Looking at the mirror sometimes makes me wonder in awe about myself. I say to myself, “I this really me?” Then I feel my face, gaze upon it, wonder at the detail from which it was painstakingly made. And I wonder why I was made this way, why I was born into this world, why I’m a Filipino and not a foreigner. This person in the mirror has more than what the eye can ever see. That, I believe.

Unique. That’s how I’d describe each and every one. And despite the inconsistencies, I find it fascinating and beautiful. Each one is a mere reflection of what is greater, of what is to come. Our differences make life more interesting. I’ve experienced firsthand the challenge it takes to be the leader to my fiery and passionate groups. To handle and find connections between people worlds apart is a challenge I love. I remember Genesis 5:1. We are but pieces of a greater puzzle, a part of a bigger picture. I’ve been often told to appreciate life more, since it’s much better than to loathe it. And they’re right. Why fight what cannot be fought? Why deny what is true? I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, and the greatest is losing my zest, my fire for life.

I believe that each one possesses a piece of the answer. And as much as I try to seek what I want to know, my efforts are futile and pointless, because I can’t finish the puzzle without you. I need more pieces to form the bigger picture. And with everyday I live, I learn more about myself.

Once, I saw my grandmother gazing upon her time-tested visage on a mirror. Placing myself in her shoes, I thought she was upset, after all, she was once young. But instead of a frown, I saw a proud and gleaming face, a triumphant smile. And when I asked her the reason for her smile, she said: “I’ve lived for a very long time now. And I’ve gone through a lot my whole life.” Wisdom is indeed a gift. My grandmother knows a wide variety of useful knowledge, such as medicinal plants, child-rearing, caution, and others, such as folklore, tradition and superstition. The gray [or white, baldness, in some cases] hairs of old age represent wisdom, the wrinkles represent experience, the frailty, that we may mistake as weakness, represents strength of character.

I’ve sometimes thought of life as forks in the road leading either to deliverance or to perdition. And I’ve thought of it as a personal journey to everlasting life. But now I realize my fatal error. Life’s not meant to be walked through alone. It’s meant to be travelled along with others. I’ll never be alone, and hand in hand we shall walk this path called Life.

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