Getting caught in toxic relationships is never easy, especially in the Filipino culture where people tend to move in flocks and herds. Never mind that some interactions are tinged with manipulation and quid pro quo—you scratch my back, I scratch yours—in order to make it, we are told, you have to keep scratching and conforming to the status quo and grinning and bearing things (and people).
But as a favorite quote of mine goes, "You can't fly with the eagles if you keep scratching with the turkeys." What I was too afraid to admit earlier this year has turned out to be an amazing gift. Trials are the best way to weed out your foes from your real friends, my mom said. Those who won't believe you or stand by you didn't deserve to be with you in the first place, my dad said. No one will be weighing you down anymore, my sister said. You can finally bloom and grow to be the person you were meant to be, my brother said.
I look at the vast garden of people who have helped me blossom throughout the past year. How right they were. :)
lovechic.ph / @shailagarde