Looking Back

It’s almost ten years since I graduated from High School. Although I haven’t heard anything about my Alma Mater or the people I once shared it with (except that they’ve moved to a new campus) I still remember the times I spent there, all the highs and the lows. I would be a hypocrite if I say that I did not miss High School life. The innocence we had, the minor problems that we had to face everyday, and the abundance of our dreams of the future — these are things that I look back to BUT I would never wish to relive those moments again.

Truth be told, I hated my High School self. I just don’t dislike her, I hate her. *From now on I’ll refer to my High School persona in the third person*

Although she was bestowed with several gifts: a wide array of talents, the image of being the smartest in the school, popularity (both good and bad), finances, praise from people of all ages and the privilege of being “maldita”, “suplada” or just plain evil without suffering consequences — she was just a really disturbed and dark “emo” teen with no purpose in life.

I remember that since then I’ve always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. I can see myself in a court room arguing for my client. I was in debates, in public speaking clubs and leadership conventions because I believed in my being the best — I was so assuming. I was never humble and I thought the world revolved around me because back then it felt like it did.

Come College I was enrolled in the country’s premier University which I thought I could ace easily. I experienced the hardest slap on the face then. That was when I realized that I had been a frog living in a small well where I am the best frog because I could climb out of it not knowing that outside, there are several (tons) other frogs that are bigger and better than me because they’ve been in the world and I remained too long in that small, dark well. I was a helpless frog. High School wasn’t the time to find myself. It was in College that I realized the limits of my strengths and the darkness in my soul. From Extrovert I became an Introvert as I began to see the world in 360 and people more of friends than minions. However, this transformation cost me a great price. I lost my dream of becoming a lawyer. Somehow, it feels like it wasn’t my calling anymore. Maybe I lost the confidence I had built up when I was in High School when I suffered a blow to my ego or maybe I just realized it wasn’t what I really wanted.

I look back to the past and I remember that even before I began thinking about being a lawyer I have always been writing. As a child I was so happy just being in a corner reading story books and writing stories of my own. The happiest moment I could remember was when my story was published in our school (we had Elementary and High School) paper when I was just in Grade 1. I had rejected our principal’s suggestion that I should take up Journalism or Creative Writing because I was invested in being a lawyer all too much only to realize that it wasn’t what I really wanted, nor was it the profession that made me truly happy.

Although here I am finishing a law degree, my heart still yearns to convey the many unfinished stories that I have in my head. I still keep all the drafts of my plots and unfinished write-ups. The 500 poem collection that I started from High School and finished while in College is still there in my cabinet. My precious notebooks where I jotted down ideas of stories and even of songs as I combined my love for music and writing are still with me in my room. I could never let go.

The reason I hate my High School self is because she made me forget the joy that a simple story could make me. I was too focused on being the best academically and I thought an “Atty.” in front of my name would prove to everyone that I am indeed the best. I cannot remember how it started but I forgot the child-like wonder that I had when it was just me, my books, my stories and the world. I am slowly regaining it now though it’s so hard to start anew.

What I do want to thank my High School self for is the fact that I experienced darkness and depression because of her — things that I need to help me see the bigger picture and create better stories that play right into a person’s deep emotions. It was in High School that I first started composing songs and in High School when I won many times for my poetry because I had to vent my rage somewhere. So maybe I really did not forget my passion back then, I just turned it into a hobby instead.

For now, I will finish what I have started (this law degree and the Bar) before I go back to practicing my forgotten craft. I really miss the times I look at people and places and form a story about them. I miss just being me but I am grateful because now I know who I want to be.