Letters of Youth


Childhood is that part of life that no matter how old we get, we never forget. The stories of yesteryears are like treasures hidden in our minds; providing joy and happiness every time it passes our consciousness, especially during the darkest of times. The adventures and misadventures of youth, the mischiefs and troubles created, the friendships made and the moments shared, although could not be brought back again, nurture old minds and tired souls, and as always permit one to smile and laugh, even cry. It brings a different jolt to our body whenever nostalgia sinks in. It shows excitement. It brings back life to tired eyes. The stories of the past provide reprieve even for a short span of time. A much needed break from the present. A necessary look back before facing and braving the front.

/ 29 July 2020

When I was a kid, my dreams varied from being simple to outrageous. At one point, I wanted to be a streetsweeper. I always found it cool when they roam around in our community armed with dustpans and broomsticks, ready to keep it clean. I thought that they were doing it for us; kids who love to play and live in the streets, for us not to get dirty, and not to be scolded by our parents. ‘Play and enjoy your youth’, that would be the message I would infer from their smiles whenever they see us. I then said to myself that in the future, I will be one for the sake of my kids and their playmates as well.

Then I imagined myself as a Power Ranger, a Ninja and a Saiyan. I mean, who would not? Who would not want to have those powers and have the ability to save the world? Who would not want to fly, ride a cloud, walk above water and drive a megazord? That was the ultimate dream.

As a kid, I was aware of the limitations my body can do. I knew there were things I could not do yet due to my age. I recognized the fact that there are things suited to be done by adults only. Hence, when I was a kid, I could not wait to grow up and old.

No truer statement would be apt other than be really careful for what you wish for.

Being in the 20’s in today’s world is both interesting and frightening. You are transitioning not only to adulthood but also the way of living. On one hand, you’ve enjoyed a childhood where dirt is a treasure and the sun is your clock; that while you generally loathe waking up early on a daily basis, weekends were the exceptions. You’ve felt cool dragging that trolley bag on your way to school, all your books and celebrity-graced notebooks neatly piled in. Lunch breaks meant sharing food with your best buddies and the final school bell signifies the official play time until the sun sets and before your parents hunt you down.

On the other hand, you’ve had the chance to witness the advent of technology, and the birth of social media, among other scientific breakthroughs. You are old enough to understand the increasing imbalance in the environment, the alarming rate of extinction of other animal species and the wide arrays of issues being elevated to the human’s consciousness; its importance and the necessity of it to be resolved. You were at the front seat when internet accessed the lives of many people; from dial-up to wireless fidelity, and the first to enjoy the philosophy of the smaller (things), the better.

To be in your 20’s at this point appears to be fascinating; it is as if while you venture into something different, life equals it, creating a more thrilling path to take. Life actually matures as you do. The shift in the paradigm of life is evident, not just because of the passage of time but because there is a change in you. When I hit the twenty-something mark, realizations come to me at a speed faster than the usual, leaving me rattled at times. I expected from a young age that time will eventually come in which I will need to evolve and embrace the forthcoming change. I conditioned my mind that in due time, a transformation will take place and I can do only little about it and the better way is to embrace it. Yet, with the world increasing its stride, there are times I feel that I am actually lost; lost for words and lost in life.

There is an invisible and additional weight in making decisions. As a young adult, you want to make an impression not to those around you but to yourself. It is that phase in life that decisions need to be weighed, and must be carefully deliberated. Pressure is not just constant, it is growing.

There are moments that I feel that. It leaves me frustrated because it appears that I cannot catch up with the pace of life. It makes me scared that if I could not play the tempo it offers, it will leave me for good. There is a fear of not meeting personal goals and expectations; of failing myself in the end. The unsettling feeling takes over me, creating a mental chaos in the process. I would feel that, and it drains the confidence I built over the years.

As a result, you would want to revert to the kid you were once; least worries to feel, no speed to match. Satisfied with what is to be offered, every thing a child does would be a surprise. The element of uncertainty is replaced by amazement. No expectations to meet, only dreams to live. You miss the innocence and naivetes associated with tender age.

I would stay still in bed; be in deep thinking. I would understand the importance for a kid to actually be able to dream without the gravity of life holding him back. It is for our old selves to carry as we age; for us to be reminded that we were once little bundles filled with hope, that once upon a time, we view living as our next adventure.

And it will hit you that maybe, that is what we all need to do. Not exactly be a kid again, for all humans grow old, but keep that part of a kid spirit alive. Whenever motions of life appear to be overwhelming, maybe you can pause a little, remember those days, before taking another step.

Today, I can only look back at the good old times of being a kid. I can do nothing more but reminisce those easy-going days, with friends in tow and many streets to invade. I can now just live those moments of being a ninja, a saiyan, and a ranger by playing random episodes in YouTube, whenever time permits. Therefore, as we go along this challenging yet momentous part of growing up, let us be reminded of our ten-year-old selves. Whenever we encounter those difficult times, envision your childhood that is full of optimism and enthusiasm. Who knows, your younger self may still be with their arms up to give you the needed boost.

The natural law of life dictates us to proceed forward. In order to go full circle, we experience different stages in our lifetime. While life is essentially prospective, there is no harm in looking back to the yesterday, especially if it will allow us to prepare for tomorrow. To move forward does not mean to bury the trail of the past, for we know, it is the very reason we live the present and see the future.