When I was younger, I heard stories of my father’s travels when he was working around the world. Our house was near a river and there were plains where we can run around and create different worlds we can live in. Given that some of it were based in kiddie shows we see on TV, but still, we imagined something different from what we have – trees, burning sun, and lots and lots of sand. We use to play hide and seek when the moon is full and my mom is in a good mood.
Growing up, I saw some of my cousins starting to play with video games. It wasn’t a priority in our household, and was seen as an unnecessary excess. I also started dreaming of living in the city, where you can stay up late partying, meeting people, eating out. Libraries, cinemas, bookstores, art spaces became more important than running around with my siblings, or taking a long hike up to see our makeshift bahay. Playing by the river became less appealing to me.
Now, as an adult, I’ve learned that the freedom I experienced as a child, and my connectedness to nature, gave me the opportunity to soar and become a better, innovative, creative me. I’m not knocking city living, I don’t think I will survive with my sanity intact if I go back to my childhood home. But the experience of once in awhile living without the internet, or mobile phones, or 24/7 convenience stores, forces me to appreciate and focus more on what is important. Creative is not only about creating something new, its about discovering unexplored facets inside of you and letting it out. How can you play with something different if you refuse to experience something unimaginable? Living means experiencing the daily and the unexpected.
I am in the process of living again, trying to be sane again. Give me a malong and my backpack, and I’m off to newer worlds.