I wish I texted you more after we finished college. I remember 2008 as a busy year, with me preparing for the World Youth Day in Sydney and you preparing for your first semester in Ateneo Law. I was also jobhunting, with my frequent interviews becoming more like a reason to dress up in corporate attire. I recall the anxiety and anticipation of waiting for follow-up interviews. It was daunting, since I wanted to embark on my first job as soon as possible. I did not know how to tell you all of these, because you seemed so put-together, like you had everything figured out already. I felt like a kid next to you. Talking to you always felt like being with an adult, and in many ways you were the designated grown-up in my life. I hope you understand now that I was not avoiding you before your death. I was figuring out how to grow up so I could step up in life, which you seemed to master effortlessly.
It is ironic that in your death, I realized that my life was only beginning. My first job happened shortly after you passed away. I was handling tasks beyond my Humanities training, and my role had a steep learning curve. It kept my mind away from the pain of losing you, but it seemed to help me find myself too. It was in my finance job that I realized how much I love to read for pleasure. I can never give up on myself and what makes me who I am. The pain of your loss made me delight in this finding.
I am returning to you on your thirtieth birth anniversary. The pain has never left, but I'm more stable now. I am working in the academe just like you, and the funny thing was you told me before that I am a perfect fit for this industry. I am still learning the ropes, but I'm liking the seas I'm sailing on. I hope I can make you proud.