Now that the dust has settled…

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So it’s official. I moved out. 

What may be a typical rite of passage for others is a monumental step for most young adults in Asia. Blame it on filial piety — our deep family ties keep us in the nest until marriage, eventually, forces us out of it.

OH. But, wait. Let me clarify that for you: I am not getting married. 

I moved out because I am a 28-year-old woman who felt like it was the right time to be a certain kind of brave.

Let me say, first off, that adult autonomy is definitely not the highest measure of courage. But for a kid who has always had the convenience of a family that was more than willing to do the hard stuff for her, this step — packing up and hauling out — felt… revolutionary.

Was I really going to throw myself into the world of monthly association dues, atrociously priced bills and the “sorry, guys, I can’t join you because the rent is due”card?

Why, yes. Yes I was indeed.

And the question that everyone seems to be asking now is: why?

***

I feel like I have spent the richest part of my 20’s writing about love. It flowed out of my fingers like water because I used to think I knew everything about surrendering one’s own heart.

Turns out that what I know, what I truly know, are mere ideas and concepts. I am not too familiar with sacrifice, not too sure of what it means to break your back for another. Maybe I used to, once upon a time. But the language of love seems foreign now, rusty from the lack of practice. I love people. Of course I love people.

But I am neither a mother, a lover or a wife. It takes a different kind of love, the kind that empties itself out without regard, to fill those roles. As it is, 98% of my time and effort is dedicated solely to making sure that I, and I alone, am okay.

And you know what? I like it.

***

I am a church girl.

I grew up in Sunday School and was taught the virtue of carrying one’s own cross. To lift it on my shoulders and take it up to Calvary. To sweat blood as I walk, fully alive, towards death.

But what have I suffered for? What have I loved as much as Jesus had?

In truth: nothing.

Real talk: I am almost always Peter.

***

I’m writing this with very little sleep, in between cleaning my apartment after dealing with a freakish cockroach infestation. I want to nap. I want to shower. I want to lay in bed and forget everything. I want to go back to being the me I was a month ago, comfortable and carefree, undisturbed by the jarring weight of responsibility.

But this is what I have chosen for myself. This life, which has become a little less about my comfort, has shocked me out of the fantasy. I’m confronted by the jagged edges of a life that feels …real.

On some days, when I start to second guess everything, I have to remember that this is the year I made the hard choice. This is the year I moved a step towards understanding what it really means to give up parts of myself. This is the year I learned to live with less. This is the year I decided to step into the trenches of being human. This is the year I asked for help.

There is peace in remembering that I was not thrown into this. I asked for it. I’m learning from it.

***

To walk fully alive, towards death: that, if you’re wondering, is why I did it.

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One response to “Now that the dust has settled…

  1. Pingback: But there are trees |·

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