Revisiting home is always very confronting to say the least. There is some sort of feeling that somehow you do not belong. They smell you from a far that you are different. And yet Belgium is no different, I am also not from there and there, I am also different. Then there is that feeling I do not belong neither here or there. So what does that make of me? I'm not really sure. I cannot seem to put a word on it. I guess in the end it does not really change me. Here or there, there or here. I am still me. And that's perfectly alright.
Neither Filipino nor Belgian. And deep inside I cannot really deny that. I know, I am myself. I gotta just love myself for that. There are parts of me that are Filipino, there are parts of me that have adopted to being Belgian and I do not have to be one or the other. I can just be me. And yet in the world full of titles and definitions I struggle to find who I am. I will keep searching. I guess it is somehow my life's quest.
When the westerners headed east they called us Indios. And that has stuck, with a feeling of being less, less worthy than the west, knowing less, being less, and capable of less. At least that was what was taught in school. And television, and quite frankly everywhere else. And being a dark skinned Filipina among my peers also was something. For a country that has been colonized, there was always the preference of being fairer skinned. And being darked skinned meant you had less, you knew less. I learned to love my dark skin and dark eyes over the years. I learned to appreciate my culture throughout the years. Somehow going home and being surrounded by my own people rubbed off old wounds. Yet somehow I am also stronger and I knew better who I am. I am still searching and I am still trying to love myself more. Trust myself more, trust my guts more and rise up. RIse up to the call and find my voice. Know who I am and be very comfortable with that. I falter, I can always come back again. One step forward, two steps back sometimes. Somehow I still stand. I stand proud. I stand knowing my history and knowing I survived and knowing I can be very proud. I do not have to lower my gaze. I can be respectful and yet be proud.
So keep hitting, jab, straight, jab, roundhouse, push kick. Give it my best shot. Keep going. Keep on going. Until the ringer rings. We miss all the shots we don't take. And for the rest we can only give it our best and trust that God will have our backs for the rest. We cannot just sit and do nothing. We give our best shot, and if we miss it's ok. If we don't win, we tried. I play to play the game, not to win. I play to become the best version of me. And whatever God will give me, it is up to him. Me I gave it my best. I can sleep at night knowing that. I can lie in my bed peacefully, hopeful for another chance the next morning for another chance to hit. Another chance to rock it.
Jab, straight, jab. Back to the basics. Over and over.
I'll see you on the mat real soon. Shala is open! Message me if you're interested to practice with me!