Growing Up

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Image from Steven Lim‘s video, “Restaurant Kid

Growing up was kinda hard for me. I had such super busy parents because they had to keep up with our business in order to support my brother and I for our educational needs and of course, our needs as a family. I can’t deny the fact that I am quite lucky to have parents like mine right now, but maybe they probably forgot that all the stuff they gave me, couldn’t have compared to the time they could have spent with me.

The first day of 1st Grade was probably and the only time my mom accompanied me to school. Ever since then, I had to stay in school for the whole day by myself, envious of the kids who always had their parents by their sides. I didn’t have any friends yet because I was new to the class. Some of them probably knew each other already, I didn’t. I felt like an outsider. I can’t count how many times I held my tears back because all I ever wanted was my mom to be there, waiting for me outside my room just like the other parents would. But she didn’t, and as young as I was still, I understood.

Years passed by and I learned to do stuff by myself (although with someone who would help me carry stuff). Enrollment, buying of books, school payments, I was already taught how to do all of these in grade school. They told me that I had to learn how to do school stuff by myself because they said they couldn’t be there for me all the time. And so, I did.

Awarding for academic and extracurricular performances was a tradition in our school back then. Although I wasn’t an overall achiever (am still not today), I still had some achievements going on. Everyone would actually bring their parents (especially those with awards), that includes me (if given the chance to receive an award). But it was always either (1) my cousin who went with me or (2) our neighbor who apparently knows what happens to me in school. Never were it my parents who went with me to receive the award because they were busy, as per usual. But I understood them.

As time passed by, I started to keep everything to myself about what happens in school. I felt like it was kinda useless to tell them because they didn’t seem to care as to what happens anyway. I was quite an all-to-myself kid. I had a lot of issues with some kids in school during my high school days due to bullying and discrimination, but I never told them about it. I deemed it was quite a waste of my energy to talk to people whom I thought never bothered to ask about my life anyway. Although countless of times they showed me that they love me, it was always something that I never picked up.

I admit, a lot of times I misunderstood my parents’ actions towards everything. I didn’t see the reasons behind it. I always thought of them as close-minded people with unreasonable excuses. But it was always the other way around. Everything they have done, was for our family. They’ve been working so hard for our family and I really do appreciate everything they have done and given to us. Although they couldn’t be there for me every time even though how much I wanted them to be, I have to understand. I’m not quite expressive with my emotions in public, but I know that everything that they’re doing right now, is for the best of my future and our family. I love you both, mom and dad.

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