I try not to write too personal posts here, but I wrote this one several nights ago when I was stuck doing SEO writing and could not move on. It was good writing exercise. What’s yours?

I learned early in life not to be attached to people, places, and things. My family moved around a lot from city to city when I was a kid. I learned to say goodbye and not expect to be back. I learned to resign myself to giving up the house I had gotten used to, the comfort of having a big, loud extended family sharing the household, and friends with whom my budding friendships were interrupted.

But over the course of my teenage years, I started to crave for these roots, which to me were unclear. Always when asked where I came from, I wouldn’t know what to say. Should I say Baguio, where I was born? Bacolod, where my parents are from? Or Butuan, where I spent my teenage years?

It’s probably the reason I don’t allow friendships to get to the point of serious. I was always afraid of people moving and “leaving” me and forgetting me. B, who was my friend up to two years ago, proved to me that friendships can last even across the seas, and it’s only unfortunate that a boyfriend had to come between us. M, whom I know I am dear to as she is to me, “disappeared” after moving to Dubai, and not even the powers of Google can help me find her. I’d like to think she thinks of me sometimes as I do think of her.

It’s also probably the reason I cannot see beyond six months from now. I know I want to go abroad. I know I want a better life. I know that plans may fall through. Even my household management is affected. Should I buy a real bed or just invest in a mattress? Should I put up curtains or leave the previous tenants’ blinds up? Should I buy a new refrigerator or stick with the current second-hand model?

It always gets me to thinking that something major might happen. I might move. I might have to give up this residence. I will have to sell my possessions and start from scratch again at thirty.

But there are things I get used to—intangible things like having a warm body beside me at night, which makes me sleep well. Coming home to a hot breakfast cooked by my own mother. A loved one who is online when I am and who answers e-mails. A boyfriend who will come back, because buying a bedding set and matching tableware is something serious, you know? A friend who tags along when I need coffee.

But who was it who said life was constant? We all have to live with these changes. Am coping, but it doesn’t mean I have stopped missing.


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About Karla

I am an e-mail marketer, editor, and writer. My passions are yoga, food, and Filipino arts and culture.

One response to “Attached”

  1. Pie says :

    Hi Karla,

    That was lovely. I can so relate to how you feel. Manila is one of six cities that I have lived in, and only recently has it begun to feel like home. I know what it’s like to not want to become dependent on anyone or anything. But I also know that one cannot truly value happiness without ever feeling heartbreak, or fully appreciate kindness without ever experiencing cruelty. There is always something to be learned from every experience. (Don’t roll your eyes!)

    You can go abroad with Jacob and have that better life if you want it badly enough and set your mind to it. Get in touch with Sam again and ask him if he can help you. Or go as an english teacher to get your foot in the door. Exhaust all avenues and create new ones if none exist. As for the possibility of starting from scratch at thirty, when George W. Bush won his second term, a journalist asked his father, George Bush, Sr., what his wish was. He replied, “I’d kill to be fifty again.”

    Financial limitations are not an excuse not to pursue your dreams. I don’t know a single person who has everything he wants, financial or otherwise. Necessity is the mother of invention. I too have many dreams. I’m working at it, and I know that it’s just a matter of time.

    Three years from now is December 2011. You have your dream job writing for The New York Times. There’s a snowstorm, and you’re looking out the window of your New York apartment thinking, It’s so cold; I miss the sunshine and warm weather in Manila. I’d kill for a steaming, hot plate of Mama’s home cooking. Life was simple and beautiful in Manila…”KC! Let’s go get coffee!”

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