I have long stopped believing that home is a destination. I have been to many places but I’ve never felt at home more than being with the people that I love. For me, home is a feeling: it is found between ephemeral moments, in the little pauses before the wave come crashing through the shore, in the gorgeous sunsets and the serene sunrises. Home is those minutes spent cuddling, the stolen kisses, the hand holding, the meaningful gazes, the non-awkward stillness as you pass time in each other’s company. Home is surrounding yourself with love, embracing every glimmer of hope and calm, and just being at peace on where you are.
I found my home in many places and faces, but last weekend, I found a home by the beach, in the company of some of my closest friends, Cza and Ate Weng. The sea has always been one of those things that we love in common, but we never really get to be there together, so on one spontaneous day, we shared ideas and options and ended up booking for a quick getaway to La Union.
I have been to La Union many times, but this was the first time that I have found myself spilling fears and opening forgotten doors while sitting by the beach, at 9 in the morning. For some reason, the home that I found with Cza and Ate Weng isn’t one that’s comfortable. What I found with them is a home that says the truth; a home that’s overflowing with honesty; a home that finds healing by facing things head on, even if it hurts, even if it’s hard, even if it breaks you apart.
It sounds melodramatic, but that weekend was filled with fun, accentuated with stories of honesty and vulnerability. We had a great time goofing around, taking cute photos, and just chilling like the true titas that we’ve become. But more than anything, that trip made me feel a little lighter, a little hopeful, and truly thankful to have found people who are as accepting and loving as they are.
We’ve been friends since I was a freshman in college, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I found a stronger connection to these two. As I grew older, I found myself slowly shying from sharing my vulnerabilities. But one night, I found myself sharing with them some things that are a little more than what I’m used to (and I guess it’s safe to say that they felt that way, too). As the three of us camped in Ate Weng’s room, we found ourselves slowly breaking down our walls, peeling layers of ourselves, and sharing stories that we’ve kept in the dark; stories that didn’t mean to see the light of day.
Peel. A story about family.
Peel. Another layer about love.
Peel. The worries of our futures.
Peel. Our crippling fears and anxieties.
Peel. Our hopes and dreams.
Ever since then, I never shied away from being true with them. With them, I felt at home — like I could strip and be bare naked and never feel judged. I don’t really talk much about how my life has been, but when I’m with these two, the stories just come rushing in. They just know which strings to pluck, which questions to serve, which nails to hit.
I’m not sure what I did to deserve friendships like this, but whatever it is, the universe had probably thought that I could use some good people in my life.
Cza and Ate Weng, thank you for being you. The sea may be our home, but being with the two of you feels like being home, too. Until our next adventures!