Childhood really was a gold mine. I remember thinking my sister was the coolest because she chose and bought her own clothes. My cousin was the smartest guy ever because he could count 200+220= 420 without ever getting his fingers out. My neighbor's kid was so big because he could reach the latch on our door.
It was golden times because every single smallest thing counted. It counted so much that we were in awe of it all. Getting an ice cream drawn near my test score was the day to day goal in life back then. Mom was always there to kiss away my boo-boos and I could count on Dad to chase away the monsters under my bed.
I can honestly tell you that I couldn't wait to grow up. Earn my own money. Open my own doors. Eat my choice of food. Buy my own clothes. And be just like those who I thought were so cool. And then life happened and we all grew up. Now that I look back I see how naive I was back then and it's not necessarily a bad thing either.
Life was cool when the biggest problems were fallen scores and scraped knees. Just a chocolate bar or a promise of ice cream tonight made the day a whole lot brighter. Being asked to choose the menu for the day was the biggest privilege.
Now when I think back, it makes me wonder where did that kid go? Where did that curious inquisitive troublemaker disappear into? I ask myself everyday how did I become this person!! Is this what I wanted to become when I was smaller? Did I just see parts of the cool people's lives that I was interested in seeing?
Now you may tell me that not all childhood dreams come along. But it wasn't a dream, was it? It was an eagerness, aspiration to grow up and become my own person. Does that count as a dream? My growing up was fairly pleasant. My parents did the best they could and I turned up well if I may say so myself.
But I have always believed that the last thing I want to do in life is to look back and wonder if only! My biggest fear in life is to look back and regret life. To live after all is the point in life, I didn't want to be most people who just exist. Still don't.
But when I think about it and trace back my own path the words unspoken, the decisions not taken, the memories buried, people lost, relationships starved, apologies forgotten and forgiveness ungiven gives me nightmares. Somewhere along the way my life started becoming not mine. And when I turn back I'm questioning myself as to where I stand.
It feels only like a race anymore. Like a race that millions and millions people run and the victories and losses don't even matter in the long run. Its been so long since I swapped secrets with the stars. So long since I danced with the waves. So long since I discussed life decisions with my ceiling. Sometimes it's all so overwhelming other times its all so blank.
I just wanted to ask myself. How many times have you gone out with friends despite a broken budget? How many times did you have to pretend to be busy on the phone, when you hear them making plans without you? How many times have you hidden behind masks when you're grades weren't what you expected them to be? How many days have you masked your tears behind smiles?
Then I told myself to think. So what if my grades weren't good? So what if my English wasn't up to the par? So what if my job doesn't pay me well? So what if I'm not my best friend's best friend too? So what if I took a little longer to be my own person? Why did I have to be smart, savvy, sarcastic, informative, polite, interesting and sweet at the same time only to have a conversation? What if they judge me because I chased behind an icecream truck? So what if I ate double cheese burst pizzas despite being over weight?
Because I learnt it the hard way that the only thing that matters at the end of my day is that I lived it on my terms and loved every second of it. Money, people, Respect, Reputation and everything matters. Yes it does so much. But not at the cost of my happiness.
Then I tell myself to do. Do what makes you happy even if it makes others look at you like crazy. Dance in the rain, walk along shores, meet new people, get thrown out of restaurants, watch Romcoms all night, wear funky tees, make bets, get wasted when you lose them, curse god and curse more when he doesn't co-operate, fall in love, have fallouts and fall in love all over again. Because there is very little precious time in life to shape yourself into a person you like.
So what if you don't know what you want to do next? So what If you made a wrong decision? The decision was yours so learnt to deal with the fall out. You'll realise sooner are later that mistakes are easier to deal with when they're your decisions rather than others. Whether it be victory or failure, its easy to deal with when it's wholly yours and only yours.
Make mistakes and learn what is not your thing rather than what is! Make mistakes and learn what you don't want to do rather than what you want to do! Make mistakes and learn what you don't want to become rather than what you want to become.
Because there is very little time for you to make mistakes and learn. Do. Because then when the time comes for you to make decisions you'll know instead of having to guess. So just be and let it be. It'll all work out in the end.
And this my dear men and women is why we don't want to grow up. Growing up sucks. It really does. But it's already done and there is nothing we can do about it other than to deal with it. So let us put on our big girl/ big guy pants and deal with it like the grown ups we pretend to be. Give each other big, long, smothering bear hugs. The world needs it.
After all the suspense of life lies in not knowing what the next step. So let's fall, pick ourselves up and stroll along like the big people we are. Best of luck guys.