Tweeting Away

Homecoming (Drama) Queen

Last Sunday I went to mass at the tiny chapel near our house, and being there brought back images of my eight year-old self attending mass, all dressed up and dandy. I would sit at the front row with some of the other neighborhood kids, and for one hour I would sit still while my imagination wandered off into faraway places. I admit it wasn’t a very Christian thing to do, not paying attention and all, but I was a kid, and I can’t take back what I did, so there you have it.

Anyway, the place hasn’t changed much since those days. And I could say the same for the people who go to mass there, except for this one kid – well, he used to be a kid anyway. I used to always see him with his family: every week they would sit on the left side of the chapel, where the choir was, because his two older sisters were members. Last Sunday he was there again, still sitting on the benches along the left side of the chapel, except he wasn’t with his older sisters or his parents. Instead, he had a curly-haired girl, perhaps two or three years old, sitting on his lap, and someone whom I could only assume was his wife by his side. At first glance he looked like the same boy I used to see, but as I watched him closely he looked much older, much more like a father than a son or a younger brother. In an instant, the sight of him pulled me out of my memories and back to reality, albeit it was a rather strange one.

It’s funny how everything seems the same now that I’m back home, as if nothing happened. As if college never happened. As if four years hadn’t passed. Somehow, being home now, I can’t see how anything’s changed, how I’ve changed. I mean, I don’t have a curly-haired child sitting on my lap to account for what I’ve been doing for the past four years (thank heavens!); on the contrary, I still live with my parents, still bum around at home and play Need for Speed: Most Wanted for most of the day, and still depend on my Mom and Dad for survival. The way I was when I was a teenager in high school is still the way I am, now that I’m back in the province. Where did all my growing up in Manila go?

It’s just strange I guess. My life in Manila has been so different and so detached from my life here that it feels like it was a different version of myself who moved to Ortigas and went to college and met new people and actually grew up. Meanwhile, it seems another version of me was left behind, and now that I’m back in the province, I feel I’ve assumed the role of that left-behind version of myself, while the other version has dutifully stayed at my dorm room in the city. It’s just really weird, how my life in Manila – everything that I did there and that I accomplished – seems to have no bearing on my life here. Am I living a fractured existence?

Not really, no. I don’t think I live a fractured existence. I reckon these strange reflections are actually just the usual sort that’s brought about by one’s homecoming. Because if you think about it, a homecoming is indeed a rather strange scenario: being brought back to a place you once knew so well and discovering it hasn’t changed much, while in the back of your mind, knowing that in truth, so much has happened and so much has changed with you and in your life. Coming back to your roots to find they’ve remained the same but knowing that they've actually spurred a longer bark and new branches indeed makes for a rather perplexing state of things. As such, a lesson ought to be found here.

The glow-in-the-dark stars glued to the ceiling in my bedroom still light up when the lights are turned off, not unlike the way they did so years and years ago, and I’m pretty sure they’ll be glowing in the dark for many more years to come. The thing is, as much as people change, I guess they never change completely. There’s always going to be a part of them that will remain the same way for as long as they live. I might have been able to do a lot of growing up in the past four years, and I might have changed a lot because of it, but somewhere inside I’m still – and will always be - that eight year-old girl with a wandering imagination.

And it sure is nice to come home and realize this.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the sunset picture is one I took from the back of our house earlier today. For some reason the sky will always seem more beautiful when you look at it from home - another one of those things that won’t change anytime soon.


shara said...

sunset's gorgeous. =D hey daene, guess who figured the blogger password thingie out. Heehee.

Daene said...

(In Mean Girls fashion) I know, right?! hahahaha. I can't quite believe I took it from the back of our house.

Who? Who? Dare I say, the one and only Mr. Precisely Awardee? Nyahahahah. Miss you so much Shars! Hope you're having a blast there ;P