Meditations of a Self-assuming Diamond in the Rough

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Shizuku from the movie “Whisper of the Heart”. Watch it.

I just finished watching “Whisper of the Heart”, an anime movie about a girl who was inspired to write a fantasy novel. ‘Twas a heartwarming movie, romance elements notwithstanding.

Shizuku, a bookworm and a talented writer, never thought of her future and how she would use her talents. It took a fateful meeting with Seiji, a violin player who dreams to become a master luthier, to realize that she had to develop her skills and build up her future while following her own dreams.

What caught my attention was what Grandpa Nishi (Seiji’s grandfather) said when Shizuku voiced out her doubts about her writing:

“When you first become an artist, you are like that rock. You’re in a raw, natural state with hidden gems inside. You have to dig down deep and find the emeralds tucked away inside you. And that’s just the beginning. Once you’ve found your gems, you have to polish them. It takes a lot of hard work.”

When I started writing about food, it was just an outlet for my love for cuisine and much more. Then again, I’m not very confident with my food writing, much more my career as a writer. I’ve been writing news stories for 18 years, and I still think I haven’t progressed. It had been my dream to be a writer, and it still is.

I once thought that since I wanted to be a writer, I had to work hard and see it through to the end. I saw writing as a career and an outlet for my emotions and thoughts. But now I realized that was how I saw my dream, and nothing more.

After watching the film, I thought, “Have I lost my passion for writing? Am I really working hard to be a great writer, or have I reduced myself into a mere career person? Is this what I was aiming for in life?”

I don’t know what is holding me back, or why I’m holding back, or if I’m holding back for a later opportunity and forgot about it altogether. In any case, Grandpa’s words were enough to make me think really hard… And at this point, I’m thinking about my future.

Someone once told me I was a “diamond in the rough”. I guess that person think I’m going to be worth much. Yet it seems that all this time I haven’t been digging for the gems inside me. But all is not lost, even for one as old as myself. The new year has barely started. Let the digging begin, I say.

I don’t care anymore if I don’t have the time to travel. I don’t care if I’m not healthy enough, or I don’t have the funds and connections to eat out, or I don’t have the opportunities to sharpen my craft altogether. I intend to become better as a food writer. Everything I need will come as I need them, like a Deus ex machina or an eleventh hour superpower or something. That much I affirm.

To you who is reading this, take the time to think about your dreams and goals in life. Compare yourself from the past, yourself today, and the you that you see in the future. Perhaps, just like me, you have yet to unlock your full potentials and move a step, a skip, a leap closer to what you wish to become.

Whatever it is, I give you my prayers and wishes for success. May the whispers of the heart that dreams like you guide your steps in life.

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