This Is How You Remind Me What Truly Matters

Dear God,

You really have a strange way of making me understand my life, my journey. You don’t want me to think that the choices I’ve made are purposeless. You want me to see everything clearly, find reasons, know the answers to my whys.

I’ve stumbled upon this website called: instant street viewer. I’ve known it before, used it before. Whenever I’m missing a certain place, I’ll just visit the site and type the address of where I want to be.

I chose the place I lived for 8 months. I didn’t exactly know why. I just felt like I wanted to revisit it, and made myself feel like I was there again. I picked the part where I’d go down from a bus stop and walk home. It was so funny that I still knew every single direction to my apartment. It’s as if I could navigate my way even when my eyes closed.

The feeling was all TOO familiar, as I passed through the street using the cursor, instead of my feet. Immediately, a sense of longing and nostalgic poured inside of me. Everything felt so near, yet far so away. I remember all the details that I saw. I can’t believe that part of my life ended abruptly.

I used to walk on those streets every day of my life, and… it was disheartening how I took those moments for granted, not knowing that one day they’d soon end. I wonder how many times I walked on the same cul-de-sac, how many times I smelled that distinct odor, how many times my heart fluttered as the wind brushed my hair.

I remember how lucky I was to be living somewhere different.

But then, when I was on my halfway through my old apartment, I realize how the park in front of me reminded me so much of how young I was at that time.

I remember how stupid, and ignorant, and emotional, and weak I was. I remember all the reasons why I should not look back. I rolled my eyes and contemplated whether I should close the screen. But then a part of me wanted to finish what I already started. So I pushed through.

10 minutes to the building. I saw the grocery store where I bought my snacks on late afternoons. I saw the car shop — I used to think how amazing it would be to work there, because my place was close to it. I saw the spot where I dropped my phone. Everything was still fresh in my mind. It was only less than a year of me living there, yet I couldn’t forget all those memories that I experienced.

I tilted the screen to look up at the sky. This was the part when I said I wanted to go home. This was the part when I was so crushed on the inside and nobody knew or understood why. Nobody wanted to know or care. This was the part that I asked You why.

5 minutes to the building. Those establishment I saw on both sides of the street were old (this website wasn’t updated). I saw men in their traditional dresses. They used to frighten me in the beginning. But they made me realize that the world is actually a safe place.

I was below the building that I lived. I couldn’t go inside. Guess they left that part for privacy reasons. I looked around. Turned around and round. Checked the sky. The street. I was here. I used to live here. I’ve made lots of choices. LOTS.

I admit I missed everything. Ugh. Too much emotion. It was getting hard to explain.

I moved on to the main street where I rode a bus to get to work. Again, I knew the direction by heart. I saw the big grocery mall I went into — even at 11 pm. That was such a fun experience — midnight grocery shopping. Think I should write about that one day. That was such a movie moment experience.

A long stretch of road. I saw the bench I sat on a late summer afternoon. My body was sweating and I was unable to cry because I was SO dehydrated. (Middle East problem)

I saw the city mall. Again, I missed it.

I’ve had enough. It was too much time, too much memories, too much looking back.

Towards the end of it, I felt okay. I have learned that my emotions are confusing me a lot of times, especially during this age. I wanted one thing and then hated it. I left one place and wanted to go back again. I admit that sometimes, I don’t know what I want. I don’t know where I want to be.

I’m hot and cold. I’m young and impulsive.

But I guess that’s what You want me to learn.  You want me to learn how to control my emotions. And maybe one day I will. I’ll just have to give myself time.

Some days I missed the cities that I left. But as I closed the window on my computer, I knew in my heart that I was happy with the final decisions I made. I’m happy with where I am. I’m happy to be with the people that I love, and who love me.

I get confused once in a while, but I think that, what You’re wanting me to learn is — knowing exactly what’s really important to me.

And ultimately, this is what is important to me.

Amen.

The guy who recognized love and jumped, then went home crying with a broken heart.

