According to Wikipedia, pinky promise is the entwining of the pinkies of two people to signify that a promise has been made.
February 14, 2018, one of the most special days that happened in my life so far. I want to share what happened on that day on my blog so that I can remember and look back to it years from now. It is Valentine’s day in the Philippines, the day of the lovers and it only happens once a year.
It was my first time celebrating Valentine’s day with a boyfriend. Last year, I was in London so Ryan and I had a video call on this special day. When I went home on October last year, I found out that usually Ryan spent this day on his own at work when he was still single that’s why I promised him that he’s never gonna experience Valentine’s day alone again. I have another 4 weeks annual leave at work that’s why my ward manager booked it on the middle of January to February. But the unexpected happened before Christmas, Ryan and I broke up. I was thinking if I would still push through going home to the Philippines or just cancel my flight and work on my annual leave and start the moving on process. The thing with the right love at the wrong time relationship is that I am certain that we have the right kind of love, he’s the right person for me but the timing isn’t in favour for us. I am just starting to build my career here in UK and he is ready for us to get married. So the timing isn’t right. And I felt in my heart that it is not a valid reason to break up, that’s why I fought for our relationship. I know in my heart that he’s The One. It’s the long distance relationship that we found really hard to manage that challenged our relationship. I was thinking, we are two people from the opposite part of the world loving each other, we are not hurting other people, he makes me a better person, so why give up? I have watched a lot of Youtube videos and read hundreds of articles on google about breaking up, moving on, etc. but the real decision still comes from me. Other people’s situation is different from mine and every love story is unique. So after realizing this, I let go of my pride. The first few weeks when I was in Manila, we were already seeing each other and nothing has changed. The stories, the smiles, the giggles, the laughters, the sweet gestures, the comfort and safety that he makes me feel every time we’re together were still there.
February 14, Valentine’s day is also Ash Wednesday in the Philippines. We definitely want to spend this special day together. I asked him if we can also attend the mass before our scheduled dinner. So we decided to attend the mass in Quiapo Church at 8pm. When he arrived in the church, he has a bouquet of flowers in his hands. I saw him from a distance and waved my hands from the crowd. When he came, he handed me the bouquet of flowers and sweetly kissed my left cheek. We sat in the vacant chair inside the church and held hands. As always, he gave me the feeling of butterflies in my stomach. These are the moments that we don’t get to do in a long distance relationship, not being physically present for one another in the special occasions. The time apart fuels the excitement, the yearning and the love that are already there. After the mass, at quarter passed 9pm we ride a taxi and went to Pan Pacific Hotel for the dinner. It was a very romantic French dinner with violin playing on the side with love songs like “A thousand years”. It was candlelight, formal, on the 21st floor of the hotel overlooking the city of Manila. It was my first time to experience this whole romantic dinner on Valentine’s day. Seeing his face on the opposite side of the table, I just can’t believe it’s happening and I have the love of my life right in front of me. After we have settled in the table, he gestured a pinky swear or a pinky promise. We made a pinky promise not to break up anymore and that’s how we officially got back together. That moment, my heart was filled with overflowing love and adoration for the man in front of me. According to the author Mandy Hale, love is not suppose to be lukewarm, it is supposed to be boundary breaking and earth shaking.
At 12 midnight, we left the restaurant and went down to the hotel’s lobby. We have a lot of things to talk about because it is only rare that we get to talk side by side because indeed, we are in a long distance relationship. We ordered coffee and talked until 4am about our future plans. At 5am, we left the lobby and went to Jollibee to eat breakfast. After that, Ryan planned for us to watch sunrise in Manila Bay because I love the view of sunset, so this time, we will see the sun rise. Our back were facing Manila Bay because the sunrise happens in the east and the sun sets in the west which is the side of the Manila bay. Everything becomes special when you are with the one you love. No matter what activities you are doing or places the two of you are in right now, it is true that the best place on earth is beside the one you love.
February 16, 2018, 6am is my flight back to London. The day before that, I went to Robinson’s mall to buy some goodies and pasalubong to my friends in London. On my way home, while riding the jeepney, my heart was breaking and I could not stop my tears from falling because I had to leave again. In leaving my family and Ryan here in the Philippines, I tried to question life on why can’t I marry the man I love in anytime I want. When I arrived at home from Robinson’s mall, I was alone in my room and I burst into tears because I have the man I love, he wants to marry me and I want to marry him but I cannot do that yet because I still have to go back to London for work. I am already 29 years old and I am at the right age to get married, so why can’t I do that? This indeed was my struggle before. I even told myself that good for my friends here in the Philippines because they can marry their boyfriends or girlfriends anytime they want. I know this struggle of mine is nothing compared to the problems that others are experiencing. But for me, no matter how big or small our struggle is, it is still a reality of life and I learned to trust my struggle because it means that life is teaching me something, a lesson probably. I don’t know what that is, I just have to let go and see what happens. In every phase of our life, we will face a challenge.
This led me to a quote in my head about waiting. And that is, “Anything worth having is truly worthy waiting.” There is a time for everything. I have to wait for the right time for us to get married. Because it is also me who set the standards that, in the future when I get married, I promise myself that me and my future husband should be together after the wedding. I will be back. I will come home for good, definitely. But I need to wait for the right time. While waiting, I will study, acquire experiences, get myself ready and sufficient for when the times comes that I have to go back to the Philippines to settle for good, I am mentally, emotionally, physically and financially ready and equipped to use my learnings in London to build a better life in the Philippines. I believe in my heart that there’s a lot of opportunities in my country. I will improve myself, build my confidence through speaking and remove my naivety that I still have even though I am already approaching my 30s. I know I have a lot of potentials, I just have to develop them and push myself to believe in myself.
I also need to remind myself when I’m feeling sad and homesick, “Think of what London and UK can offer you. It can be new and exciting experiences, it can be different insights about life you will acquire after travelling, it can be professional growth and expertise. There are hundreds of reasons to love what I do now and appreciate where I am right now.” Living independently to a different city teaches me to be more responsible knowing that I have the total liberty, enough money, freedom, unlimited and fast internet connection, exposure to good looking men and women, and with all these, it is knowing how to take responsibility for myself, sticking to my values and stopping myself from being tempted to these life traps. Keeping in mind I am committed and there is one person on the other side of the world who’s waiting for me. After all, Ryan’s still the cutest, funniest and the most handsome man I have ever met in my life.
What will I do with the opportunity handed to me? I know I should use this to help and inspire others who are also dreaming in the small town, urban area or in their dark room at night. I have told myself, I don’t want to change. Living in a first world city, living a good life, sometimes it is inevitable to want to keep up with the trend and lifestyle. But I want to keep the simplicity in me.
That is my Pinky Promise. Before this, I have only done pinky promises when I was young. But looking back, these were the most honest, most sincere and most innocent promises we can ever give.