As human beings, it is normal to have the desire to have a lot of material things and to feel different emotions. We sometimes tend to find satisfaction from having something new in our life – new gadgets, clothes, shoes, etc. Even feelings make us feel like “real” humans. The feeling of being in love or even getting hurt can be an indicator that we’re still alive at times. What we do not notice most of the times is we are getting too caught up with what we think is essential for our existence. We tend to convert these illusions into a black hole. We think that material things are important to prove the world that we can keep up with the fast-changing society. That person who we consider “the one that got away” makes us hope that there will still be a chance for him/her to come back. The bitterness of being dumped by someone; the frustration of buying that camera we always long for or; even the disappointment of not being able to join that out-of-town trip. It is totally fine to feel these things, but what we usually fail to see is that we unknowingly let these frustrations take over our future. The beautiful goals and experiences are turning into a life’s extra baggage that makes us move slowly or sadly, not move at all.
Life’s extra baggage can be difficult to leave behind.
It is a vicious zone where we find comfort to what we think is important but actually serves as a hindrance to what we really need and what we really desire.
I am no superhero. In fact, I had a huge extra baggage, too. I was raised, like many others, with my life being unnoticeably planned ahead – school, job, family. Keeping up with the society’s expectations and standards was my life. Those had become my goals when I was younger.
Tons of clothes in the closet, lots of shoes and bags, make-ups, getting frustrated for a promotion, desperately looking for love, being a clinger to friends, and all those “normal” things were once part of my life, too. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. Who wouldn’t love those things, right? Well, I guess most of us do. I was caught in the “dream” that I forgot what my heart and soul really wanted. I wanted a simple minimalist life but I was blinded by everything and everyone around me.
When I started traveling, I saw not just the light on the horizon but the thin line that made the difference. Traveling alone led me to the discovery of my own dreams. I left the Philippines not knowing when to come back.
Eight months ago, I started packing my things to experience how it feels like to be an overseas Filipino worker in the Middle East. I remember staring at my things for days trying to figure out what to leave behind. Roller coaster ride of emotions was an understatement.
“What am I going to do with all my clothes and shoes?”
“Oh! I love these dresses but I won’t be able to use them in Qatar.”
“I love karaoke times with friends but we all need to find a living.”
“This guy seems to love me and the feeling is mutual, what am I to do?”
And a lot more questions were in my head.
I left anyway. I left everything behind. I kept in touch with the people I love. I even forgot about the material things that I left. And then I quit my job after three months that I had to leave a lot of things again.
Since I left home, I’ve been leaving things I think are not necessary for my daily life. I learned how to move on. Those are great things and people, but I don’t need them.
I realized I can still look great with few clothes and creativity.
I know I don’t look like a “backpacker” but who said I am? I want to look good on photos like what I always wanted. It’s just now, I go around with everything in my backpack.
I discovered that love will come when you learn how to love yourself.
I was once clingy and desperate. I was one of those hopeless romantics. I held on to a hope that the guy I like will like me back. What I learned when I started traveling alone is that people will like, appreciate, and love you when you know, like, appreciate, and love yourself.
What’s wrong with repeating clothes every week or every other week? Nothing. What’s wrong with letting go of the feelings you had for someone who does not feel the same way towards you? Absolutely nothing. What’s wrong with starting a new slate and learn to appreciate every little thing that comes your way? Nothing.
I know a lot of friends who are happy with having new gadgets yet still wish they can take a break from their job and explore the world. I know some people who hold on to their exes hoping it can still work out yet dream of finding someone who will love them truly. I know people who are working their asses off to invest into properties and get settled yet experience a breakdown whenever they think about of settling down. If doing all these things make you happy, go ahead! But if it is hindering the things that you truly desire, maybe it’s time to leave the extra baggage behind.
I was the girl who was blinded by the flashy things in life.
I was the woman who used to always cry herself to sleep hoping for love.
I was the girl who got caught up doing routinary tasks.
I was the girl who dreamed of the girl I am now.
Don’t get me wrong, I may not be better now, but I am more of myself than I was before.