There are a few moments in life that will happen to all of us that stand out far and above the rest. While it is true that hundreds and thousands of incidents will occur throughout the entirety of our lifetime, these “key moments” are the ones that define who we are, were, or will be. I see these moments in life as tests. Just like a school semester that has many days and hours, there are only a handful of tests. And just like those key moments in life, only those handful of tests really matter in the end.
I come here before you all today a humbled person.
As much as I’d like to think that I’m better, smarter, tougher, more honorable, different, etc. etc., than those that have also failed life’s toughest tests, I am not. I dropped the ball in the worst kind of way. And in doing so, I might have destroyed the greatest thing I’ve ever had. I don’t throw “ever” around often, but in this case, it’s very necessary. All because of my selfishness. Because I once again felt that I was something that I am not. I continued to live in a delusion, until I became one. A walking, talking, breathing delusion. Running wild with reckless abandon in search for all the things I didn’t have, and overlooking all the things I did have.
Why do we always believe that the grass is greener on the other side? We fail to realize that we could have the greenest grass on the block, if we would just water it.
I let my grass wither and now I stare at the debacle that I created with a surprising feeling of hope.
Because although I sabotaged everything I had, a special person showed me a lot more than failure that night.
This special person never stopped believing in me. This person was loyal to me beyond words, which is why I will stop here and not even attempt to explain her loyalty.
This person is brave and courageous and hit me where nobody else ever has.
Because she cared enough to do so.
This person was not afraid to “go there”. And taught me what I needed to see about myself, although it was very painful and scary.
Because she cared enough to do so.
And this person, in the end, proved herself to be the best friend I’ve ever known.
Because she is more than enough.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have many many lovely, amazing, great, honest people in my life. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them. I look up to and learn many things from all of you, whether you know it or not. You might never know it, but you all influence me and affect the person that I am today and I am truly blessed to have all of you in my life. But this special person just does it a little more.
This person has a heart bigger than mine and a drive more intense than mine. This person is a dreamer like me, but she dreams bigger. She is sweet. She is tough. She is funny. She is smart. She is beautiful. She wears her heart on her sleeve, just like I used to.
I let her down and I couldn’t be sorrier.
But even through all of that pain, she still somehow managed to show me that I could be so much more, and do so much more if I just find it and grab it and use it.
Because she truly believes I have it.
And now, so do I.
This is a turning point in my life, and I will become the best me I can be. I have had my guard up. I have got away from myself. I have been fearful for a long time. I have not broke down the walls in years since the “Great Invasion”, and my true feelings have been hiding away for too long. I’ve missed out on too much and haven’t “left it all out there” like I do in other aspects of my life.
As much as I wanted to believe that these things couldn’t be me, they are. Correction, they were.
I’m sorry to everyone I have ever hurt that has believed in me. I’m sorry to everyone that I have hurt that has trusted me. I’m sorry to those that I have hurt that have had faith in me.
I’m not perfect.
I’ve been a hypocrite. I’ve been a liar. I’ve been an underachiever.
I’m sorry to those that I have proved wrong when they said all of the above was not true about me.
I never meant to hurt you all. I never wanted to hurt you all.
And while it is true that I cannot go in the past and change anything, I can be the best Eric Duardo that I can from here till the future, and change everything.
I’ve made the wrong decision more than once.
Now thanks to her, I can admit defeat.
Now thanks to her, I can accept that I am not invincible.
Now thanks to her, I realize that I’ve got to let go.
Thanks to her, I can finally see the me I was meant to be.
Sometimes the best thing to do, is the hardest thing to do. And I truly believe this path will be a very painful one, but I couldn’t be any more excited to travel down its familiar pavement.
I’ve made mistakes. But none bigger than this one.
She forgives my mistakes every single time, because she knows there is more to me than that.
This person showed me that it is never too late. There is such a thing as second chances. And third chances. And fourth chances…
This person of mine is more than just “lip service”. She is real. She is genuine. She is not a liar, or a cheat, or a hypocrite. She is all those beautiful things that I used to be.
But in her true fashion, she has faith in me when no one else has, and I can never thank her enough.
And I have faith in her. I believe in her. She could have the world if she wanted to.
And she will.
She is amazing and I’m so so happy to have met her by chance (fate) on that random spring day May 12, 2009. I walked in being upset about schoolwork and some other useless nonsense and walked out meeting one of the best people I have ever been lucky enough to have in my life.
I am so grateful for her.
She is not perfect. But she never claims to be. That makes her perfect for me. And she is.
I will be back.
I will be better.
I have grown up a lot this past year or so, and that is no accident. Again, this wonderful person had a ton to do with it. She never stops giving.
Thanks to her selflessness, this epiphany in my life will become a reality.
Hopefully she never gets too far, because as long as I could see her, I’ve got my eye on the prize.
Thank you Angela Gomez.