Monday, July 14, 2008

Realities in Aging

It's probably my mid-life crisis that's getting me. The time when you look back on the things you did and didn't do. It's the time when you're stuck with what to do next.

Back in the 80s I used to wonder in amazement at the people around me - the same way my nephew now looks at us with the same interest in his eyes. I watched the once beautiful people around me wither with age I begin to realize that I am destined for that same fate as I also saw lives come and go before me. Why can't it be just like before when everyone around me was young and beautiful?

It's in these times of overwhelming reality - bloated by a growing world - that I begin to reminisce about the past life I once had. I sometimes find myself looking back at the times at how small the world was; the time when I didn't have to care about getting a job or about money; the time when there were only few people in my city that when my dad took me to ride a jeepney the drivers would recognize who we are and where we'd typical want to go. Now nobody knows each other anymore.

I used to remember my mother being young and beautiful and my father used to play with such vigor that a 40-year old could have. Much of our simple life was spent together in such simple joys in a world where the roads were smaller, the sun was milder and the sound in the air was quieter.

I still have fond memories of running around in my underwear and enjoying the warm sun in the morning. At noon, the air would begin to smell like cooking oil in preparation for the lunch later on. In the afternoon, I would begin to hear the idyllic sounds of radios tuned in to the AM stations. They were the form of entertainment by the housemaids. We didn't have the Cartoon Network back then so renting beta tapes were the "in" thing. The world was much bigger then.

My family also loves watching movies. Faces of the skinny but attractive people on the silver screen immortalized on film never seemed to age but as I grew older so did they. Immortality was just a frame on a camera but the medium does not live forever.

As I aged, I saw the people I knew breathe life into new souls and see those new souls grow into human beings - the future strangers of my city; future heroes; faces with no names; and, lives with unknown directions.

I still long for the simple life. Whatever the reason may be I am glad that I wasn't in a hurry to grow up. I enjoyed being a child. Where I stand now, I'd trade all of this away for the simple life I once had.

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