I woke up at 6 am today on my day off when I’m supposed to be sleeping up until I get a little close to recovering the hours of sleep I didn’t get during weekdays. I took a shower because I was dead tired last night and couldn’t move a muscle to get off the bed just to at least wash my feet. I scrolled for few minutes at Facebook just to get inspiration then visited thought catalog to read something I could relate into. Spoiler alert: one post was what I felt like written specially for me. Then when I thought I’m ready to write again, here I am, ready to bleed while punching the alphabets. 

With foggy brain, somewhat blurred slurs, and incoherent thought on an early weekend, here is what exactly I want to say:

I knew the caution the minute it all began; the risk that I was willing to take again after so many months of living under spell of saving myself. I got into troubles and I was always the one picking myself up that eventually once in a while I low-key asked a Higher power for an extra bonus to keep me going. Then someone came, I thought my prayers were granted. Okay maybe in a way, but not at all.

He wanted the both of us to be honest with each other, and that’s what I appreciated more about him. At least we didn’t have to go through the fuss of trying to figure out where the road is heading and if it is even the right road to begin with. Without sugar coating and long explanation before the verdict, he told me we can only be just friends. I wished I could give him standing ovation for the courage and candor he laid on the table early in the game. 

He is a religious guy who has a tight relationship with Allah and who I know is gonna go far in life because he has a big heart of gold for having a genuine intention to help those who are unfortunate. He is a nice guy who tries his best to understand something different he didn’t normally encounter while growing up or doesn’t deal with on a daily basis. He makes so much sense once he starts speaking about anything that matters and a humor that makes me smile from ear to ear. 

But I was never 100 % honest with him. When he asked me whether I’m expecting something more from him, I lied and told him no in a heartbeat. I even countered, “He’s not my type” to which he responded with, “He will never be.” The effect was numb in the first few hours that would let on until the pain would pour slowly in series afterwards. 

I don’t know if he noticed but I was staring at him in the bus while going home because all along in my mind I was thinking, “Just in case this is the last time I’d see him, I want to look at him closely, freeze this moment, and remember him this way forever.” I was trying so hard not to well up and release any drop of tears because that would cause a slight scene. I know he doesn’t believe in movie moments but for me it’s the part of a film that’s gray and sad. 

Those long walks on the beach in the early night while we talk about life in general, our ambitions, future, religion, and all the deep thoughts that have been stashed in corners of our brains. Those late afternoon sitting on a bench in front of these amazing big buildings laughing occasionally on the jokes that come out of our mouths. Those train rides we’re goofing at each other or the silence when we’re separated by seat. Those last moments in the bus before we finally say goodbye. Those text messages that are going to stay permanently in my inbox. Those are the moments that whatever happens, I know I will always remember forever. Those are the times that when I look back in the future, I will have nothing but smile. 

The tears that I was holding back before I left the bus came out easily as I started walking. I am the guy who recognized love and jumped then went home crying with a broken heart. Surely, it wasn’t love that I recognized but I risked to jump then have my heart broken in the end. It wasn’t him. There was nothing he did wrong. It was me, once again, who took the wrong leap and had so much faith in myself. I blamed me for being so tired of saving myself all the time when I just wanted someone else to do the job. I blamed me for being so lonely sometimes when I just wanted someone to talk to who would understand what’s in my head. I blamed me for being so defeated on my lowest point in my life when I just wanted someone to lift me up. I blamed me for being so determined to dig my own grave when I just wanted someone to stop me and help me get out of the trouble. 

A week ago when I told a friend that I’m scared I’d never find someone like him, she went nuts. Immediately she rushed into this standard format advice about how I’m so young and I will find someone else who might actually be better than him so why am I restricting myself under that mentality? Only now on 8:03 am while the sun is rising that I realize she’s absolutely true. I think we’d always have that experience in our lives when we meet someone who was never ours. It’s easy to stay at the end of our ropes and settle under the thought that we’re screwed and can’t figure out what to do next, but we have to dust ourself off and just what like Michelle Obama said, “Pick yourself up and keep moving through the pain.” 

I’m only 22 and there’s a long way to go. It’s gonna take quite sometime to heal but I know I need to have my hopes back that I’m near to finding the right guy.