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Being holed up in my home for almost two months isn’t really how I pictured my summer. However, I would like to believe that this summer changed me–my perspective, my attitude, my whole life. And I would like to believe that it made me a better person.
Rather than going on a vacation somewhere or enroll for summer class, I stayed home to help taking care of my grandfather. I wouldn’t go into details on how he is doing, or what happened to him but just the cruel fact that he’s sick (but not really… it’s kinda complicated) and needs to be watched 24/7. As the house owl, I volunteered for the midnight shift because really, I’m the only one who can handle it.

You might think how incredibly tiresome it is to stay up until 4 or 5 a.m.–well, yes, it is but I’m used to it–but you’ll be shocked at the stuff I thought of and realized at this hours. I guess it has to do with the silence, and that I’m the only one awake.

During the first few days, I’ve spent my time to do some artsy journal stuff but it gets boring eventually. So, I started writing the hours away and let me tell you this, I’ve written quite a lot (but those are highly confidential, so I’m not going to disclose any of those online). But eventually, I ran out of ideas to write. That’s when I started searching for random prompts–both for journal writing and creative writing.

Along the way, I’ve encountered these prompts, usually from journal writing, that are so deep, I’d actually pause and just think. It made me reflect upon my life, especially with the current events in mine. It was then I realized certain things–that I may actually have known for quite some time already but due to my teenage shallowness, I failed to see its importance.

For instance, it made me value the importance of family. Like I said, I already know that they are important, that I’d do anything for them and they’d do the same for me. But with the problems we faced these past few weeks, I’ve seen the unity between different individuals. I’ve seen how they sacrificed their sleeps, their jobs, their commitment to other things just to make time for family. I saw cooperation, how they set aside their differences, knowing they are all working towards the same goal: to help Lolo get well. Our family’s bond runs deeper than blood, I know that now. We care not because we’re supposed to or that because we’re a family, but because amidst all our issues, we actually love each other and nothing can change that.

Besides that, I also had some changed insights regarding friendship. Away from school, Facebook, and the public in general, I’ve not communicated with most of my friends during the break. Then, it made me remember all the long weekends and semestral breaks and the like, I realized that I was almost always the one reaching out. That’s one of the reasons why I refused to re-install the Messenger app–I wanted to see if they’d come to me first. With disappointment, only very few of them did. It made me reevaluate my relationship with my friends and I came to a conclusion–that just because you see them as really close friends, it doesn’t always mean that they see you the same way but that’s okay; you just have to know your place so the next time around, you won’t have to expect more from them.

Another thing I learned, which is still connected with friendship, not everyone who says “I’m here when you need me” really means it. Yes, I am that naive to actually think they’d listen to my drama because I listened to theirs. Yeah, no. When I finally poured my heart out to someone whom I thought cared, they’d shift the conversation to them. First, I thought, maybe my drama’s too heavy that they can’t actually do anything but then all I want is someone to listen. Well maybe, that’s just too much to ask. That’s when I observed my so-called friends, trying to find out which of them actually wants to listen to my crap–or if there is any. I found a minimum of three. I hope you know who you are, if you ever come upon this, thank you. Their kind is rare, I’m blessed to have at least three of them by my side. I guess, being friendly doesn’t necessarily mean that you have millions behind your back.

Now, let me shift into a more personal aspect. I am a shallow teen, I get mad and worry about petty matters. Most of the time, I’m a huge brat. I’m not even rich, not that it’s an excuse to be demanding but at least they can afford the things they want. With all the scares I had to go through these past few weeks, I was slapped with a reality check: there are much more important matters to stress about than the fact that I didn’t get to eat something I craved for the exact time I wanted it. It’s extremely embarrassing for me to read all the things I post online (especially those from the previous years). I had these rants about me not getting what I want immediately, followed up by me cursing my whole life and how “depressing” it is not to be able to buy those shoes or watching that movie in the cinemas the moment it went out or whatever material thing I wished for. Petty. Pathetic. I try to minimize my rants nowadays, trust me, I’m trying. Yes, life is unfair but not because you can’t get what you want as easily as other people can. But rather it’s because of how short it is, how easily it can be taken from us, and the fact that it hurts so much to even think about death. There are much more important matters to stress on, and I’d rather focus on them than worrying about what’s in and what’s not.

This last thing I’m about to share is actually something I’m aware of since I was in grade school but I just feel the need of discussing it because they’ve been a huge part of my summer. Books make life much more interesting. I’m not gonna pretend that I actually enjoyed every single day of my summer because I didn’t. I might have had the chance to fully reflect on my life, but that’s not necessarily fun. Luckily, I have Wattpad (and some other e-books). Books are wonderful, as much as their authors. I’ve read pieces outside my usual genre–teen fic slash romance slash chick lit–which provided me new learning as well, but that story is for another day.

With these things in mind, I realized one big thing: that the best summer ever doesn’t mean that it happened somewhere extravagant or relaxing, it just have to be a heart-wrenching, life-changing one. And after experiencing those very few ups and continuous downs, I’m happy that I experienced it all and learned great things from it. Here’s to the end of summer!


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