Peter Panny

I think I’ll never grow up. Ever.

Funny how despite being 20, a year off from legal drinking (not that I drink) age hence total maturity,  and I still look back at my kindergarten/gradeschool/high school years as though they happened a few days ago. I’m not sure if it’s just my insane ability to remember needless details like the shoes I wore for my first communion or how Chesca mind-controlled everyone to obey her when we were six.

At that age, I thought everyone was a lot bigger and older than me, especially the kids in high school (college was a faraway magical land that didn’t exist just yet). They were the cool ones to look up to–styles to imitate, slang to try and pronounce, bad words to prevent. But when it was my turn to enter the holy grail that is high school, even in my senior year, I still felt very much like a kindergartener in a new play pen. I never felt like those cool kids I once revered. I was still as small, young, and inexperienced as I ever was 10 years before. There were still so many things I didn’t know and understand. There were still a lot more OLDER people whose years of life experience made them larger than life itself, at least for me.

Yesterday was my eldest sister’s birthday. She turned 26, solidifying our six-year age difference. It’s been a long time since I thought of her as the much cooler, more stylist one–the one to emulate. (I think now, akin na yang crown na yan hahaha). She hasn’t told me what to wear, how to fold my jumper since I was a grubby, snotty kid; she’s even stopped telling me to quit imitating her. But while I’ve outgrown her 90s fashion, I’m still here, the young kid, following her more experienced wisdom. Not just her ha, hindi siya ganun ka special. Everyone older, hence definitely wiser, than me. In that sense, I’d like to stay young. I’d like to have people to look up to, people who’ll teach me what to do and how to do them.

Being young (the state of mind, the age-is-only-a-number lie) is the reminder that there’s still so much left to achieve… and that the need to is still there. It’s a force that drives us to prove and push ourselves… Forever, well, only as far as we believe that we’re continuously growing and learning.

In that case, it’s not a matter of thinking I won’t grow up. It’s never really having to.

(Photo: Judging by the shoes which I owned in Kindergarten 2, I was a five-year-old ham, hair still horrible and unkempt).

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