01399: From 30,000 Feet...

So I’m drafting this entry shortly after our flight home to Manila has reached the comfortable cruising altitude of 30,000 feet – you travelers out there should be familiar with the drill already. I figured that in order to save time, I might as well compose this entry now instead of trying to rush it before midnight once I’m home.

Someone ordered food in the rows behind me. Despite the promise of a hot meal seeming like a good idea, (1) it’s overly expensive and (2) it seems to smell like Yoshi’s dog food. Seriously. Plus there's a REALLY talkative kid directly behind us. Oh joy.

As I reflect upon this trip, I can’t help but remain impressed how well things went. Sure, every day was ridiculously full of activities and we barely had any free time to just explore the city or generally just catch our breath. But at the same time it was certainly eventful and I do hope that my brother had a good time. In many ways, he was practically the main point of the trip since it was his first time out of the country.

And now I’m going back home to my other family – the ASA Family that has become the only way that I can refer to my unique relationship in a manner that feels comfortable. Maybe I’m just sugar-coating things and I should instead be practical and call it what it is. Or maybe there is no definite term for it since in itself it doesn’t feel quite permanent just yet. And that thought may be cause for concern.

In the past I’ve always compared relationships to roads where you travel as far as you can and you don’t think about the end. You don’t even get to see that far when you’re with the right person (or in my case persons). You just enjoy the experience, travel as far as you can and hope for the best. In this regard I suppose I have been an optimist when it comes to relationships. When it feels right, then I trust and believe in it with all my heart. I live each day in the belief that the end will remain well beyond the horizon and thus there’s no point in mapping my life around that possibility.

I’m not sure what kind of a path I’m on these days. The road has been a lot more, um, turbulent than before. And I know turbulence is more an airline term, but you can’t really blame me since I am still on a plane as I write this. Grammar Nazis be damned. But the word seems to fit – it’s certainly been quite the bumpy ride and we’ve all earned our fair share of bumps and bruises. At least nobody’s dead yet, right?

While this has been a family trip at its core, it has also presented itself as a unique opportunity to get away for a bit and look at things from afar. Things look different when you try to put them in proper perspective, and that will always require that you take more than just a few steps back in order to see the bigger picture.

I do not see the end of the road just yet, but I don’t feel like it’s going to go on forever either. Maybe that will change when I’ve experienced more of this neck of the woods or when I’ve seen more that there is to see. But we’ll just have to see how far things might go in the longer term. It’s too soon to call it either way, so for now I’ll just keep going.

Key reminder from this trip – I need friends. I need to remember how to be my own person. While I do not regret being a loving, giving member of a relationship like the ASA Family or whatever you want to call it. But I do need to remember the importance of being my own person and having my own identity in things. I am not my relationship. My self-worth is not based on the perception of others, including those belonging to my loved ones.

It seems a tad somber or even sad to say that, but I don’t think so. It’s important in any context – a healthy amount of self-confidence and esteem is essential for anyone moving forward in the world. It’s hard to say it in a way that doesn’t sound overly negative or even cynical and I don’t think I can accomplish that in a single entry. But for those (few) friends who know me better and understand my life more, then you’ll come to understand where I’m coming from here. Context is key.

At this point I guess we have about three hours left before landing. This may certainly take a while.