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The Case of the Letters to Juliet

Every time I feel like I'm at a crossroads in my life, I always unknowingly stumble upon Letters to Juliet. Letters is a romantic film headlined by Amanda Seyfried in 2010 about a group of ladies, the Secretaries of Juliet, who answer letters left by lovelorn women in Juliet's Verona courtyard. It is in this film that I got these lines: "What" and "if" are two words as nonthreatening as words can be. But put them together, side by side, and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life. What if? What if? What if?

I've had so many "what if's" in the past. Too many to mention, girl. So many regrets that may have led me to a different me today. Don't we all? I've never been the type who had a clear vision of what I wanted to be when I was younger. I wanted to be a lot of things, but didn't focus on just one thing. I had a high school classmate who wore a Magiging Doktor shirt, and that's exactly what she is right now. I never had that defining moment where I ultimately decided what I wanted to be. However, as I grow older, good lord I'm in my late 30's, what if's become more about the future and more looming than just a simple question.

What if I lived in the US?
In 2019, I had a taste of staying with my family in Georgia and California. I can say without trying to be offensive that I felt so much better having my family close by. Offensive because I don't want those I know here to feel invalidated. It's just that I waited for it all my life and no one else I know can understand or has the same experience. The thing is, how can I start over again? I'm almost 40. What jobs await me? Where will I live? I already have a house here. How can I bring my pets? Isn't it too late to start over again?

What if I changed careers?
Late. I hate that word. I hate late because sometimes I feel like my development is later than everyone else. My friends have families, my contemporaries have PhDs/MDs, etc. I know my journey is quite different from others, but sometimes I wonder what if I had been more proactive? Lately, I have been thinking of switching careers before it's too late. I'm getting sick, I'm missing out on things I want to do because of my schedule. I do everything at home. I have no one else to help me with errands. The more I stay on the night shift, the more effed up my schedule becomes. I've been presented with the opportunity to change that, to have more control over my schedule. Do I leave the industry that took care of me for almost two decades or do I risk stability for a job that gives me more freedom? I'm at that point where I don't want my time to be dependent on other people's decisions, where my team can change overnight without me knowing.

What if I settled down?
My first two what if's will definitely affect my third. I have never had a relationship that lasted long enough to really build a future. I can't do an Oprah with myself right now, but all i know is I am not good with relationships. But what if I were? I probably have someone coming with me to doctor's appointments, or have someone sharing expenses with me or have someone help take care of the doggos with me. Some people may ask, why don't you go back to your family home? I don't think I would. It's not a place where I can exercise complete freedom and authority, having to share and co-exist with several people. No offense meant, just the tea. But is there anyone I can settle down with? I don't know what needs to change. I'd like to think I'm a likable person. Or am I just supposed to give a "Jane, Wanda" speech in the end?

If I were asked which of these three I'm close to coming to terms with, it would be the second one. Maybe this year, maybe next year. Who knows, I'm really hoping things go well. I just don't want to look back 2-3 years from now and look at another "what if". I've had enough "what if's" haunting me. It's time I did something courageous and out of my comfort zone. What's your "what if"?

Posted by jc_pagdanganan 14:46 Archived in Philippines

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