I have always held on to my life as one big journey. Every day is, as it is, a measure of time’s passing; every night a stop for rest and recollecting. I see no specific final destination though since I do not live my life as a tourist. I inhabit each place as hopefully a native would, struggling to know how people do and, in the painstaking process, learn more of who I am.

I am currently living in NY and have known so much more about myself in the past 7 years than I ever did in the previous 22 in Manila. Yet, as I travel deeper into myself, I feel running into that great risk of, and, actually fear, forgetting who I was back then. So integral in this journey is unraveling my mystery and remembering who I was back then is inevitably linked to understanding how I am now. I know I used to be a totally different person. But, also, I find great comfort in knowing that my good friends back then have remained good friends till now. This sense of consistency, no matter how fragile, anchors my history in a sense of soulful (and, needless to say, sane) continuity.

In my journey where meeting new people are considered routine stops but making new friends a milestone, I find keeping (really) old ones a treasure, ultimately gift. I may not know where I am going but I am assured of who I can always come back to. I have never travelled there yet but these old friends who have shown me where I have been inspire me to go where I could and should.

I remember them dearly as some of them celebrate their birthdays this week.