The Dream with the Mirror

I’ve heard many times not to look at a mirror in a dream. I often wondered why. Would I see something terrible? Something I wouldn’t want to see? Would I see myself for who I really am, or who I think I am? Would that haunt me?

I tried several times as I went to sleep to look at a mirror in a dream, but I would often forget to do so.

Then, one night, I was walking around in a dream, pacing around my room. I had a weird sweater on that had Winnie the Pooh on it. I went to the mirror in my room to have a better look at how I looked.

I looked dumb. Not because it was Winnie the Pooh but because the sweater was torn in the front, ragged and worn-out.

I took off the strange yellow sweater and tossed it inside and looked at the mirror once again, remembering words that warned me not to look at a mirror in a dream. Would I hate myself? Would I regret everything?

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Love

I’m a senior in high school, and I still haven’t fallen in love. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because something’s wrong with me. At other times, I say it’s normal. Most of the times now, I blame other people. I couldn’t fall in love.

To be honest, there were times when I would be close to falling in love, but I would stop myself. I already knew how much it would hurt to fall in love. The fear of the other person not liking you back. The fear that you only feel that way. The pain when the person will break up with you. The pain when you’re the one who realizes you’re not meant to be.

So I stayed away from love, abstained from it. I found flaws in people’s character as a safety net to not fall in love with them. I found things that would make me angry at a person so that I wouldn’t fall in love.

Because I thought love wasn’t worth it.

But as a senior in my high school, I get to go out to hospitals or clinicals and do clinicals, rotations where I get to follow someone in a clinical setting and observe and sometimes practice healthcare.

In the intensive care unit, as I went in the room of a patient with the nurse I was following, one thing was almost always there.

Family – be it a sibling, a child, a parent, or a spouse.

The people who didn’t have family were in dark rooms. Watching TV, bored out of their minds.

But the people with family? They were happy, or at least, happier than the people without family. They had love, comfort, and everything they needed from their family. But the family caring part didn’t bother me.

It was the love from spouses.

I remember a diabetic patient who couldn’t feel much of their feet. So his wife came and massaged both feet. I watched as the nurse I followed told the patient how lucky he was to have such a caring and loving wife.

She had been with him for a very long time. I saw from the couch that she would even sleep there. The only time she left was when she thought it would be a good time to take a shower at home while her husband’s sister came to watch him.

For a Bell’s palsy patient, a husband would hold her hand. When she had a seizure, he stroked her face and gave reassuring words, and when she calmed down, he grabbed her hand, jolted out of her blanket while she was having a seizure, and placed it under the blanket. He kissed her cheek.

That love is worth dying for. That love is worth the pain and sadness and fear that all comes in a relationship because it’s that love that reminds me of the goodness of people. It reminds me that there will always be people who love each other no matter what.

Fishing

Fishing.

I used to love to fish. When I was younger, my parents would buy those tiny fishing poles and magnetic fish for kids so that I could pretend I was fishing, just like my dad. We had a pool with a jacuzzi with some steps.

My mom would throw the magnetic fish into the jacuzzi so that I could fish them out. My younger sister had a fishing rod herself and also played with me.

In my childhood, my parents would take us out to fish in a beach. We would always go to a place called the Pier, where many fishers would go. There was a dock that extended far into the sea, and for a child, the path went on forever.

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Burden

Throughout all of high school, I had a backpack on my back. I got used to the feeling. I made sure to check behind my back on my desk to see if I left my backpack when I felt weightless.

In my later years of high school, I heaved around my laptop or books – something – added with the weight of my backpack. I carried these things with me all the time. To the classroom, to the cafeteria, to the restroom, outside, inside – I got used to the feeling.

The feeling of something on me – a burden – was expected. It felt weird without a bag on my back and something in my hands. Sometimes I would start to get out of class but swear I was holding something earlier. I would turn around, and there it was – a book, a laptop, a project, something.

The feeling saved me thousands of time since I get so forgetful, but of course, I didn’t always have something weighing me down.

Which is why I felt empty when I held nothing.

On days of standardized tests, we were asked to leave our belongings back at home or in our tiny lockers – either that or your stuff would be kept in the front office until the end of the school day.

I left behind everything I had at home. I came with nothing to school.

It was a weird feeling – an odd feeling. I had nothing weighing me down. I had nothing in my hands. I had nothing on my back.

I walked faster, moved faster, maneuvered between people easier.

My point is, sometimes, burdens in life are necessary and actually help you. Whatever you do, though, never forget the feeling of freedom without anything weighing you down.

School

School. It’s weird. They prep you in a building since you were four – sometimes three – for what? A future?

They get you ready for the future by teaching you how to read. How to write. How to pee. How to socialize. They command and dictate every small thing you do. You have no freedom to choose what to learn: you will learn the alphabet; you will learn algebra; you will learn to deconstruct and analyze a piece of rhetoric; you will learn to write a research paper.

And when you ask them, “Why?” They will stare at you like you’re a moron and repeat – “Why?” – to mock you. They will say you must learn because you must prepare for the future.

You have no choice.

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Future

The world is blank – white – as I stand, silently. Everything is empty, silent, and it is as if I’m forced to a standstill, as if my feet are glued to the floor.

Only one other person stands before me – my father. But he’s dressed in scrubs, ready for work.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” he asks.

“…A doctor,” I reply after a long silence. I could not even begin to guess where we are. Am I dreaming?

“No,” my dad says. “What do you really want?”

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