Collide

If I had to choose one word to describe 2016, it would be: collide, inspired by Howie Day’s song “Collide.” This word/song donned on me unexpectedly actually: I went to the Philippines recently and spent Christmas and New Year with my older brother and his family (along with my mom, little brother, and uncle). There, I discovered that my nephew plays the guitar, and the song “Collide” was one of the many songs he played, to which we all sang. But out of all the songs, this one seemed to resonate the most, I think because that word “collide” made me think of so many collisions I experienced this year…collision with culture, people (myself included), relationships, friendships, family, principles, ideals, religion, spirituality, politics, etc. I knew of this song, but wasn’t well-versed with the lyrics so when I rediscovered it, I was sold: this was the word…the song because it captures the vast textures and aspects and dimensions of my life this past year that has come and gone like the wind. People often associate this word with a negative connotation, but this word’s application to my life embodies both the good and bad. Things have collided in a good way and things have collided in a bad way. This word/song applies to the personal struggles I’d experienced this past year, the hope and hopelessness I’d felt; the endless longing and falling, the fleeting thrills and sobering realizations; it narrates the complexities of my relationships I’d witnessed, the complexities of myself as a human being and all the convoluted feelings, thoughts, and desires that come along with being human; there’s an element of uncertainty to this song – not knowing even after all the building and planning and reaching a dream – a kind of uncertainty that permeated in all aspects of my life – but there’s also an acceptance of this uncertainty embedded in Mr. Day’s melody, an acceptance that sometimes we can’t explain certain phenomena, only feel it, only embrace it, and to approach it the best way we know how; this word/song instills a sense of peace and belonging despite being amid this world’s chaos; it tells me that I’m not perfect, that I make mistakes, but I am trying my best to be resilient, to try again, that it is in the mistakes that actually teach us about ourselves, others, and life so that we can grow and become better; this word/song reminds me that despite all the detours I’d taken – personally, physically, spiritually – I ultimately know where to come back to, and it is in collision with that conviction that I find comfort in; it reminds me that that’s…life. This is what this word/song means to me.

Here’s the song (written by Howie Day and Kevin Griffin):

The dawn is breaking
A light shining through
You’re barely waking
And I’m tangled up in you
Yeah

I’m open, you’re closed
Where I follow, you’ll go
I worry I won’t see your face
Light up again

Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme
Out of the doubt that fills my mind
I somehow find
You and I collide

I’m quiet you know
You make a first impression
I’ve found I’m scared to know I’m always on your mind

Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the stars refuse to shine
Out of the back you fall in time
I somehow find
You and I collide

Don’t stop here
I lost my place
I’m close behind

Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme
Out of the doubt that fills your mind
You finally find
You and I collide

You finally find
You and I collide
You finally find
You and I collide

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Our family’s first Christmas and New Year in the Philippines

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Reunited with my biological father’s little Brother, my Tito (uncle in Tagalog) Noli 🙂

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