Once upon time, there was a young lady who thought that she already knew everything there was to know about the world. She began living on her own at the age of 18 and thought that she was the most mature adult there was just because she had to start paying her own bills, preparing her own meals and driving her very own car around the metro. To add to that, her weekly schedules were pretty hectic because she was studying and working at the same time. She’d tape her shows from 6am until 7am the next day and then go straight to her 8:30am class. Because of this newfound sense of responsibility, this young lady thought that there wasn’t any more growing up to do — She was already all grown up. (Cue music: Independent Women Part 1 by Destiny’s Child.)
Ahh, the adult life! She never felt so independent and free! She went through college eating nothing but fast food and all kinds of junk because it was more convenient than cooking her own meals. She always had to have her yaya around to clean up after her. She would even make her driver run errands for her, especially when it was time to pay bills. THIS was what she thought becoming an adult was all about. Just because she was living on her own, she thought that she was no longer immature nor irresponsible.
This set up continued even after she graduated from college. When she was finally able to finish her studies, she felt even more mature. She thought that since she had already done all that she was supposed to, she could finally make time for all the other things she wanted to do without anyone telling her otherwise. That, for her, was the best part about being an adult: No one could dictate to her what she was supposed to do anymore. She was finally her own woman.
What this young lady didn’t realize was that as she was “growing up,” she was becoming the most naive and uncertain she had ever been. She relied on other people when it came to decision-making. She would always just follow the crowd and do whatever it was everyone else was doing. She was so easily swayed by her so-called “friends.” All these wrong life choices worsened her attitude over the years without her even knowing it. She rolled her eyes at people, called pretty girls “ugly” because she was insecure, refused to take pictures with her fans just because she didn’t want to be disturbed and couldn’t talk about anything else other than gossip. And because she was used to studying and working at the same time for so many years, when college was finally over, she had so much free time that she started going out night after night after night. Alas, she got drunk and wasted so many times that she couldn’t remember much anymore. She had officially entered the darkest and most relentless chapter of her life.
During those troubled times, she was a million lightyears away from the person that her friends and family once knew. She would only appear at family gatherings for the heck of it, barely spoke to her friends and became the unhealthiest she had ever been at 105 lbs. The worst part? She had no clue that she was doing anything wrong. She answered back to her mom and sisters who she thought were just nitpicking. She thought they were ganging up on her and making her look like the bad guy when really, she was just “living life.” She kept telling herself that she was happy. And she started to believe her own lies.
One day, things took a sharp turn when she partied too much out of town that she missed her flight going back home where she had to work. Her family couldn’t reach her and they were all so scared because they knew that with her chosen lifestyle, her life was in serious danger. She wasn’t taking care of her health AT ALL. She kept drinking, smoked cigarettes every 5 minutes, barely ate anything and slept only for a few hours. All she cared about was the way she looked. As long as she was thin enough to fit into all those sleazy-looking dresses she wore to parties, she was fine.
After that crazy night, when her mom was finally able to book her another flight home, she thought of her dad who was already in heaven. She thought, was he proud of her and all that she was doing? Was he going to look down from the heavens and smile at her? Would he be able to look at her and proudly call her his daughter? She knew the answers to all these questions and yet she found it hard to accept. But when she saw her mom’s disappointment and sadness when she came home to Manila that night, she finally had the courage to admit defeat.
Slowly but surely, she turned her life around. She stopped going to clubs, she lessened her alcohol consumption, she started exercising and eating healthier. In other words, she started loving herself. She began seeing what her dad, mom, siblings and friends always saw in her: A person worth loving. Today, she is the happiest and healthiest she has ever been. She finally knows who her true friends are, she loves spending time by herself and she hasn’t smoked a cigarette in a year. She smiles at strangers, says thank you to everyone who helps her out and can’t stop talking about her dreams and plans for the future. It’s funny how things eventually work out, isn’t it? Just when she was already prepared to accept that she was going to be that party girl for the rest of her life, she was finally able to take control and change for the better.
What people just like her fail to understand is that they are the only ones in control of their lives. They shouldn’t let others decide for them nor should they allow themselves to be blinded by all the wrong things in life. It’s understandable though that difficult situations are really very hard to break away from. But it is NOT impossible. If they ever find themselves stuck in a rut and feel as though they’ve reached a point of no return, just pray and remember that it is NEVER too late to make a change. What they neglect to do is learn how to truly value and love themselves. Keep the faith that once they already do, everything will fall into place.
It’s true what they say: One won’t be able to appreciate light without darkness. And Just as this young lady came from the darkest and scariest place she had ever been, she can’t thank the heavens enough for for the bright and colorful place where she now confidently stands as a woman.
Who is she? SECRET.