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Dreaming bigger

It’s been more than a decade since I lost my idea of what I really want to do in life, or maybe I knew what I want but was never sure how to execute it.

My life was once a big bag of certainty. Everything was clear to me: my goals, dreams, wants, my future. I knew where and how to hit the target. I knew how to meet my expectations. Every bit of my life was laid before my eyes.

Then my dad died. And in an instant, my bag of certainty broke apart and was replaced with doubts. Options came crashing on me from everyone, in every situation, and it seemed I was drowning in an ocean of options. One morning I woke up remembering none of my plans and ideas. I found myself standing small in the center of a very big world, lost in skepticism.

I stood there for the next 10 years of my life.

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Young people like me who lost someone significant in the so-called age of transition normally get back to life after a year or two. But my story was different. I realized I wasn’t strong enough to carry myself. I mean, I lived in the shadows of the people around me. I was told what to do at every instance, in every situation. My life was made of directions and instructions, and I reveled in it. I thought I was the luckiest teenager alive because I never had to worry about anything. I got back up all the time.

Time flew without my realizing that it was actually the hardest part of being me. I tried to hide in those shadows for as long as I could, until I found myself weakened by the abrupt changes in my world. I was unprepared.

Every day was a struggle, a battle to win. And all I had was the belief that everything would fall into place in perfect timing. I didn’t stop searching for what I wanted and who I wanted to be. Eventually, waking up each morning meant a new search for meaning.

A few more mornings, a few more chances, a few more tries. I turned 27. And I found myself writing a different life story. I found direction. I realized that knowing what I want is not enough. There must be conviction, self-direction. There must be… me.

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I finally made up my mind. I let myself float freely. I gave myself time to think things over, reset my goals, redesign my life. Time flew. I continued reengineering my aspirations and dreams, my life in general. I never stopped again.

Some may think it’s too late for me to search longer in the wilderness. But I don’t mind. I don’t acknowledge age limits. For as long as I have dreams, I have every right to make them come true. Other people my age have gone far in their careers, personal lives and relationships, but I don’t feel left behind. No man with the great urge to succeed is left behind.

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I used to wake up in the morning with regret. But I no longer see the point in wasting each morning’s invitation. I now wake up to catch up with life, to dream bigger. It is never too late to become who I really want to be.

Heinrick G. Rabara, 27, edits law books and is in his first year at the Manila Law College.

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TAGS: dreams, Future

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