Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How I Got By

Most of us go through significant experiences in our lives. Some are hilarious and even comical, leaving us breathless with laughter. Some are bold, daring, and risky, while others are awfully dreadful. And while others are trivial, some experiences, however, are just so difficult that we are left panting and heaving in their intensity. In time, through our experiences, we find ourselves changed, if not tainted.

The two months of summer had been surprisingly easy for me. Though I was mostly miserable because of Lilia’s departure, so much was happening at any given time that I forgot to dwell on my loss. I became busy adjusting to apartment living. Though living alone could be depressing at times, it is only proper to say that it has also brought me immense joy and peace.

In June, a certain gloom crept in. I could not explain it, but it felt like a huge weight was slowly pressing me down to the ground. In spite of my efforts to liven things up, everything went askew for me.

Though I will always remember June as the month when I became a published writer, I certainly cannot forget the difficult financial woes I went through during this time. It was a difficult struggle coming up with the copious amounts I needed. And so after covering all the unexpected expenses in June, I could barely make ends meet in July. It breaks my heart to look back at the difficulties I had to deal with. I remember being stranded by a downpour one Sunday afternoon. While waiting it out, I browsed a shop’s collection of cheap second hand books and saw Nicholas Sparks’ Message in A Bottle selling for 179 Philippine pesos. Sadly, I had to turn away.

By mid-July, my desperation hit an alarming level, but I kept my composure. I kept my composure so that nobody knew or noticed how troubled I am. And though I was panicking like hell, I tried my best to remain calm. I tried my best to practice grace under all the pressure. Oh, there were tears in between, but those painful tears were all shed in privacy. There were many sleepless nights, but only my bedroom saw my restlessness. In my moments of despair and pain, silence became my refuge and ally. In my sadness and fear, prayers shielded me and fortified my faith.

July was hard, it is true. And grueling. Yet it liberated me. It was definitely a humbling of a different kind. It taught me perseverance, tolerance, and best of all, acceptance. It blessed me with patience and peace, and built my faith. It brought me back honor and dignity. But most of all, it gained me respect.

And that was how I got by in all the ugliness of July.

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