My life looks kind of grand from the outside. I have a stable job which allows me to earn reasonably and travel to places in the Philippines. My sister and I are finished sending our youngest sister through college and furnishing our small home with all we need. I am currently enrolled in an MBA program which happens at the convenience of our office on weekends. I have family and friends whom I engage with regularly, in flesh and maybe virtually at times.
One can infer these things on my Facebook feed I guess. There’s a photo of me and my classmates during our Brigada Eskwela, another photo on my official travel in Bohol and another photo which shows a lazy holiday with my light group playing Cashflow.
What I hate about social media is that we only get to share and see what’s beautiful and happy (though I’m more open and intimate with my friends on Instagram). We don’t get to share or read about failures or the shit people are in. We get to scroll through the highlights of our friends’ lives – the going to places, the eating in fancy restaurants and the life of bliss with their girlfriends or boyfriends or spouses. But we never see or rarely see the dark reels – the mess, the hopelessness and helplessness.
I for one did not share on Facebook for everyone to read that I had surgery. It was painful both physically and emotionally as I was not okay with admitting I became negligent in taking good care of my body. I did not share about how I laughed at someone’s distress on her missing newspaper that made her mad and hurl spiteful words at me. We’re enemies now, by the way and I never knew how to really love enemies until that happened.
If you think my life is perfect, think again. I get so-so days, you know, days when you feel like you’re just going with the flow or going in circles. Those are also the days when you feel you’re in a highly boring chapter of your life novel – the days when nothing exciting happens, no fast heartbeats, no tears of joy, no saving-the-galaxy action scenes.
Currently, I’m struggling with my singing. Lol. You see, I joined our corporation’s chorale to add up to their voices in preparation for a competition. The good news is, my voice is good, beautiful if I may brag. The conductor said so, my choir mates also did. The problem is I don’t know how to use it and how to place it.
If you think my life is perfect, think again. You don’t know how it’s like to be threatened to be put inside the piano or the AC unit each time you make mistakes in hitting notes. (hahaha!) Seriously, I don’t want to quit from this but I also can’t seem to make it right. Do you realize the pressure and the worry?
I am 10 sessions behind my Bible study, meaning, a good measure of readings await me. I still don’t know how to pay my aunt for my incurred hospital bills for my surgery (damn insurance won’t cover it all). My father spends my hard-earned money on cigarettes and useless checkups (since he won’t quit smoking). My titahood is coming into full swing that I have to ask friends what TTYL means. There are days when I want to cuddle or spend a movie with someone special but he hasn’t come around yet. There are days when I just want to pack everything up and transfer residence to Australia or New Zealand while my heart breaks for my own country. There are moments when a girl in the nearby office refuse to answer her telephone that I want to yell ‘pick up that damn phone, will yah?!’
If you think my life is perfect, think again. I lose my mind at times, I cry, I feel like a failure, I hate people in my mind, I judge, I get bored, I dream, I lack sleep, I have pimple breakouts, I get rejected, I get broke, I get mood swings, I get silent, I get loud, I get heartaches, I fall short, I feel lazy and mooooreeee.
We’ve all heard it too many times, ‘don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 10.’ It might be a cliché, along with other sayings that tell us not to compare and to realize every journey’s uniqueness. But it rings a lot of truth in it.
Our journeys, capabilities and hearts are as distinct as our fingerprints. We will have different struggles, thoughts, emotions on particular issues and conditions. I don’t think there is a rubric or measurement that can be used to put us all and all of our life details into a single perspective.
Screw all the metrics used upon us since we were little. I think that the only metric that matters is that of God’s – do we love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind? Do we love our neighbors as we love ourselves? (Luke 10:27)
We have to see the magnitude of God’s creation and realize that His designs are all majestic yet different. Does He love anyone more or less? No!
Trust your ‘Now’
Whatever we are going through, wherever you are right now, let us all have faith that God puts us there for a reason. It may be to prune or strengthen or grow us. Whatever His reason may be, I am certain that it is for our benefit.
Trust that this is where you are supposed to be. Trust that this is your mission field and that you have something significant to contribute here. Trust that everything is in order, even in the midst of pain or loss, even when you are hurting or lacking. That my friend is the beauty of God’s wisdom and schemes, He has the ability to write straight with crooked lines. Did a person just walk out on you? Are you mourning? Were you cheated or rejected or defeated? Do you feel alone? Are you suffering? It all may look like ugly and messy, but have faith that God can turn all these into manifestations of His glory and for your good.
Own Your Life
Our real life happens not on our Facebook or Instagram feeds because I believe our real life cannot be captured and immortalized in a photo and garner approval or disapproval of the world. Our real life happens in the quiet of our souls, in the calmness of our hearts in every decision and in the peace we get in knowing our worth in Christ alone.
I hope you live and own your life, not the life that others expect you to have or the society or social media dictates you to lead. It may not be perfect, but it will be authentically yours.
You are beautiful, you are unique, and you have the right to be here. I am glad you are here. 💛