So I had my car serviced and took a public transport going home when Toto’s 1986 hit blurted out on the UV’s car stereo. Manong driver turned the volume up a notch and started singing. His voice was surprisingly good. However, as he sang the lyrics, my brain was also singing. I was dissecting the song word per word, and I realized that the song was a happy, victorious one. Toto’s song was a song of mustering strength and courage. It was not just a song of moving on but also of slow acceptance— happily. The way I see it, the singer stresses that in time, no matter how long, he will accept things. He will eventually stop anticipating but he cannot forget his former love, that is impossible, and he knows that.
Looking back, it made me reflect what I have been through these past few months. Listening to it made me realize that I have made such huge progress. Somewhat stronger, somewhat enduring, and somewhat smarter.
Acceptance gave me 5 essential things. Let me enumerate:
- Acceptance gave me discernment. It innately enabled my senses to know people’s motives and made me decipher between utter bullshit and truth.
- Acceptance made me appreciate the simple things. Simple commutes, simple trips to the grocery, a simple 3-in-1 coffee break and even a simple nap are difficult tasks to do when you are hurting and pity partying. Once you have accepted the facts, these simple tasks are something one should be thankful for. Enjoying these simple tasks again signifies that your storm has passed, and you made it through. Acceptance made me appreciate that my former significant other and I shared wonderful memories like the simple coffee shop and cheap dinner dates, the glorified turon (banana rhuma) takeaways, the dirty and dusty commutes, and others. No regrets, I enjoyed each second of it. Looking back, it was not that bad. It was actually one helluva ride!
- Acceptance made me love people who really deserve my affection. When you are hurting or broken, you tend to dismiss people around you; family, friends, and colleagues you name it. You cannot hear them speak nor feel them reaching out. You only take a few words from their advice or worse, ignore them. It is pretty much understandable; you are aching. Nevertheless, as soon as your heart stops breaking and when it stops anticipating you would realize that those people, when you were hurting, were also hurting. They shared your anguish. They were there all along and now that you have moved on, love them and cherish them as much as you can. Acceptance also taught me how to love my former significant other in a new different level. Not as romantic as before but more of a love that respects her boundaries and her decisions and is happy with everything that she has now. As the law of conservation of energy states: “energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transferred or changed from one form to another”.
- Acceptance made me smile again, and I mean flash an authentic, heartfelt smile. Gone are the days that you use fake smiles and dog grins. Gone are the days that you had to wear that shitty, happy plastic face in front of other people but once you are alone your lips drop to the floor. Celebrate! Smile often because it’s contagious!
- I can now talk freely about what you have been through. You do not dodge questions pertaining to your past. You have now learned to laugh it off and explain logically why your relationship ended. I can talk about her without being bitter and more importantly, I can talk freely to God and pray for her.
As a teacher and researcher, I am trained to accept statistical figures, data, and facts. However, truth be told, some facts are hard to swallow even in the realm of education and science. It would take time. Moving on entails forgetting almost everything including happy memories. Acceptance does not forget; it cherishes and it lets go gracefully. Acceptance can give us a thousand and one positive things. It may differ from one person to another. Nevertheless, it can make someone so broken become stronger and more intelligent. It is true, that in time the heart will find its way to mend itself and it will cease to anticipate.
To the preschool teacher whom I gave myself wholeheartedly, I will cherish every single memory we made. Thank you for teaching me awesome things and as I accept facts further, please know that you made me feel stronger, happier, and well-loved when we were still together and ’til now, I still feel the same way. I want the world to know how wonderful of a person you are. Like the arrows inked inside our skin, let us both move forward – happily.
Congratulations on the baby. I am truly happy for you and your new family.
Photo by Johnny Chau on Unsplash
Jonathan Espiritu is a college professor and a registered nutritionist-dietitian by profession. He is a dad to two little princesses and a tattoo enthusiast.