As A Child

By Michelle Tan

            "How old are you?"
            I'd always use my fingers to identify my age among the elders. I'm not much of the playful child. I'm that child who sits still and listens to adult conversing, while looking at my cousins playing outside. I'd always wanted to play outside.
            I really don't know why they don't let me play, I mean, have they even thought of seeing me grow old, knowing that there is no perfect moment, no other than today, to play? Sometimes, I really don't know why I surrender in obedience to every adults command/s. I should've always listened to myself more than I ever did to them, but there will be two consequences. One, if I always listened to them, as I grow older, it would register to their thoughts that I am a slave/ I have no right to disobey them. Second, I don't really know (who the heck) I am and (what the heck) I want. Except for toys... I loved toys. Toy stores bring instant joy to me. Oh, there is a third one that I forgot: If I disobey the adults, they'll think I am an impolite or rebellious child.

            I chose to live in adult's expectations even though, I should have chosen not to. I should have never chose it because it is hard pleasing them; it is also difficult maintaining a proper respect and judgment to myself because, I really become of what they want for me, even if I want things differently for myself.

I started collecting things such as receipts, movie tickets, cards, coupons... but it all started with my toys.
Photo by Joan Tan

            They never believed me; they never believed in my stories; they never had faith that I can do it.
            I never had real friends back then. By real, I mean existent and loyal. It is rather hard to find one, because they are free, and I am not. They are only my toys. I love them as my own. Like a mother to a child who wants nothing but the care and love it needs to be nurtured to, the way it needs to feel worthy and loved. I bathe them, clothe them, hug them, and most importantly, held hands with while crossing the street (alone, if I had to.) I love them like they are my friends. I tell them my secrets, and I feel confident that my secrets are kept.

                     As a child, I was labeled to asking irrelevant questions... I asked about the earth, the wind, the air, and almost everything. It never stopped. The labeling. But it's good, because I never stopped being curious. At some point of my life, I've learned to, rather, ask these questions at the right time, right place, right scenario, and right people. But opening my Pandora's Box was indeed a gift from my thoughts.

                  I find glory in reading Chinese Horoscopes: the Western Zodiac composed of the positioning of the stars by the months (Aries-Pisces) and the Eastern Zodiac composed of the positioning of the moon and sun by the years (Rat-Pig). There is a delight in learning about the Primal Zodiac (combination of Western and Eastern Zodiac). It enabled me to discover my compatibilities with people, who I must keep and who I must avoid. I collect a lot of books, series about the Zodiac and Astrology. In the end, I just realize that no matter how much I calculate the birth compatibilities of people from mine, no matter how much in/compatible they are, it's in the person whether you must keep them or not. It's not about their personalities, but more on the sacrifice of how much willing you are to give and not to receive.

            "Aw, she is a cute and bubbly little girl. Does she sing, dance? What talent do you have? What is your grade average?"
            I shrug my shoulders. At a young age, I really don't know my potentials. I can dance, but not as good as you see them on TV. I'd always love to ballet, but I never continued my classes. I don't know how to sing because I forget lyrics instantly and people comment that I am out of tune. Although, I listen to a lot of pop artists, as a child, my taste in music is not that openly heard of. I'm not good in class. People always outshined me. I never recited, because I get laughed at my silly thoughts. I used to play musical instruments: the piano, the flute and the violin; but people regarded them as noise.

            This is why I preferred to be quiet, revealing less of myself. With so many rejections and opinions, I became a wallflower, instead of the usual attention deficit child. I didn't stumble to get noticed. I became a mystery.

            My intentions, values, goals, and preferences are questioned. My dignity is diminished by the aching feedbacks, but was gained by those who believed in me.
            Slowly, I forced myself to stand up with grace. I wanted to shock people of what I am capable of doing. I tried to engage myself in self-learned activities and sports. It's more of the power of the mind. I ended up surprising myself with the things I have. I ended up loving myself more.

            I realized that, as a child, I always die hard to please others to gain a good reputation. I become worried with how bad I looked like, so I try to be at my best foot; but whenever I am at my best foot, people think that I am trying to be better.
            LIFE doesn't become 100% successful once you gain a good reputation, everyone's respect and trust. Truth is, it never happens. Real success is once you realized that your full-potentials could bring you to your world of inner peace and contribute a lot (as service) to the many. This is what I've learned.

            Now, as an adult, I started focusing on myself more, so that I will have more to give and share to others. I gave up on wondering how much reputation I have left because I end up getting migraine. Instead, I invested more in gaining my dignity and confidence by working on my assets more, and perhaps improving my weaknesses, if possible. It is not really bad to think on oneself every ones in a while. What matters most is how you view yourself... Or, how I view myself. ;)

As A Child As A Child Reviewed by Michelle Tan on 12:35 PM Rating: 5


  1. Amazing post Michelle! And the soft toys are so cute! I had similar ones too!


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