I’m starting to see a pattern here. Something big always seems to happen to me every 10 years or so. Except for when I was 10, that is—I can’t seem to recall any profound experience that happened when I was that age. I was probably too young to have any. Just as likely, though: I might’ve been just too young to notice.
The pattern clearly began when I was 21. I graduated from college, got my first real job and, for the first time, felt a profound sense of independence from my parents, from my extended family (whose hold on me was quite strong), and from the idyllic but ultimately stifling conditions of my Bikol hometown.
Exactly 10 years after that, well ensconced as an assistant professor in the English Department at the University of the Philippines, I would meet my wife J and begin a friendship with her that, within, a couple of years, would lead us to uproot ourselves from the Philippines altogether and move halfway across the globe, to begin a new life in the U.S.—which itself would bring about a period of great growth for us as individuals and as a pair.
And now this. Another 10 years later, we again find ourselves on the move—across the state, to what feels like a new life once again—or a new stage, at least—when we both sense that our new experiences—new challenges, but also new joys—are molding us into better versions of ourselves.