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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Ragay

Fast Forward Ten Years

Happy Summer! I'm starting a blog!

I'm not going to lie, I started writing a few entries back in January and I lost steam. A lot has happened in this first half of the year and I honestly can't believe how fast it has flown.

I think the reason I wanted to start blogging at the beginning of the year was because of emotions (lol naturally). I have a journal, so I don't need to go into detail but the biggest thing is that I graduated high school a decade ago, in 2013.

It's not a long time ago, honestly. I definitely still feel young. Time moves by so much faster now as an adult, BEEF had a great quote on this, and I'm okay with it.

It's the amount of growth and change that has happened that scares me. I wonder how I will be in ten more years. I can already feel and see so much transforming before my eyes, which I know I'm very lucky to be able to say.

This time around, I still have a lot of feelings (maybe even more than the beginning of the year) but I want to start a blog to not only allow myself to scream into the void a little bit, but also give myself another place to write.

I am in a position in life where I am doing a shit load of writing. And I like to write pen and paper, old school style. I love feeling my hand cramp up LOL. I have a journal, a dream journal, a planner, I am "one of those" who records and tracks the astrological forecast to make moves that benefit me, and I was recently accepted into a year-long screenwriting program for military vets with the Writers Guild Foundation in Los Angeles.

Yes, it is absolutely a big deal. You can read more about it here: Writers Guild Foundation - Veterans Writing Project

With all this writing taking up my time, I need to make sure I don't dread it. I compare it to being a runner (which Isaias is, I'm not); they obviously use their legs leisurely when they are not training, so I need more pockets of enjoyment so I won't feel it's too difficult when I have deadlines.

This is what the blog is for, practice and fun. If I was a runner, this blog would be my dancing.

Anyway, dancing and writing aside, I have done some serious inner work. I know I announce that a lot, and maybe I'm just a self-reflection type gal, but MAN, it has been a ride.

January, my brother was here visiting in Germany. He is now living in New Zealand, and I cannot be more proud of him for being outside his comfort zone. February, I took it slow because I knew in March, I would be part of a film crew in Kurdistan. KURDISTAN. I will definitely need to make a separate post about my time there. Luckily, I journaled!

Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan - A BTS photo

Kurdistan really took a toll on me psychologically so April was all about rest and recovery. At the end of the month, I found out I made it into the writing program (woo!), so May was a bit of planning what my summer was going to look like since June I would be traveling to Los Angeles.

I planned on a month-long trip down the California coast and it ended up being far more intense than I expected. Reuniting with friends was amazing but the draw to dive deeper into myself was so strong. Maybe because the last time I was in California was 2019 and I was vastly different then? I don't know.

My writing group in the Veterans Writing Project - New York Film Academy, Burbank, CA

All of this change, success and the pace and emotional demand of everything I have done this year, combined with the knowledge of my ten year high school anniversary, has forced me to look at the last decade.

How insane is it that I still have close relationships with friends from high school? It's even crazier that I hang out with two of them regularly in Berlin. Shout out to Mariah for frolicking around this wonderful city with me.

After high school, I was in the Air Force working as a Pashto translator for six years. I literally worked in one of those insane buildings with multiple levels of security and could not (and still can't) talk about my job.

I work in film now, it blows my mind how normal it was for me to deal with ~classified~ documents on a daily basis.

Another big one, I married someone! And not just anyone, I married Isaias, an actual angel on Earth. If you have not had the chance to meet him, you are definitely missing out. Honestly, even five years ago, I would not have imagined dating someone, let alone marrying someone. I am incredibly lucky.

Of course, life is not just happiness and love, so it's been tough too but I don't find it beneficial to dwell, at least not in this moment.

When I started writing my draft blog posts earlier this year, they did have an air of sadness to them. Many of my schoolmates have died or have gotten into crime and addiction the past few years and I feel it's a weird phenomena for American military kids who grew up outside of the US. The constant moving as a child and living in a foreign country makes it seem like there's no real sense of community, so when you grow up, you find it's even harder to relate with people. It terrifies me. I recognize it in myself, and I work my ass off to try to heal and find purpose, so I know how difficult it is and how much easier it would be to just give up.

That's why I write a lot. That's why I have been journaling since I was a kid. I wrote weird ass screenplays in high school but they helped me to deal with these crazy, complex emotions (and frankly, raging hormones) that I had no idea how to express. I didn't even feel like I was allowed to express them anyway. I am the oldest daughter of parents straight up from the Philippines. I grew up with American military kids in the middle of Bavaria, Germany. What the fuck do I say and who is going to listen?

I needed an escape, and now that I am writing in a career-sense, I don't want to lose what it means to me.

I am hoping that ten years into the future, I will be proud of myself and how I did the work to become a better person and a better writer. I would love to be able to humble brag once again how many dope projects I was a part of in the next decade.

And if nothing ever changes, I know that I am more than happy with what I have done and what I have now.

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