Of travels and choices

4:16:00 AM

Less than a month from now, I will be boarding a plane for the mere seventh time in my life for a one-hour flight to a place called Dumaguete, a Philippine province in the Visayas region. Two of my friends live there - Hannah (my college blockmate and thesis group mate) and Jerry (briefly played the saxophone for a band that I managed back in college).

The first time I hopped on a plane bound for Saudi Arabia, I was four years old so I was, naturally, with my mother. The second time was for my work; I was sent to Thailand with the Sales Director to represent the company in a trade show. The third time was with my former boyfriend, as we went off to celebrate my birthday in Boracay.

Although I have friends there, one of whom will actually be my host, I’m going to Dumaguete alone. I will take a cab to the airport and I will board that plane all by myself, and this is the first time I’m going to do that. I’m staying with a friend, but I don’t intend to bother her all four days of my stay, so I already promised myself an “alone day.”

Look. Then write.
(photo from the internet)
On my alone day, I totally intend to run/jog by the water as I wait for the sun to rise, sample the street food, try to meet new people, visit heritage sites, and of course, WRITE. Hannah said the place is called a “writer’s haven,” but she didn’t give me any more details since I’m going to see everything when I get there anyway.

Anyhow, I want this trip to be an opportunity for me to re-think about the choices I’ve made and the ones I will make. I don’t know how I do it, but I somehow manage to get myself into proverbial “forks in the road” more often than I would have liked. Nevertheless, I made decisions that brought me where I am now.

And I need to make another decision soon, which is why Dumaguete has become more than a vacation - it’s now a necessity. This choice is something that I need to make while I’m away from everything. I cannot make it here or now.

This is not a decision I want to make. My heart is saying something completely different from what my head is saying. And although I am very much inclined to use my head this time, to do the smart thing and just walk away, my heart is asking what if. A big part of me is wondering how my life would be different if I braved up and took the leap.

If I side with my brain on this one, I know exactly where I’m going. It will be safe and secure, and I might even become successful. I know that I’ll be just fine if I take that road. I am also certain that it will eventually lead me to more choices, more chances.

But if I follow my heart, I have no idea where I might end up. The last time I was faced with this kind of a choice, I went with my heart and my life changed forever. I don’t regret it, and I know I never will.

However, I’m worried that this time I might end up regretting the choice, because another person needs to make a decision, too. We’re both at that fork, and I am waiting for the other to choose whether to walk with me or to take the other path.

I find it ironic that I’m having a hard time choosing, considering that I am one of the most practical people I know. But I guess I am still, on a deeper level, a dreamer. I am still a child in more ways than one; I still believe in fairy tales, dragons and princes, and love conquering everything, despite being burned countless times.

Perhaps it’s about time I learned the lesson - to never let the heart overtake my head, or to grow up.

Or maybe, just maybe, the only lesson here is to be brave enough to go blind. It just might pay off. Or I might hit rock bottom, if only to start all over again. Neither sounds bad.


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