Matilda

I can clearly remember how I got excited whenever my sister calls me because “Matilda” was being played on HBO. I sat down and happily watched a story that I finished a number of times already. But yesterday, I decided to watch it again. I don’t know what exactly triggered me. I guess, I just missed Matilda? The young girl that I adored when I was young. She’s smart, she loved to read books (I can only wish that I loved reading books too) and she’s brave. I also remembered some of the characters like Bruce who ate a lot of chocolate cakes and Lavender who was a good friend to Matilda.

But as I watched the film again after more than a decade, I loved a differnet character. This time it was not Matilda. It wasn’t Bruce or Lavender either. It was Miss Honey – the teacher of the kids. Maybe because of the age when I watched the film? See. I liked Matilda and her friends when I watched it years ago. I think I’m just between 10-13 years old back then? Not so sure. But now I’m 24 and my heart was captured by their teacher.

One of the lines that struck my heart was: “Oh, I believe that you should believe in whatever power you think you have inside of you. Believe it with all your heart.” It was from Miss Honey.

After the movie, I took a short time to reflect on those words. I remembered how I was a dreamer when I was younger. I firmly believed back then that I can be whatever I want to be. I can be a dancer, an actor, a celebrity, a host or even a Summa Cum Laude graduate from UP Diliman finishing a law degree. Yes, I can remember my younger self imagining those things to happen just because I believed in what I can do. But that version of me changed slowly. Year by year, when I faced harsh realities of life, I felt like I’m being slapped with the truths that I remorsefully believed in. That I am not good as I thought of myself to be, that I am just a person with mediocre abilities. Until now, I’m still haunted by those thoughts. I feared a lot of things. I limited the directions that I took because I thought that I can just do this and that and I’m not meant to do some of the things that I want.

Watching the movie again did not change my mind. But if my beliefs gradually changed through time, it will also gradually get better. You know, it’s hard to believe in fairy tales or to imagine that you can just do whatever you put your heart and mind into when you get to adulthood facing responsibilities. You can’t just go and jump because you are not working to live just for yourself. But I’m glad I heard those words. They may not be impactful now but they gave me hope. A hope that my life isn’t over yet. As long as I wake up for another day, I get a chance to be better.

May we find the courage to start dreaming like a child again. That we can fly and reach places we want our wings to lead us to. To allow our hearts jump with joy as we decide to go for the things that we wanted to do for so long.

Turning our dream into reality is a long and exhausting process. It’s a journey of a thousand miles that begins with a single step. And I think that first step is to believe that you can reach the end of your journey.

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