Moving forward | Inquirer Opinion
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Moving forward

12:04 AM August 12, 2014

It will be my first time to travel alone, at least in a plane. This makes me anxious somehow, because of the things playing in my mind. The sheer thought of queuing, checking in, and having to answer and ask questions worries me. I just hope I won’t lose my luggage somewhere, or be held up by traffic, or, worst, be left by the plane.

I am old enough to be on my own and discover what life has to offer. Honestly, there are many uncertainties I have to face. The only thing certain about what I’ll be doing is going back to school. It is the other things—like finding a job that best fits my experience, the people I will meet, the place, and the weather—that are uncertain. I still have one more thing to do before finally setting foot on that foreign land, and that is familiarization.


Coping with my anxiety and maintaining the energy are what it takes to push through. I know I am strong, and I am aware of my limitations. I know myself, and I know what I want. I just need to equip myself with all the positive things to get me through. There is no room for weakness, and no time to back out. This is the moment that I’ve been waiting for so long. Finally, I am going to be independent, on my own. No one will dictate to me anymore on what I am supposed to do. No one will scold me for not doing the right thing.

I am on my own and I am excited. I am on my own but I am not alone. I have the people closest to my heart to back me. They are the same people who give me confidence and who have always believed in me. They are the reason I am so determined to do this. And above all, I have my God who has always been on my side, and absolutely will always be.


Sometimes, I am surprised at how much has happened through the years. The experiences I’ve been through taught me to be strong and to depend on myself. More than those great memories are the painful ones, the ones that have lingered and crushed my heart. Those are the ones that almost took away the goodness in me.  I started to doubt people and started to accept that life is not a fairy tale with a happy ending.

But beyond those pains are opportunities to start anew. We just need to transcend all those pains and realize that the cliché “There is a rainbow after the rain” is always true. We need to trust God, and know that our bodies were designed to heal themselves.

Honestly, I still tend to dwell in the past sometimes and think of what could have been. However, I know that everything will remain a memory. It may not be one good memory, but it is certainly one good learning experience. It is something I am proud of, because not everyone will get to experience that pain. But for those who will, I know you can rise stronger after stumbling.

I now have something to look forward to—something big and something new. There are more things to learn and other things to unlearn as well—those things that will help me adapt to the changes and thrive in a new environment. I have prepared myself this much, but I am still unsure if it is enough to face all the battles ahead. Nonetheless, I believe everything will be possible with great faith, and nothing will be too hard to surpass.

I may be far away from home but I will always be bringing the smile in me, and all the good things I learned at home. I will make new friends, see a different place, taste different food, and have a whole lot of stories to write and scenes to capture on my phone. I promise to keep in touch with my old friends while I make new ones. Distance is not something that scares me; wasted time is. I chose to leave because I’d like to maximize my time and spend it wisely while I can. And to the ones I will leave behind, don’t worry because I have plans for the future. We just have to trust each other, and communicate constantly.

I am about to make more life experiences as I move forward and take this new journey. It may not be a smooth one, but I assure myself that it will be another great experience—a story worth telling after a number of years.

Ethel Jane C. Patriarca, 26, is a nurse, and about to start studying health services management in the National Institute of Education, Auckland, New Zealand.

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