When I was little I wish that I’d never grow old. Maybe I would be able to play the toys my parents couldn’t afford if I wait a little longer and won’t grow an inch taller. Maybe they could afford a car instead of us 4 riding on a bike as we visit my grandparents. Maybe, just maybe, I my parents could afford to celebrate my birthday in the class just like every single one of my classmates. Maybe they could afford to buy new uniforms instead of us using hand-me-downs. I still recall how badly I wished for that to happen.
Eventually I grew taller. My dad would have us stand with the wall on our backs and measure how tall we’ve grown since the last month. We still couldn’t afford the toys. We still use the same old bike. We still can’t afford to celebrate my birthday in class. And I’m still using hand-me-downs. I wonder why I still grow taller wherein I wish I won’t.
I would not buy food during recess so I could save my baon and would be able to buy the toys we couldn’t afford. Sometimes I would walk for miles from school to our house so I could save it for a new pair of shoes. But no matter how I saved it I still couldn’t afford the stuff that my classmates had.
I envied them. How cool their toys were. How fancy the clothes that hugged them. I could even tell how tasty their baons were when I smelled of them when they happen to passed me by. But time has its own way of making me understand that there’s no way I could ever enjoy what my classmates were enjoying that time. Nasanay na ako, or so I thought.
Then one night, we received a package from dad when he was assigned in Manila. The package was huge and was so heavy. My mom opened it and to our delight, a family computer was safely tucked inside. I was so happy back then. After months and months of staring my neighbor played their family computer I could finally play our own. I remembered how my brother and I were jumping out of joy. That night I finally felt that my wish had been finally granted.
When I was in collage and was granted a scholarship and a stipend that comes with it, I would buy toys and put it in a glass-door cabinet as my collection for everyone to see. I would not play with them. I just take a look at them as a reminder that sometimes you just have to be patient to get what you want. Sometimes work even harder just to get it.
Now I’m quite earning enough and eventually grow tall and obviously not a child anymore. I would still visit toy stores and just stare at the toys inside. Sometimes I would buy some to give it to my younger siblings even if they no longer need it. I realized that it’s me that I’m trying to satisfy more that anyone else.
I would now visit fancy restaurants just to experience what it’s like. Take pleasure in every minute detail of what it can offer my senses.
The child still lurking inside of me craves for that and sometimes I gave in. Sometimes, excess is better than not having what you needed, it would tell me.
Having a childhood like that drives me to try even harder. I may not be rich but I’m living comfortably as of the moment. I’m still working hard to keep the comfort that I’m enjoying now though. You see I’ve been working since 2003 and it is only now that I am able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. It may have taken me that long but I got here after all. My childhood experience would stay as a reminder for me to work hard so I could continue to take pleasure in what I have right now.
I no longer wish not to grow old. Instead, I’d like to wish for the day that I no longer have to work to enjoy the best of what life has to offer.
The Curious Cat
P.S. Image courtesy of http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/thumblarge_122/11716489105Jz0t8.jpg