Young at Heart


from kopbyt123

Touch down Batangas City, March 12, 2017, 05:03am.

It was a fruitful (though a bit incomplete) Saturday. I intended to go visit my mom and my nephew before proceeding to Glorious Hope's training for life coaches but procrastination got the better of me.

The least thing I would want to happen is to make anyone feel that he or she isn't a priority. As much as I can, with what little capacity my heart can give, I'd like to be entirely present with anyone when I'm there - all attentive and my mind not wandering. And so these days I find myself taking small steps towards better time stewardship.

I don't usually go out to parties and I've never really known exactly how to behave in social settings. Yet as I enter the mid-life season, I am learning that getting out of the "I don't usually" and "I've never really" has to be overcome. This doesn't mean that I have to be a different person - and that's what makes it exciting! I am just excited to see where this 'newness' would take me. In essence, it's not new; it just slept.

It's been a while since I've been called "Anna." As I Anna-lyze this now, let's travel back to the 80s.

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I'll be watching you

Anna was a serial optimist. She had the heart of a kid. She was trusting, quiet and never really cared (in a good way) what people thought of her. She was content having one dress she could wear in those rare instances when she needed to go to school on a weekend. She was simply happy being herself.

When she was 10, Anna - or Anne - met a man. She fell in love and knew in her young heart that they were going to be together, forever. She never doubted his love. As she got to know that man each day, courage and love also grew in her heart. She had a knack for storytelling and stage acting. She loved to bring characters to life. And she knew that she never would've done excellently if it wasn't for his help.

As a teenager, Anne met some friends who knew the man she loved. Yet Anne discovered something along the way, eroding her trust on people. Later on, her own trust in her own father was splintered by an unbroken promise and a few other painful experiences.

Anne's college days were marked with theater involvement but on her parents' prodding, she set aside her passion and pursued a course in Economics instead.

As Anne ventured out into the 'unknown' future, she did so with courage. She knew she'd be good at whatever she put her heart into. What used to be her secret nickname, she then used to introduce herself - partly because her boss and another workmate was named Anna, and partly because she felt she was entering a new chapter in her life.

As Anne chose to make her secret nickname known, her days were marked with independence and being strong-willed. She lived life her way, leaving behind her young love. Little by little, she developed a passive-aggressive behavior.

Unaware that the love she had for the man she first fell in love with has drifted away, she made one wrong decision after another. She didn't care whether those decisions were right or wrong - they felt right, nobody was being hurt, so she did them anyway. 

The Anne who graduated NBSB in the 90s soon had her heart scarred, bruised, tattered and splintered. Well, I could've mixed the order but you get the picture. She was torn.

I'm all out of faith
This is how I feel
I'm cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor

Illusion never changed
Into something real
I'm wide awake and I can see
The perfect sky is torn
You're a little late, I'm already torn

She grappled, betwixt faith, with love, sex, drunken episodes and thoughts of suicide. She loved - or pretended to love - the men she went to bed with. Every tryst was an avenue of mutual manipulation, reckless exploration and unrestrained expression.

Heartbreaks happened, one after the other. And so the little girl who had dreams of a happily ever after with a prince charming turned to be a skeptic against true love. She stopped believing in fairy tales. What were fairies, anyway?

Until one morning, in a desperate attempt to save herself from herself, she called for divine help. God listened. Her U-turn began and she soon found herself softly cocooned, reunited with the lover of her soul. She never turned back again.


As I fix the bed and ready myself to sleep - I am humming "Young at Heart" on a loop. It' a good song, a happy song. It brings me to a place of newness, a certain kind of hopeless romanticism, if you will. I know my heart is happy. I can barely remember my college days but being with my college classmates again after 20 long years has sparked something in me. It re-awakened my sense of awe, my faith in the God who has ascertained my destiny before I was even born.

There's a certain kind of pain in my heart over wrong decisions I have done in the past yet I am now more grateful than self-condemning for this new understanding that I've been given. Every person walks or runs at his or her own pace. Happiness, certainly, cannot be put in a box.

While there could be events or experiences in the past that we'd rather forget, there are also good memories which we can take with us even to the unknown future ahead. Those memories, I believe, help keep our hearts young. And each one is capable of not only creating but living their own kind of fairy tale.

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