s okay to remember how hurt I’ve been many times. It’s okay to write about the things that make me blue.
Being able to see and remember entails seeing and remembering not only the good and wonderful days, but also the bad and terrible ones.
I know that the world can sometimes be too cruel, and there are days when I feel I’d rather not see or remember anything at all. But I guess that’s the curse and beauty of life. Life comes with the gift of being able to see and remember things. I see and remember how I’ve fought my battles, and my battle scars have made me who I am today.
I’m still afraid somehow—but also ready to face anything, heart filled with gratitude and happiness.
Maria Christina L. Paderes, 20, is an English language studies graduate of the University of Santo Tomas.
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