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Welcome to one of my favorite backyards. Unfortunately, I had to come back to reality and leave this dream of a place. Yes, I’m back in Manila and am honestly not ready to be thrown right into the throng of things just yet. But isn’t that exactly the way life works? It never waits for you to be ready. It just shoots.

Haven’t been this heartbroken to leave Michigan since I was a child, I think. It was one of my better trips and I already desperately miss my family. Admittedly, I’m the one who plots how short – or how long – a trip is and I think I always overestimate just how much I’m needed back in the Philippines. Don’t read that in an arrogant way; Rather, in an I-might-just-get-fired-I-need-to-fly-my-ass-back-soon kind of way. Since it hasn’t exactly happened yet (my being fired), maybe next time I can take longer breaks?

Anyway, my three-week trip back home has been an amazing way for me to get centered and get out of the Manila haze. I know I keep alluding to it on this site but I think that when you’re stuck in a place, an environment or an industry for so long you start to nitpick the ways in which it sucks the life out of you (see, it’s just like any other desk job.) I’ve always been an escapist and getting away meant seeing the bigger picture and putting into perspective the grand scheme of things. For instance, a huge part of what I do on a daily basis (i.e., running this blog) heavily relies on social clout. And when you’re supposed value hinges on your number of followers, your number of posts per week (blog or social media) and the number of likes you garner, your view of reality becomes slightly distorted and priorities may shift. It’s always great to be brought back down to Earth (this goes for everybody) and realize that 99.9% of the population doesn’t give a sh*t. There’s also a bunch of other stuff in life and career bogging me down but, again, the break has done wonders for my cortisol levels. I suggest you pack your bags, STAT, if you need a little breather.

I’ve been out of Michigan more than half my life but I’ve learned that home will always feel the same (after all, there’s no place like it as per Dorothy) and family will always feel like your favorite security blanket (or cup of hot cocoa, whichever you prefer more). So before tears stream down my face, let me leave you with some outfit photos I took by one of the lakes. Bodies of water are so reminiscent of my home state so the lake is the perfect backdrop for a post that is making me awfully sentimental.

Now onto my box of tissues.