The New Normal

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A few days ago, I woke up and felt unsettled.

This was new, because the past months have probably been the calmest I’ve been in since 2013. There wasn’t a rush of emotions, thank God, but there were twinges – and those twinges were the kind that gave a warning, like maybe if I keep them unchecked, I will spiral back to where I used to be.

It didn’t scare me, really, but I felt a little confused about these feelings, the ones that I didn’t expect to come. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, and I felt that all this had to happen now, during the Holy Week, for a reason. So I sat down and tried to unravel it all.

* * *

A few months ago, after Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines, I asked: how can you go back after all of this? The Papal Visit was one of the most amazing weeks of 2015, and it was only January, and as I packed my things from the press headquarters, I felt nostalgic. Sure, I was about to go to my new work by then, but the glow of the Papal Visit weekend has overshadowed everything. How is life supposed to go back to normal after this?

But maybe it’s not meant to go back to normal.

That answer came to me soon after. Maybe it’s not about going back to normal after something life-changing comes your way. Maybe it’s all about making a new normal, you know?

* * *

But the thing is, new normals are out of our comfort zones.

The thing about life is that when we have learned to live with what we have for a while – be it happy thing or not. Resilience has taught us that, how to live with what we have against not functioning at all. And with this resilience, we become comfortable with what we have, and when we’ve finally moved to something better, adjusting to it is a whole new thing.

And sometimes, we’d rather be where we used to be because we’re comfortable, even if what’s being offered to us is something new and better.

* * *

It was in the middle of cleaning my desk on Maundy Thursday that I finally understood. Nothing like household chores to give you clarity with the things that bother you.

“I think I just missed being where I used to be. It was comfortable and I knew how to deal with it. Now I need to navigate through unfamiliar waters and a part of me wants to regress.”

I wrote this in relation to that little twinge of feelings that I felt last week, but I realized later on that it applies to all the things that has happened in the past months: a new job after seven years, new projects, new responsibilities. Old and new friends, restored relationships, and new memories. All the things that has come and will come are a part of the things that make this new normal that I have to learn to not just live with, but enjoy. :)

“I guess what I want to say is instead of looking back to how I used to deal in the past, I should just be thankful that I am given a chance to have another set of normal. That God loves me enough to give me this so I might learn to see how He works in my life.”

“This realization earns me plus points in self-awareness,” I told my best friend via text message, smiled, and went back to clearing my desk.


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