When it comes to celebrating the coming of another year, so many of us wish for a brand new start. In this manner, we tend to mimic the abilities of computers which have escape, undo and restart functions. However, unlike these machines, we have something to our advantage that make us utterly unique – we are capable of feeling. So, I wonder why a lot of people wish to have a ‘restart’ at the beginning of another year. Is that their ‘escape’? Or, is that their call for ‘undo’?
2016 was, by far, my toughest roller coaster ride. My grades were not failing. I just had this problem since last Spring but, I was too stubborn to face it. Came Fall, I reached my saturation point and had a meltdown. I have handled my courses (and the rest of my academics, really) by following a specific routine – schedules are set for uni stuff and specific nights are assigned to You-Only-Live-Once times. Not once have I ever thought that this routine could be tiring. Still, somewhere along the lines, something happened all to well – I lost the drive to study.
I did not have anything to look forward to in the uni – not the lectures and not even having to spend quality time with friends. I attended classes because I had to and, not because I wanted to. To top it all, guilt was overflowing through my system. How could I not feel guilty? There are others who aspire to be in my position. I felt like I was wasting opportunities hence, there was this nagging sensation that I was being derelict. Out of nowhere, uni just turned out to be a struggle. Something I learned the hard way – if you do things repeatedly without knowing why, it drains you and then, you feel exhausted. It is hard to be responsible without feeling motivated.
2016 was also the year when I longed to be with my family the most. One of the highlights of the previous year was the one month I spent back in the Philippines during summer break. That August, one year had passed since I last saw my family and friends. That vacation, it was a Cloud 9 month. In a way, that reunion made me realise one thing that I never really thought is possible – you can still miss people even if, in that exact moment, you are with them. I missed them not because we were physically separated and residing in two different countries; I miss them because they are missing from me. Really strange how your source of strength is also your Achilles’ heel.
It was humbling to know that I was not as homesick-proof as I thought I was. Albeit, it is more than just homesickness. If I am being more honest, now I understand why I needed them badly – I was terrified. 2016 fired canons at me from all different angles – priorities, self development and relationships with others, name it. I was at war with my own demons. Have you ever been to a battle in a room full of mirrors? All you see is you. How do you fight when the enemy is yourself? At that time I knew needed my family because, if all else fails, they will always be my constant – this I am certain.
These problems concerning motivation and homesickness have their own ways of resurrection – they are ubiquitous. With this in mind, I choose to face them now than meet them again (sooner or later). I am not plotting an escape route and neither an scapegoat. I am holding myself liable for all of these problems. So if I say that I want to rid myself of these bitches then, I mean I actually want to solve them. For instance, if monotony is one of the reasons why I feel less motivated to study then, I am gearing myself towards things that can compensate that.
I am not betting for undo, either. Simply put, I opt to not accommodate any room for regrets. Boy was 2016 a can of worms. Still when asked of the most important thing I learned, I could say this – you don’t have to deal with everything by yourself. When you feel vulnerable, there is no need to keep a strong facade; when you feel lost, take that weakness as a cue that you need a break. You do not have to keep it all within – fall, cry, burn and open up. In my case, I knew that I was able to get through because of genuine company who reminded me of something vital – I was not alone.
It has been two weeks since 2017 and, I can truthfully say that I am better. Here are what I have got on my sleeves: 1.) Lacking motivation? Retrace your footsteps and remember why you started; 2.) Feeling homesick? Express what you feel – if there is distance then, be more vocal; and, 3) conquer and own that damn thing (whatever it is). I wrote this as a declaration that the rest of 2016 will not be forgotten but, will remain as waters flowing under the bridge. What is there left to say? Keep it coming, 2017! I am ready for you.