Dear Future Ailene,
You know how the Discworld trolls say that we actually travel back into the past? Well, today, I leave behind bread crumbs for you to follow, out and away from that gingerbread house you almost got yourself trapped in.
I’m mixing my myths and metaphors, but you get it.
Right, let’s begin.
Here are the well-wishes and dreams of people for you. You are not supposed to carry them on your shoulders, just make a pillow of them for the moonless nights when you run out of hope for yourself. You may have run out of hope for yourself, but others carry that hope for you until you gain enough strength to take it up in your hands again.
I’m hiding the remnants of all those old (hurtful, painful) relationships here behind this… No, I’m not going to tell you where I hid them. By the time you walk this way, they’d have rotted off to ashes.
I plant this milestone here of a covenant. And this milestone of a promise right here. Another milestone over there. In each one I’ve written “Thus far has God led us.” Ebenezers. Cool to see our growth huh.
Follow the bottled-up memories of good days, the sunshine and rain in each one. In this bottle, the bridges of Singapore. In this bottle, you have that breakfast in Baguio with his photographs all around you both as you talked. In this one, it was that golden day of surfing in Crystal Beach. In this one, that bus ride from Manila to Daet. In that one I put the one where you heard Maya’s voice for the very first time (in the car, as she was in her mother’s arms, coming home from the hospital). In this one the first time you commuted alone in New York City. In this one, when you first slept over in Stef’s house. In this one: that morning when you woke up and realized that you were fine. In this one: learning how to salsa, as taught by a Cuban man. Oh and I just put all those gorgeous sunsets on Guadix in that one. There were just too much.
Don’t linger, but dammit, you better stop and fondle each bottle happily as you pass by.
Oh, you may want to gather them all up again. The children would like to hear the stories.
Take this path. Look back, but let that big Love blind your eyes when you do so. Plant your Ibenezers as you go along.
I leave all this behind for you. Clear up wide open spaces in front of you.
Keep walking, love. Those legs were made to roam far and wide.
And yes, you’ll want to leave that (whatever that is) behind as well. Travel light.
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