Being a High School senior, seeing little children playing around just brings out the little green-eyed monster in me wishing that I could go back to those wonderful days. Those days when no one really cared if you wore something fashionable or not. Those days when toys were your BFF’s. Those days when you could sing at the top of your lungs (and end up singing out of tune) but you didn’t care at all because Old MacDonald Had A Farm was your jam and when having a Princess-themed lunchbox made you really feel like a princess. Those were the good days.
My parents constantly remind me that I was that kid who “said the darnest things.” Up to now, they could never forget how I openly thought that there were people inside ATM machines, giving money to those who needed it. When Former President Erap got impeached, my folks tried explaining it to me that he was a mean, grouchy man who stole the country’s money and I was passionate in saying: “We should punish him by keeping him locked in the ATM and make him give all the money back!” I remember my parents erupting into laughter and tears but I was intent on making my plan happen. (I still kind of am, so future corrupt officials, beware!)
Another thing about me as a kid was that I believed in everything my sister told me. One time, she told me that she was a half-witch that goes to school only at night when I was asleep. Thing is, I believed her. I was intent on going to this magic school with her so I stayed up all night to wait. Nothing happened. But that was the night I learned something new: how to stay up late.
I never did learn my lesson so my sister continued to make a fool out of me. She explained the day after that she was too tired for magic school. I understood. She started telling me afterwards that she got terribly sick because she drank orange juice. Apparently, she was deadly allergic to it. In another time, we went downstairs for a midnight snack and she acted as if she was about to die after drinking some orange juice. Not even minding her poor acting skills, I panicked and started crying for my sister.
The last thing about me that I can finally share without feeling all that bad about it is that I was bullied a lot. Having been the only “englisera” (english-speaking person) in the pre-school I attended, I was the target for most of the rowdy boys. I remember this one boy who kept trying to steal my Coke and pulling my hair (I think his name was Kevin) — he was always be out to make me cry. (It was revealed after I left the school that he apparently had a crush on me.) Another boy would snatch my pad paper and use it as a “skates” around the classroom. Other girls would think I wasn’t girly enough for them so they avoided me. Being me, I stayed quirky and weird throughout those painful years and I’d like to thank the 6-year old me for never changing who she was.
My childhood proved to be eventful and actually quite funny when I remember about all the things I said and did. I cried at all my birthday parties because the clowns and mascots seemed like they all wanted to eat me. I pretended to have learned Atlantean and impressed the other kids by writing random symbols. My best friend is a witness to how I told everyone that I could control the wind just by raising my hands. Looking back, I was such a cool kid.
Growing up, I learned that no, it is impossible to punish corrupt officials by locking them in ATM and no, my sister isn’t allergic to orange juice and wasn’t attending a magic school. The older I grew, the more I understood about grown-up things like Economics and literature. I learned about how love isn’t just about sending an anonymous valentine card to your crush. (And that cars are not psychic– the driver actually controls the arrows that light up.)
However, the older I grew, the more I forgot about the child in me. Here I am, constantly doubting the capacity of the girl who was absent for every graduation practice but still ended up shocking people with her original poem for the graduation ceremony. I find myself constantly forgetting how wonderful it felt for the 4 year-old me to finally get a baby brother — when I get impatient with my now 13-year old brother because he’s “painfully annoying.” Also, I never really got to affirm the little girl who took all her guts to high-five that horrible clown just so she could get a balloon sword. Lastly: Why do I even allow myself to feel awkward when asked to dance, when I was that girl who got the “Best in Dancing” award back in Kindergarten?
Why is it so easy for me to lose confidence in myself now when the kid in me never gave up on being loud, proud and amazing?