I don’t even know you personally, and yet I am inexplicably drawn to you. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. First, let me explain.
I was up till late last night watching To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix when I found myself thinking of you. *Bleh*, cheesy, right?
And just like the young adult flick’s Lara Jean Covey, I decided to pen down my feelings. Is this a love letter? Maybe… not really. At least, I don’t think it is. I’m no Lara Jean.
Why I wrote this
Maybe I wrote this because I was flipping through the pages of travel books I bought months back before putting the movie on. I bought those titles (What Distance Tells Us: Travel Essays About the Philippines by Johanna Lim Uy and The Condé Nast Traveler Book of Unforgettable Journeys: Great Writers on Great Places) to nudge me to see you.
Ironically, though, I haven’t even gotten past the first few chapters of both books. What I saw in the tables of contents alone sent me into a place of quiet discomfort: Batanes, Tawi-Tawi, Iloilo, Samar, the Himalayas, Iran, Iceland, Tanzania — all the places I’d love but have never set foot on. All the places that were… well, you.
Who you are
But who are you, really? Like I said, I haven’t even met you. And don’t get me wrong — I don’t believe in love at first sight, either. But somehow, you, destination, were able to sweep me off my feet with barely a snippet of what it’s like to know you.
I see you through photographs, through the vision of those who’ve already laid eyes on you. I wonder: Will I look at you the same way? I hear you, smell you, feel you through the words of those with stories to tell about you. Sometimes, I am wistful that I have none, still.
What you should know
But there are times I wish I never came across you because part of me feels guilty for wanting you. Between growing my measly savings and trying to keep up with the responsibilities of adult life, I sometimes feel like you’re a distraction. And yet, strangely enough, I have this inkling that seeing you will somehow help piece together fragments of what I want in life — a puzzle I’ve yet to figure out.
Do you think you can help me get to know myself better, destination? Because that’s what people have been telling me. I can’t possibly claim to know myself from the inside out. And I’ve also been told that the one constant thing in this life is change. So where’s the certainty in that?
Will I still feel the same way when I finally meet you? I’m telling you that I think I’d love you, that I do love my idea of who you are. But will our story be a 500 Days of Summer kind of fling — the kind where we can actually make a montage out of unrealistic expectations and stark realities? Will we even have a story?
When I’ll see you
I talk about loving you and you being kind to me, at the very least. But I haven’t even figured out when I’ll see you. The thing is, destination, I know how easy it is to fall in love with you. I hear about it all the time. These are the moments when I realise that you aren’t and will never be solely mine… and that’s okay.
I have to be honest, though. I also hear unpleasant things about you. And if I do end up loving you with every fibre of my being, you must know that I don’t love blindly, either. I know there will be good times, but surely it won’t be a walk in the park 100% of the way.
There are even times I feel that the journey going to you will just be too much trouble. It’ll take months of planning and budgeting, and I guess that’s the “unromantic” side of this affair. Will it be worth it? Asking this out in the open liberates me, but at the same time, it makes me feel like I’m asking too much from you. Will you ask a lot of me, too?
How we’ll meet
On second thought, I can’t promise that I’d love you… even if, I must say, you’ve really won me over so far. And I won’t even dare ask that you love me in return. So let’s make a deal, destination. One day, I’ll come knocking — without prejudice, without regrets, and certainly without fear. Could you let me in with arms wide open?