One Lifetime VS One Thousand

​My internal monologue is currently dominated by this thought: “To live and die or to live forever?”

A thousand lifetimes, that is how Arwen Undomiel describes immortality. What would you do if you have a thousand lifetimes to live? What would you do if you can live forever? What if, like Arwen, you are given the choice? Which would you choose?

Since time immemorial, people have been looking for ways to extend life, to stop ageing. We love stories about vampires because the idea of immortality is fascinating. To be able to live forever, stay young forever. Humans would do almost anything to cheat death or at least extend their expiration date. 
What if I am given the choice?

This thought is weighing heavily in my mind. On the one side, I cannot help but think of the many things I can do if I didn’t have to die. I would be able to explore every nook and cranny of this planet and perhaps other planets when humanity finally reaches that milestone. I would have all the time to learn everything that I can of this world. I can learn all its languages, all its history, experience all its cultures. Imagine the implications of that. Imagine what I could learn in a thousand lifetimes.

On the other hand, I cannot help but think of how lonely it would be. When everyone you know and love is gone. I keep thinking of Lestat and Louis and how Louis described the loneliness and the pain of seeing everyone he loved growing old and dying while he remains unchanged and knowing the he will live forever. I keep thinking of how Lestat eventually tried to kill himself because of it. If there is one thing the Vampire Chronicles has taught me, it’s that immortality is not what it’s hyped up to be.

I guess I want to live forever, if all the people I love can also live forever. If I have to live a thousand lifetimes without them, then immortality would be useless. I guess I am fine with being on my own as long as I know that somewhere in the world; I have these people who care about me. Not even all the knowledge in the world can replace the people I love. 

In the end, I would probably do as Luthien and Arwen did. I would choose a mortal life.

Saying Goodbye

“What is the first thing you expect people to do when you meet them the first time?”

Me: Leave.

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I have come to realize that people don’t understand me at all. When I say that I expect people to leave, I don’t mean that I expect them to leave me alone. I mean that I don’t expect anyone to stay in my life forever. And it is not just because there is no forever. People leave. They always do. They come into your life, they become part of it and then someday they will leave.

I have learned a long time ago that saying goodbye is not always a bad thing. I have learned that when people leave, it doesn’t mean that they hate you or will forget about you. Sometimes, they don’t want to leave. They just have to.

I have come to accept that we all have different paths to take. I believe that our paths crossed because we need each other even when we don’t realize it. There is something in you that I have to learn and there is something in me that I probably have to impart. There are lessons that we need to learn from each other so we can become better people.

There was a time in my life when I questioned why God would let me meet people who would become really important for me then take them away from me. Then I realized that He takes them away from me because I have learned what I can from them and now I must learn from someone else. Much like how the Pevensies had to discover Narnia.

The thing about life is that, it doesn’t matter if you like someone or not. You learn from them. Your experiences with them become a part of you and affects whatever happens to you in the future. The way you see life, the way you react to situations and the way you like or hate something, it is influenced by people who became a part of your life.

I have read somewhere that man’s greatest fear is that, someday we will be gone and we will be forgotten. I think that is why we do what we do. We create memories with people so that if we ever have to leave, they will not forget us.

I am always ready to say goodbye. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt me but it doesn’t mean that I am going to stop them from leaving. I believe that people have to walk their paths and go on their journeys with whomever they want to go with or have to go with.

I am not a good person. I can be very difficult to like because I can be very tactless and I can only assume I do not look very friendly to people. I can only hope that I have lived my life in a way that when they remember the memories we had, they would look back with a smile. I can only hope that they learned something from me the same way I have learned from them.

And this may be out of the topic but re-reading the first statement made me realize that this is probably why I am not in a relationship. Oh well, the things you learn about yourself.

National Geographic caused it!

If you are looking for someone to blame for my wanderlust, I suggest you blame the National Geographic. And probably my family too because they never stopped me from reading it.

I have come to realize that it is not traveling that makes me happy. It is the things that I learn when I am traveling that make me happy. More than I like adventure and a great view, I love to learn. I love history and culture. I love learning how people live in other places. I love learning their customs, traditions, beliefs , etc.

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When I was a child, I read a lot of National Geographic magazines. I remembered being especially drawn to stories of the ancient civilizations: the Egyptians, the Mayans, the Incans, the Aztecs. I would read their stories over and over and stare at the photos of ancient temples and burial sites. Most of the places in my bucketlist are there because of this magazine.

I would spend hours just reading the magazine. I would imagine the Incans and their golds; the Mayans and their sprawling cities and temples; the Aztecs and their pyramids and blood sacrifices. I would also read about the people in remote places of the world and how they live their lives and keep their traditions.

As a grown up I would spend hours watching documentaries from the History Channel and the National Geographic. When I travel I am more drawn to historical places. I love taking photos of century old buildings and be amazed every time at the thought that these were more than just buildings. They were part of our past.

What fascinated me more about Sagada is not the view but their burial rituals, the history, traditions and culture. What made my trip to Zamboanga memorable are not the seafood and the white and pink sand beaches but the stories and dreams of the people who lived there. The dreams of that driver in Malamawi and the stories of the people I was with in Sta. Cruz Island made my travel more worthwhile.

I long to travel abroad not because I want to see the sights but because I want to see how they live. I want to learn their culture firsthand. I want to see the historical sites and learn history where history actually happened.

I remembered visiting the Diplomat Hotel in Baguio. I have always wanted to visit the place and this is not because of it being haunted, I have a really vivid imagination and I don’t need a haunted hotel to scare me. I do a great job scaring myself. Besides, if I want haunted all I have to do is go home. I was drawn to it because of its tragic history. (Apparently, I am also morbid.)

I guess I am truly blessed to be born in a family where I was always encouraged to learn. I am blessed to be born in a family where I am encouraged to see the world and learn whatever I can from it. I was taught to go out of my comfort zone and they have always supported me both in days when I prefer to stay at home and read and in days when I prefer to roam around places I’ve never been to before.