There was this moment the other night, at a family get-together, that got stuck in my head. My mom and her sisters, Nanay Maura and Tita Aida, talked with hushed voices as they watched over Isaac sleeping on the sofa with them. A bunch of cousins were in the dining area feasting over ice cream and bibingka. One of my nieces, Daphne, sat at the foot of the couch where I sat, drawing on her sketchbook, oblivious of me watching her from her back. Tito Ben was by the piano, softly playing Somewhere in Time. Kids ran around all over the place. It almost felt like Christmas.
And there I was by the couch, breathing it all in, enveloped by the comfort of the familiar, the peace that comes with being around family, love that needs no words.
Coming home to an empty apartment, on the same night, was the perfect contrast. I dropped my bag by the couch where a bunch of my other bags started to pile up. I stopped by the kitchen sink to wash dishes that accumulated over the past, okay, 3 days. I took out the garbage, checked if the doors were locked, turned off the lights. Finally, I dressed down to get ready for bed, and carried my laptop with me as I went. I knew then that it was going to be one of those nights I would lie awake in the dark wondering, “why am I living by myself again?”
I think this is my elaborate way of saying, I don’t want to be alone anymore.
Yep, that’s it. I could’ve just twitted that, huh, seeing that it’s under 140 characters anyway. But I somehow feel the need to explain that line to myself, hence this blog. (Sometimes, things become clearer when you think out loud.)
I feel like I’m starting to outgrow this independence already. Of course I’ll never trade the past 5 years that I lived on my own for anything. God has blessed me so much during this time — I enjoyed my independence to the fullest, found fulfillment in my career, traveled to places I never thought I’d see in this lifetime, learned to be accountable to myself.
But I think it’s time to come back home and spend time with my family now. I miss living with siblings I fight with, and my mom’s cooking, and the chaos that is our neighborhood in Caloocan. And I’m missing out on Isaac’s growing up, too! Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself by saying this, after all, I’m still not sure how I’m going to do it, I don’t even have a room there anymore, but oh well, I’ll deal with the logistics later on.
The countdown to my homecoming begins. (Got that, Mom? I’m coming home.)