I have been moving around lately. Last year, I was only home for three months, and the rest of the year, I was away—I was in three different cities, all for work assignments, even until now. I get to visit home once a month, over a weekend, or I’d have an extended stay of four days and three nights. And that’s it, I’d hit the road again and stay elsewhere for months. Yesterday was the first time I left home for another work assignment wondering if I would ever settle down, and if so, when and where.
The thought hit me hard, like a brick right to my head. It was surreal; it was intense. I have never thought of settling down before, especially that I enjoy moving around—I get to visit places for the first time, experience new things for the first time, meet new people, reconnect with old friends. At the same time, I am closer to my thirties than to my twenties, and this makes me worried about what I’d be in the next three years. Will I be the same lost boy who is not ready to be found, or will someone have already found me?
I did not volunteer to be sent elsewhere to be always mobile. I asked to be sent elsewhere because I needed to be away from Cebu City, I needed to be away from my usual daily life and break free from the violent jolt of the capital. I needed to get lost to find myself. And I think I did.
Travelling (mostly) alone opened up a whole lot of new perspective. Whenever I get home and reconnect with friends and loved ones, I see them in a new light. I discover more things about them: their long-time hobby I never knew, their frustrations, their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations, their passion, their beauty, their soul. I realized how small my perspective has been, not seeing things that are directly under my nose.
The life I live, the work I do, I pretty much just figured that’s all there was to me: volunteer to be sent anywhere until I get tired of moving around and decide to go back home. I guess I just thought sooner or later I’d go back home the same way I left: decide on impulse over the weekend, talk to our general manager, pack my things, and that would be it. Now, recent events made me think I might be closer to that than I really thought. And I don’t know—there are things, there are people, there are feelings that I want to experience differently than I did before, or maybe even the first time.
(n.) the awareness of the smallness of your perspective, by which you couldn’t possibly draw any meaningful conclusions at all—about the world or the past or the complexities of culture—because although your life is an epic and unrepeatable anecdote, it still only has a sample size of one and may end up being the control for a much wilder experiment happening in the next room