Safe Places

Manila, 2015.

A few years ago, I wrote an essay regarding loneliness. The time I wrote that, I was in the peak of total gloom and sadness. It was even surprising how I managed to write a couple of paragraphs to explain what I felt.

I think I was in 8th grade when I wrote that essay. I can remember very well that right after when we are dismissed from class, I would wait for my fetcher to arrive and all my friends (who commute) would be out to go home already. I was always at the benches, out with my journal and pen and my school bag. Mind you, I’ve got it all planned out when I was in 8th grade. Right after before I *die, I will have my journal published and that my school will put up a statue in their campus of a girl sitting on the bench, writing. I’ve got it all together, I think.

Grade 8 was when I found my friends and was the official start of my writing career. I belonged to magazines and found myself constantly designing for school. That year was the start of everything until I finished Grade 10.

Despite workload and my constant excitement in doing what I love, I still haven’t found where home is. I told a friend about this right in midnight – explaining what loneliness and safe places meant to me.

I’ve always been told that home is where the heart is. I know that home is a place where you’re supposed to feel that you belong. I keep asking myself and pondering where (or to whom) I feel safe (with).

For me, home does not have to be a concrete house. I think it varies for everyone but of course, the most will think it is where we reside. It is a picture you have to paint and visualize. You must experience it before actually calling it yours.

I seem disconnected from the eyes of other people upon reading this. The expectation is always that as a teenager, I would have found it already. I have so much avenues and places I’ve been to but home is something that cannot just be given a title. I believe it is not temporary or something we are attached to just because we feel safe with them. I believe that it is where you are able to retrieve, to feel alive, and to be yourself without anything interfering to have you put another mask on. It is where you are able to go back to in any given situation that life will throw at you.

I think it’s alright that I haven’t found mine yet. I just feel a bit out-of-place.

Finding safe places means going on adventures that one yet has to trek.

In the middle of struggle and bewilderment, I think I am making good progress and that I will be able to find it sooner… perhaps.


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