you opened your arms to me, even though i wasn't ready to be embraced. you showed me patience, you showed me kindness, you showed me life through a different lens.
what i showed you was heartbreak, and anxiety, and growth. i tired my best, i really did. i hope you can understand.
as life as i knew it fell apart, i didn't know how to lean into something new. but, i tried. i really did, i promise (sometimes i find myself needing to convince myself that i did try and that i did show up). i always wish i could've done better - been better - but that's who i was then. and this is who i am now. because of you.
you gave me friends that changed my life. people who i will hold close forever, even if they are on the other side of the world, and even if our moments were just in passing. i truly believe we carry the people (and places/experiences) that change us. that mean something. that matter. and i will always carry Tacloban and the beautiful souls i met with me for as long as i live. i hope you all know that i tired, i wanted to do better, but i did my best. thank you for walking, singing, crying, laughing with me. thank you for sitting with me and letting me in.
i wasn't ready for you, if we're all being honest. i wasn't even sure i could make it through, and i suppose i didn't make it all the way. i couldn't have done it alone. and as alone as i felt at times, i know i never truly was. you taught me to use my voice. to take care of myself. to love those around me with all that i have, and to love myself too.
a lot can change in a year. looking back, it feels like everything has.
i am grateful for the lessons you taught me. for the growth you helped challenge me through. for the tears, the laughter, the memories, the love.
grateful is an understatement.
a year has passed, and i finally feel ready to share. to tell stories again. to relive the memories. to use my voice.
i am here. i am ready for what comes next. and i hope that that means some day i will return to you so you can meet me again. meet me as i am now, because of who you were. because of who you are.
i am ready for more. i am ready to try again. and i hope that, maybe, you're ready too.