At 8 years old, it was easier to be 25. For career day, your teacher asked you to dress up like your hero. You grabbed a white coat and put it over your little shoulders, and just like that, you were a doctor.
But being 8 was hard when you were 8. You didn’t know it then, but it was all work. Like thankless labor. Hours of seatwork during the day and homeworks at night (though your mom would often finish half of them for you).
Math was especially hard for you. The numbers never made sense to a child who thought good things lasted forever, therefore felt no need to keep count.
Maybe what they should have taught you in school was that math in real life had less to do about finding answers to problems, and more about counting your losses against your gains, then finding the value in what you were left with.
But no one knew better, especially at school.
At 19, it was easy to be 25. To feel beautiful in someone else’s eyes instead of looking for that feeling on your phone, swiping and hoping but never getting it right.
You could already picture it then. A place in this world reserved for the both of you, while everyone else strained their necks looking for an empty seat.
But it was not easy to be 19. Love was the first hero who disappointed you. You kept watching it fly in the sky, its red cape flaunting against your blues, always in a rush to save someone other than you.
At 25, you forget your math. You lose count of the losses but you still can’t forget their names. You try to remember your grandpa at his best, how he kept the garden alive in the backyard, even though the flowers never bloomed the same after he left.
The numbers never add up. The hours at traffic. The bills on the kitchen counter. The debt you no longer feel thankful for. At 25, the only comfort after a long day is at least it’s over.
Looking back, being 8 or 19 seems easier now. You wonder if being 25 would feel as easy when you finally hit 30, 40, and so on.
Sometimes you tell yourself age is just a number. But the load feels heavier every year, even when you keep having less to hold onto. You try to count your blessings, be grateful, be happy, but somehow, they never still seem to add up.
[Entry 262, The SubSelfie Blog]
About the Author:
Roy Canivel is a business reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. In this economy, he is a struggling writer by day and just struggling at night.