I wish I could go back to being a kid again.
Probably this is what a lot of adults say these days. I’ve read somewhere that you know you are an adult when you already fell asleep then wake up with a stiff neck and still on the same god-forsaken couch. Nobody carries you back to your room, but your own feet, your own will – and sometimes doing so takes a lot of effort. So you succumb to the uncomfortable sleeping position, because fuck life.
And fuck being an adult. Actually, fuck everything.
We’ve been trying really hard to make ends meet. To make a living for ourselves, to do things we are passionate about, to socialize with friends we haven’t seen in years, to go after our dreams of being somebody our 5 year old selves would look up to – but all this doesn’t necessarily equate to being feasible.
Somewhere along the way we neglect something. And it is a bitter pill to swallow because all along we thought we are invincible. At the age of 25 you sure as hell feel like you can do anything, conquer the world, be the voice of the millennials, but in reality you have never been so lost, so confused. Questioning your purpose.
Asking the questions,
“Will all this matter in ten years?”
“Could I really be more put together than what I actually let on?”
“When will I ever be responsible?”
And these questions will go on and on, like a sick cycle of a drain clogged with too much cynicism.
I failed the bar exams, to some it could just be another hiccup, another setback, something one could dust off easily. To me, it is so much more than that. It was my life being put on hold, it spelled failure and defeat, it was the realization of a nightmare. I get that not everyone will understand what I truly feel, I accept their sympathy and advices that everything will turn out okay, that everything has its purpose, that I should see the bigger picture. But it wasn’t that easy. My mind is clouded with too much self-pity and doubts. Maybe I am not meant to be a lawyer, is what my mind repeatedly tells me, I didn’t want to listen, but at the end of a tiring day, the same voice goes back, lulling me to sleep, and I don’t have the energy to argue anymore.
My niece caught me crying one afternoon, she asked me what was wrong. I answered that the reason I was crying was because I have a booboo, she pouted her lips and I saw the worry in her eyes, she said just put a Band-Aid and it will be okay, you’ll be okay. I smiled despite my tears, she was so naive and so pure, I wish I could go back to being as carefree as her. You see this niece of mine always had so much wisdom than any 27-year-old could conjure up, she say it in the simplest way that actually makes sense. It was her innocence, not tainted by any false pretenses that made things a little better. She looked at me like I was invincible. It was in the way that her eyes shine whenever I tell her stories of my adventures. In her eyes I was the epitome of greatness, and I want to be that in real life too, I want to be the person she looks up to and not just some adult who can’t pull her shit together. It is in the eyes of a kid that you see what you should be – a hero.
I was by my dad’s grave when I heard about the news that I didn’t make it. Minutes before that, I was telling him that a few moments from now I can finally say that I am a lawyer, that I have fulfilled the promise I made when he was on his deathbed. But only the word “sorry” came out of my lips, that afternoon was filled with silent tears, apologizing for failing, apologizing for wasted time and effort, apologizing that I could not say he has another lawyer in the family. I failed him more than I failed myself. And the dead weight of not fulfilling a promise sets on my shoulder. I was told that bad things only come in threes, but I lost count already. It was blow after blow, losing my dad to cancer, my boyfriend of five years impregnating some other girl, failing, people bailing out on you, losing the will to live. People around me say, God gives his worst battles to his toughest soldiers, I would like to say, I am not that tough, I could only take so much before I completely break.
I am all self-pity and self doubt, I tried blaming others for my mishaps, when truly it was me all along. I’ve always thought that things won’t affect me, that I have this power to not be bothered with what was happening around me and just carry on with my life. I failed to grieve, I failed to feel all the pain. I thought I was fully recovered from all the hurt the past years have caused me, but in reality I was latching on to it, I have not moved on completely. It was consuming me and took a toll on myself, on my decisions, on my judgments. I fell short as a person, I miscalculated everything. I have realized that it is okay to accept that you’re not okay, it’s okay to show people you are hurting. Stop hiding everything into a facade. I was dodging bullets after bullets and in the process I stumbled upon a grenade that blew up in my very face. Not a part of me was left unscathed, and maybe that’s what I actually needed. I am meant to experience every blow, and take a lesson from it or two.
But here’s the thing, I am still here, I’m still breathing. A little bent and broken, yes – but I’m here, I’m living to fight another day. And maybe I am so much stronger than I give myself credit for. Maybe I still have so much fights to give. Maybe I am really one tough soldier.
And maybe you are too.