Time went by too quickly for my taste.

I know, I know. There's this excitement about being independent and growing up, having sleep-overs and sharing secrets with your closest friends. My childhood was rich, and if I could go back to relive it, I would, and wouldn't dare change a thing.

You may be wondering why I'm suddenly so gloomy and serious. Well yesterday, I decided to open up one of my old suitcases and see what years of keeping random things would bring me.

Before going to this country, I used to be so scared about the idea of being around Arabs. Maybe it was the culture, and the general notion about Muslim countries being super dangerous. Or maybe it was because everything would be different once I got there. Whatever it was, I felt caged with the decision I had to make: either stay here in the Philippines alone or go with my family to Oman.

I've never regretted my choice in going with them, and I never will. I learnt so many things in Oman during the three years of our stay. In all honesty, maybe it was the place I actually grew up in.

I've always been fond of writing random things when I go out and get bored, and this little habit of mine flourished at this country. I had a load of time on my hands, and almost every bit of it was spent writing about anything. I was also into lists and schedules back then (and I still am) and made sure I had things planned for the day, even if all I had to do was hang up clothes to dry or sweep the floor.

College was also a problem. I left the Philippines right after graduating from High School, so I had no plans prepared. The tuition was expensive, and for non-Omani's, it was hard getting into a university. Being the woman I was then, I downloaded application forms from schools across Europe and America and decided to push for education.

One of the schools I wanted to apply at was the University of East London. I wanted to take a course in the Bachelor of Arts, and just when I had my heart set on a course, I realized there was an important missing piece - finances.

We weren't poor, but we weren't filthy rich either. We had relatives abroad who could help, but factors were present which stopped me from seeking their aid. I researched for more quality but affordable schools and again realized how hopeless things were turning out. In the end, I chose to study a 6-month course at the Sultan Qaboos University.

Unsatisfied with the turn of events, I sought different ways to get over my disappointment. I turned to music and practiced the piano way more than I used to and took the time to hone the little "arts and crafts" I knew, starting with creating bookmarks and other things. It was also at this time that I learned basic HTML coding (via Blogger) and some vocal exercises to further my connection with music.

Of course, it was also during this time that I got more involved at church and the ministry. I joined the worship team and became active in my daily devotions. I kept a prayer list as well, which served as the closing ceremony of the day. I also planned to join the Desert Challenge: Dubai event (a youth camp) but failed to go through because I wasn't granted a visa (for unknown reasons).

I remember being super excited for this camp! The week before, I couldn't keep still and kept thinking about what to bring and how it would be like. Another addition to my disappointment, obviously, but that was the least of my problems. I don't sulk about lost opportunities as I find it a tiresome way to spend time.

I've forgotten why, but I also took the IELTS test while I was here. It was an important part of my year, mostly because I needed it to get into whatever school I would be aiming for. I may not have gotten a Band 9, but 8 seems just fine.

All I can say is this: Nothing you want will ever happen exactly how you planned it. No matter how much time you put into trying to make that possible, if it isn't destined for you, you won't get it. It may land on your hands, but it'll flow along to the next deserving person like a river flows to become part of something bigger.

I've tried reaching for other parts of the river, but without a bridge, I can never get far enough. Time will come when I'll finally get to the better place but until then, I have to keep moving forward.

To reminisce the past is to bring light to the future.
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