Author’s Note: Twenty for your Thoughts is a segment in this Lifestyle blog that tackles about life, daily struggles, honest truth, ramblings and/or musings and other things that might befall that scope of topics. It is a play on the word “penny” in “penny for your thoughts” which only means “what are you thinking about?”. The ‘twenty’ represents the age of 20s where I am currently in the middle of experiencing what life has to offer in terms of obstacles and related stuff. When I turn 30, unfortunately for me, you will know because then the segment title will change to Thirty for Your Thoughts and so on and so forth.
Yesterday, my family and I were on our way to Landers to go grocery-shopping when a pedicab in front of us was struggling to pedal his way on a steep inclined road before us. My dad said how little these people earn (I know because I rode one before so I can safely assume how much they earn daily) and that these people should be the ones who needs to charge more because they exert more physical effort than people who drive vehicles/tricycles. I did agree with him, while still watching the pedicab driver struggle, and my heart crumbling down to pieces. It was a tiny reminder of what I’ve been thinking for the past few months.
That night, while I was fixing my things for the next day, I overheard one topic on TV that, again, I constantly try not to think about. It was of an elderly man, selling taho in the streets to live on a day to day basis. It’s not because he was an elderly man selling taho that I avoid thinking about, but the fact that in time, I could be like him — old and needing money to survive day by day.
Life isn’t easy, we all know that. Yet we often take for granted the things that we know we shouldn’t. Like that new shoes you bought for yourself, or that cute skirt you’ve been wanting ever since. You could’ve gotten away with not having them or, sure, these might give you a sense of entitlement, an appreciation for your hard work. But then again, when the curtains are pulled back, you have to see the necessary things in life to continue moving forward.
For a few months now, I’ve been avoiding thinking about getting old, the idea of being unable to support myself, or even the thought of working for the rest of my life. And that scares me.
There is an uncertainty that nags at the back of my head: am I in the right job/career? Did I follow my gut? Am I supposed to be in this path? How do I ensure I have all the things I might need when I stop working? Why do we have to work for the rest of our lives? Why aren’t you tired of working?
Seeing lolo in the show made me revisit my worries. Often times, whenever I see old people at the streets, I ask myself, “Hindi ba kayo napapagod sa ginagawa nyo? Hindi ba kayo natatakot na forever mo na gagawin yang ginagawa mo?” (Aren’t you tired from working hard? Aren’t you afraid that you might have to do that job forever?) And I guess, I will never know the answer to those questions until I experience them first hand.
Earlier this morning, as I was walking towards my office building, I saw a guy, probably mid-30s to mid-40s, carrying a big and heavy-looking backpack, walking in the middle of Legazpi Active Park. And it pained me so much to think that he has to endure carrying that bag and walking for hours just to deliver all the items in it (I’m assuming he’s a delivery man), and I can’t help but tear up (yes, while I was walking) because I hate myself for thinking of giving up when everyone else was fighting to survive. It was selfish of me to take things for granted. Yet, no matter how guilty I felt, I still think it’s too much for a human being to work like a third of his life.
I hate myself for thinking of giving up when everyone else was fighting to survive.
I try to live in the moment, after all I’m only 25 and our cerebral cortex, the part of our brain responsible for decision-making, hasn’t fully developed until the age 25. Technically, I can still get to make mistakes without having to pay dearly for them, right? I can blame it on my undeveloped cerebral cortex (because in my own terms lol I’m still running on my 25th year, and when I turn 26 that’s when the cortex is fully developed? IDK, whatever, but you get my drift.)
But at the end of the day, still the question of having to live in this world for 60-80 (luckily, 90 and still healthy and a bit strong for that age) years is an impossible yet possible feat every one of us will undergo. It still scares me because now I understand why Peter Pan refused to grow up and it’s enough for me to wish for my own Neverland.
So to answer that question of what scares me? I’m scared to live for a long time, without a job, trying to survive at the streets, and alone. I’m scared that the wheel of life will rid me of the things I have now, or worse, take everything and everyone away from me.
What about you? What scares you?