Sunday, October 28, 2007

End of Chapter

Allow me to be sentimental for a while. I'll come up with narrations when I feel like it, later on. =p
Not surprisingly, it wasn't until I watched something sappy that all that had happened within the last two weeks came to coherent form in my head. It was one simple exchange:

"What time does your train leave?"

"At around 930, I think. I already have my apartment cleared out."

"Oh, is that so? So where are you going to spend the night?"

"He's staying with me for one last time... one last time..."

Suddenly, I was back at Los Banos, having dinner with my labmates. It was around 11PM, of October 24th, the just at the end of the first day of the SPP Congress. I was set to go home the next day, after lunch and the other members of SanD were asking me to stay the duration. But, when I think back, one sentence jumps out at me:

"Heto na ang huli nating pagkikita, uuwi ka pa ng maaga." (This is our last meeting and you're going home early.)

At that time, I had laughed it off as sentimental nonsense and even said that "We'll definitely see each other again". It's only now that it dawns on me that the person who said that now works and lives in Zamboanga. It's only now that I come to realize that, even if I stayed with the lab for my master's degree, the others wouldn't necessarily be doing the same. That, the next time I go back to the lab, things would be drastically different, even if the same people are there.
I remember the happiness and sense of accomplishment of the people who had graduated before me. I'm just like them, I felt those very same emotions. And, perhaps, I should have written something when I was in the height of those emotions. I know I wanted to. But, back then, I couldn't find the words. I was at a turning point, and even if time was moving at the same rate as everyone else's, I was accelerating. I was changing direction. The world was spinning so fast and I got caught in its whirlwind. The pre-defense fear and anxiety, the post-defense joy, the hectic pace of SPP preparations, I never got to savor these moments. I never got to appreciate how these things changed me.
As I laughed and joked around with my labmates, as I discussed plenary talks and future research projects with my adviser, as I silently said my farewells to an old friend, I didn't have a chance to look at myself. Then, for the first time, I realized that it looks like I grew up...
...even a little bit.

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