The Great Escape
"It's all part of growing up," says Bev*, 21, about sneaking out. Indeed, teens love to go out without parental consent, expecting the plan to go off without a hitch. Sure, they feel anxious about getting caught, but they seldom realize that getting caught should actually be the least of their worries.
Lia*, 21, snuck out a lot in sixth grade, when she was just 12. Her friends' parents allowed them to go out often, and since her folks were stricter, she'd go behind their backs to gallivant with her buddies.
"I was very bold and fearless then, even though I didn't really know what I was doing," Lia recalls. "I guess it was an adrenaline rush."
Lia would commute in cities she wasn't familiar with, often just guessing how to get from point A to point B. She usually ended up taking cabs by herself. "One time, I literally begged a taxi driver to lower the fare because I realized I was short on cash. Another time, I fell asleep on a long cab ride."
Her parents never caught on. It was only later that Lia realized how much she had taken her safety for granted. "I could have gotten lost, with no way to contact anyone, since cell phones weren't common then. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was constantly endangering myself."
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Outdoors Danielle Flestado @artdkf | May 1, 2020 "I miss the outside world. The last time I went outside of our house was on my birthday. We just bought coffee across our village and went back home immediately. This painting made me feel that I'm in a field, just appreciating the beauty of God's creation. Can you imagine the green grass and pink flowers?"
When everything around you suddenly turns dark, the first thing we'd prolly do, as humans, is to find and grab anything that is closest and nearest to us. We'll hold onto them for as long as we can, trying to collect ourselves and gather courage to adjust our eyesights to the pitch black environment that's consuming us minute by minute. And then you'd hear nothing. Your sense of hearing would somehow go off after not seeing anything for quite awhile. You'll let loose. Cry. Panic. You'll be exhausted for fighting your way out. Then just when you're about to stop and give up, you're no longer afraid. There's only this deafening silence and pithole of darkness that's gonna eat you up alive. And surprisingly, you'll make a home out of it.
You'll make a home out of the darkness that when a ray of light suddenly hits you, you'll try to avoid it. You'll try to cover your eyes. You'll try to cover your ears from the voices trying to help you get out of it. You'll try to hide because your mind and body will go against your will to come out and live. Because the darkness that used to scare you, now comforts you in a way you thought has helped you survived life. And you'll try to live. Day by day. In the darkness. Not knowing where to go. Not knowing where to start. Not knowing who is with you. You will try to live until the darkness that once surrounds you is now within you. And everyday, it's gonna be a cycle of subtle torture. But let me tell you a secret. The darkness won't make you whole.
You'll be broken. And in those hair-like cracks, the light will stubbornly fight its way through until it warms you up. Until you realize to check the switch and turn it on. Until you allow other people to help you find your way back in the light. Until you realize you're ready to live in light again. There's a light at the end of this long and dreading tunnel. The only question that matters: will you let them in?
I always thought of life, like a bead where each piece makes it worth sewing together with other piece of beads to make a stronger bond and to create a beautiful result. Today, how do we bond well with different people especially this difficult time? As this day challenges us to a new normal, may we continue to bead along positively with our life.