Oh. Just in case you guys missed it... yes, I'm back home for my first visit in over a year. And, yes, despite my current infatuation with the city I've been living in for the past year, the Philippines will always be home. It's only been a year; nothing much has changed. There's still too much pollution, too much traffic, too much noise, too many people crowding the streets. Not much has been added to infrastructure, except perhaps another slew of newly opened super malls and new "in" places for the well-heeled to hang out. A year is not such a long time to be away after all.
But time has definitely marched on for the people I love and have come home to.
My parents look a lot older than they did before I left. My dad's hair is a little bit grayer and he moves a lot slower now. My mother has a few more lines on her face than she had just a year ago.
Change has been making the rounds among the friends I left behind, too. Suddenly tables were now filled with new faces - babies, husbands and boyfriends accompanying friends who used to come to them alone. My batchmates, who are all a year and a half into their fellowship training, are different because of the experience and knowledge that they have gained.
I sit among them, thinking of these changes that I see, and wonder if they see any changes in me. It's odd, because I feel that in a lot of ways, ever since I got off the madly spinning world I was on, I have been standing still. Despite my desire to live more of life by being in my limbo, part of me feels that my life is still on hold.
All of them seem to be pretty clear about what they want and where they are going. I haven't quite figured out where I want to be a few months from now.
And yet despite the changes, I am glad to be here with them again. My life has been blessed with the people I've met and become friends with in my new city. But it is good to know that there are people I can always come home to and know I'll always be welcome.