N.B. So it's half term, and the "work" has more or less stopped. No college this week, just lots of time with friends, and a few hours supervising young people to paint the youth room. Ryan's been down, and left just a few hours ago, so primarily I am writing this in order to try and take my mind off how much I miss him.
These last few days I've been staying at the Andrews house because Ryan has been staying at mine. It's been great, and I've had lots of fun spending time as part of a family, something I've really missed since being back in England. Family is a large part of Filipino life, because even if biologically you are not related to anybody in a particular household, you are made to feel part of the family, and as though you belong there, as soon as you arrive. I have experienced much of the same feeling when with any of the few church families that I spend time with outside of work, but things around here have been pretty busy, and I've barely had much time (or energy) to do that since starting college in September. More recently I have spent more and more time on my own, working, preparing, studying, travelling, walking, sleeping, eating; especially since moving into my own place. But as much as I am getting used to my own company and doing things by myself, life can get pretty lonely sometimes.
Spending time with the Andrews has brought back many memories of my childhood, many twangs of the past springing up in my mind as I experienced family life once more. The only difference is that my memories of childhood are tainted by the stark reality that it didn’t last. The family life I remember while I was growing up will never become reality again. When I go home now, everything is different, and it will never be again the way it was when I was little. But as much as that hurts, as much as it kills me inside to know that my memories are just dark little shadows in a vast array of experiences that I will have in life, I have to let that go. Because holding on to sadness like that is too hard.
I have had an amazing week spending time with Ryan, the Andrews, Emma and other friends. I have laughed more in this last week that probably the last two months put together. And I have enjoyed being around people. Having Ryan down this week has made me think about how much I miss being close to people. I don't mean to push people away, but sometimes I just can't help it. But now I know that the closeness is what keeps me going. And so I guess, even if things return to normal, and I spend the next few weeks spending far too much time sitting around missing that, I will wait until I experience it again, because I want to live to see the future. I don't want to give up, even when the journey gets hard, like I know it will.
I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you. Thank you for allowing me to belong. Thank you for accepting me. Thank you for being so loving. You're amazing. x