Discovery / Mind

Looking Back

Oftentimes when we look back, our lenses become focused on the the past actions of people toward us– whether they made us happy or simply knocked us down to misery. We tend to depend our present judgment based on the indelibly sore reminiscence that continues to linger in our heads. And as our eyes meet those of the people who didn’t quite treat us well, we try to concoct a friendly face but wear a frown deep inside and get our ravaging weapons ready because we know that a battle, once again, is about to begin. A fatal hour has come. This is just normal.

As insomnia attacked again last night, I began to transform into the version of me that I thought was long gone, buried deep within along with the burnt photos and torn letters from the people who now don’t belong, and will never again deserve to belong in my life. And last night was my choice. I chose to be lost in nostalgia for a moment. I chose, once again, to feel and savor every nub of pain left in the cracks of my soul. Pathetic as it may seem, but this is how I regain strength and become impregnable, to loosen up and feel almost defeated in a split second, so that later on, I’ll be impelled to pick myself up as if I’m the sturdiest creation God has ever made.

As I skimmed through some old photos, instead of directing my attention to the people with me (as what I always do when I feel like reawakening the past; my precious history, because I like seeing the smiles of the old friends when they were with me. I like remembering how once in their life, I was able to inject joy in their chaotic story just as what they did in mine.) I gazed at myself. I’ve never done this before, but last night really struck me, as if something had paved its way to find my long lost being. I’ve seen every photo that I have so many times already, memorized my old friends’ poses and gestures, but I never really saw the old me until last night. I browsed and browsed and saw different faces and parts of myself I’ve never seen before; various smiles that meant not only happiness, but at times, concealed forlornness. And with these, I realized who among those faces really made me happy, and who among them just caused distress that made me fake every smile when I was with them. Tears almost welled up in my eyes as I recognized the curve of smile on my face and the special light in my eyes, I missed that. I missed the old me, the maiden who could easily find happiness in almost everything. I missed the silliness and the humor that I once possessed and made the people with me in the photos even happier. I missed the unrivaled radiance of my rays; I really did shine beautifully when I was younger because of the innocence and the female child within me, back when things were less complicated.

Last night changed a big part of my perception in life and in myself. I was happy though there were still clots of pain, the leftovers that will always be present in a man’s platter no matter how many times you try to wash them away. I’m thankful that last night happened. Because of that, I got to know a part of me that I never knew existed, a part of me that was once within but because of certain circumstances, eventually faded. But I fear not, because I know that the day will come that something will fill the void and I’ll be able to smile again, even better than I did before. I’ll be happier than those times I thought were my happiest.

It is indeed seldom that we look back without remorse but last night, I looked back not with the usual rue, but with an authentically formed smile knowing that in God’s time, everything will fall into place and that I need not to worry at all; need not look back again.

About the Contributor

Debz is one of the prodigious young women in the urban city of Manila who never fails to astound people with her random peculiarity. She is into writing but is still on a journey trying to figure out if writing is also into her. She hopes that the feeling is mutual though. She writes not just to maximize the use of pens and papers, but also to divulge the untold stories within her that are worth putting on the pages of the world. Feel free to check out her stories at

This contributor is a customer of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®.

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