Summer and Tom on their special bench in DTLA


I was a brokenhearted mess when I first came across this scene from 500 Days of Summer. I remember sobbing hysterically in SM Megamall in Manila, Philippines beside my mom and my younger brother. It was 2009 and if my memory serves me right, the then “love of my life” was seeing someone exclusively. Just like annoying Tom, I wondered why he didn’t choose me, but Summer’s words hit home and ironically enough, made me see the situation for what it was.


What I didn’t know then as I was sobbing in the theater while eating my giant tub of popcorn that ten years later, my husband and I would celebrate New Year’s Day 2020 in the exact same spot where this scene was filmed. My husband and I moved to Los Angeles in 2017 and our first jobs were right in the middle of DTLA – they were not glamorous jobs but looking back, they were exactly what we needed at that time. That job of mine allowed me to see the beautiful places of DTLA because I was always on foot, spend a lot of time with my husband who worked in the same building, and just fully embrace Los Angeles for what it is.

My photo of the exact same location, January 01, 2020

One of my favorite memories of that time is my early morning dates with my husband on top of Angels Flight and just taking a moment to breathe in our new home. I recall those memories with joy because I remember just being grateful to be in a place that I’ve dreamed of for so long. Back then it was a silly dream, one that I didn’t actively pursued but I guess it’s true that God hears our deepest prayers even if we say them in a whisper.

The past weekend has been invigorating because I finally had a chance to slow down and in this stillness, I was brought back to gratitude – I wasn’t focused on where I wanted to be but instead focused on this present moment and how far God has got me through. Sometimes we forget about the answered prayers because we’re out looking for the next one, I am guilty of that too. I am so grateful to be here in this beautiful country and to see these beautiful spaces that I only watched on TV or the movie screen. I am grateful because God has made my dreams come true and most importantly, I am so grateful because God has faithfully healed my heart so many times. And not only that, I am grateful because God answers prayers, even during the days when we don’t feel He has. So thankful for today, so thankful for this life, and I am so thankful for all that is to come.