Wednesday, May 16, 2007


by Fernando Calleja

Looking through my old files, I saw an old piece of paper with these written on it:

Pikon ka masyado Biboy! Para kang eng-eng!

Excuse me! Hindi noh! How dare you x 2000!

Pikon ka x 5000!

Hindi nga ako pikon! Madaya ka lang talaga!

Hindi ko kasalanan kung magaling ako kay Ken at Ryu. Lapa kasi ang Sakura mo! Lapa si Sakurang pokpok!

He! Neknek mo! Insecure ka lang sakin pangeeeet!

This was a written argument with my friend Myke. It appeared that I was quite irritated with him because I lost a match in Street Fighter EX3.

In high school, we always did that — passing a piece of paper during classes, writing our thoughts, then returning it back to the one who passed it. It just went on and on until either the paper ran out, or we got really angry at each other.

Upon reading it, I just smiled, laughing at myself for being such a childish brat before — having the lowest maturity level compared with anyone, being too obsessed with the kiddy stuff, and being emotionally unstable unto the brink of indulging in verbal fights.

But even if I was like that, and even if I feel that I was really retarded during that time, those were my best years. As bad as it may seem, but it’s true.

Ah. The good-old high school life!

It was then when nobody expected too much from me, when I got excused for not getting the job done, when I didn’t have to be the leader all the time, when I got to meet the weirdest but brightest people, when I had fun in the simplest of things, when I thought studying was fun, and when my best friends were not hard to find. The list just goes on and on. It was when I could be a kid. And that’s something that mattered a lot to me.

But now, it’s just a thing of the past — a memory. Life is a lot different now. I don’t get to do things like that anymore. I am a new being… with a much serious and grown-up image to keep. I’m faced with bigger responsibilities to the point that it overwhelms me. I don’t get to exchange instigating scribbles with anyone anymore, as I should treat everyone professionally. I am now too accountable for any minute action.

It’s not that I don’t see anything good in my present life, where nobody baby talks me anymore or belittles my capacity, but I just want a break from the pressure it brings. Five to nine years ago, life was a lot simpler, a lot easier to carry, and a lot more enjoyable.

It is one of my greatest frustrations to go back in time and repeat high school all over again, but it can’t happen. It’s just physically and contextually impossible.
Seeing that high school note aggravates it. It makes me miss it more.

But looking at it in a different perspective — isn’t it that everybody passes through that anxiety… that desire to go back to the past? I think it’s just natural for people to desire doing things they enjoy again.

However, transcending this yearning for something that would never happen brings me to a point to reflect on: Why do I feel this way? Is there something missing in my life now that makes me want to go back to the past? Is what I am doing now something that I really want to do? Am I becoming the kind of person who I want to become?

It seems that it’s true. Something is missing in my life. I don’t have the right to commit mistakes anymore. I don’t get to enjoy what I am doing. I can’t be a kid. And it hits me right in the face. I’m in the point of no return.

About the author
Fernando Calleja is from Journals. He just completed a 2-day Storytelling Training with the Alitaptap Storytellers Philippines as a scholar of the Writers Guild. He is fondly called 'Biboy' by his friends.

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