When the plane touched down at JFK, I felt a sense of relief. As much as I had enjoyed my time in the Philippines, I still missed New York. The cold wind of the city whipped my face and shocked my coat-less frame that had spent three weeks in summer-like weather, but I felt alive in a way that I knew I could never feel in the Philippines.
I see now why my parents, almost forty years ago, had strived to leave their homeland for greener pastures and richer opportunities. Everything was there for them, including love and family, but to live and die there would have meant a life of complacency. So they left for the U.S., worked hard to make their fortune, and retired back to their beloved homeland when they had accomplished everything they had set out to do.
But I’m too young to live there now. I want to experience the world. I want more, way more than what I could ever achieve in the Philippines. And for right now, New York is where I want to be.
This past week, I walked down Fifth Avenue near Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I walked past a group of carolers singing Christmas songs, and something about the cold night air, the bright lights from the cathedral and the streets, and the melancholy tone of their song, made me start to cry. I could barely control the flow of tears from my eyes, and I felt an actual pain in my chest. I walked around Rockefeller Center and took notice of the groups of people who stood around the Christmas tree, and I came to the realization that once again, I will be alone for Christmas, and most importantly, far away from my family.
But I only have one heart, and it belongs in two places: in the Philippines where all my family are, and here in New York where I have set my goals to be fulfilled.
If only I could be in two places at once.
(source: Google images)
“Where we love is home,
Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Homesick in Heaven“I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.” ~ George Washington