I’m staring blankly at my window where I could take a view of our front yard while I rummaged through the deepest corners of my past. For some reason, I couldn’t figure out how I should begin my autobiography. Should I begin from that time when I broke the symphony of rain and thunder during one stormy evening by my very first loud and irritating cry? Or is it better to start today, from this very moment where I fumble for the right words to write on my autobiography and gradually drive back to my past? Does it even matter where I should begin? Why am I asking too many questions?
“With my soft little hand, I had to wave goodbye to happiness and with a frightening cluelessness, I opened the door to a discouraging loneliness.”
If I would put the entirety of my childhood into a group of words dressed up with the perfectly-fit emotional wardrobe then the one stated above hits the nail exactly on the head. I may not have been gifted with a super human power to vividly remember every single detail of my childhood but the stories of my mom and how she struggled raising my sisters and I are enough testimonies to make me value my life now more than ever.
I was born on August 15, 1991 when the downpour of rain and the continuous thud of the thunder held an orchestra of discord. It was only during the development of this autobiography that I learned from my mom that I was delivered inside a Ford vehicle owned by a person whom my dad was working for.
When I found out how unfortunate my delivery was, I started to wonder why they gave me the name “Erwin” instead of “Ford”, “Rain”, “An-Infant-Who-Was-Born-Inside-A-Vehicle”, or anything relevant to the circumstances that took place during my first day on earth. Honestly, if I was only given the chance to speak my mind about what name I should be given, I would've made a list of choices for my parents. I would've called myself "Lord Rainy", "Henry Fordy", or "Fordy The Greaty", anything that would give a resounding label of royalty and opulence. However, it wasn't the case was it? My mom told me that was my dad who gave me my name for no profound reason whatsoever.
One of the hardest parts of my childhood was when my mom left me in Antipolo City to stay with my grandfather, grandmother, some aunts and cousins. My mom had to be distant and work for the purpose she knew would be best for her children. I understood why she had to leave but the pain I had to endure was something I found difficult to comprehend. If I still remember it right, I could outcry a newborn baby whenever my mom leaves after her short visit. During that time, I knew at some point she would come back for a visit again but the unbearable pain of waiting was probably the cause of my unruly tears.
I was surrounded by people but I’ve never felt so lonely in my entire life, ironic isn’t it? Well, my stay in Antipolo would’ve been more manageable if my relatives on my father’s side treated me right but due to a bad turn of fate, nobody really paid close attention to me except for my grandmother. She’s probably one of the sweetest and most loving persons I have ever met in my life. Her presence, her subtle caress, and her occasional warm kisses on my cheek, I should say, definitely made me realized that I was loved even in the absence of my mom. In other words, she managed to fill that empty space in my heart that was created by my desperate longing for my mom.
And so when my grandma passed away several years ago, it was nothing but pure and utter devastation for me. The worst part of it all was that I wasn’t able to be by her side when she was laid to rest.
Enough with my sobbing childhood story! My journey growing up as a kid who was sometimes deprived of freedom to enjoy the outdoors, wasn’t all dramatic and desolating. There were also fun moments like those times when I played hide and seek with kids I don’t know. I also remember this one kid whose gender I found confusing. He seemed to be a boy because of his curly short hair but his white and velvety skin made him look feminine. I don’t recall any situation where I heard him say something.
So here’s the deal, the kids from my neighborhood used to bully that curly-haired lad? lass? Again, I don’t know if she’s a boy or a girl. They would throw small pieces of rocks at him. It looked fun for me so I would join in and throw as many rocks as I could as well. It was fun, the excitement of hitting a moving target, and the adrenaline caused by your quick evasions whenever he threw rocks back were priceless.
I remember hitting him once on the head though and when I saw him preparing himself for an outburst of painful emotion, I sped home to hide like a thief running away from the authority.
My Elementary Years
“I got lost but I found my way. I got hurt by I learned to smile. I was degraded but I learned to love.”
We moved to Makati where I finished my grade school and high school years and then moved to Paranaque when I was about to start college. It was during grade school when I discovered my passion in writing. My English teacher who was also one of the frightening teachers in the campus asked me to be an editorial writer for a journalism competition. Actually, it wasn’t more of asking, I remember nodding to every word she said and the only words I remembered were editorial writing and competition.
In other words, I was forcibly dragged into an unknown world and was expected to perform exceptionally well otherwise I’ll be gnawed by the anger that could be stirred up by her monstrous temper.
I also remember falling down the stairs when I was in second grade and I had to be rushed to the hospital because of the jabbing pain I felt in my right shoulder. It turned out that I gave my right shoulder a fracture. Good thing it was only minor and I was still able to go school, I think. There also came the round of petty fights between friends and puppy love here and there or sometimes everywhere.
Another grade school mishap that managed to live a permanent mark in my memory was the day that I went home alone from school for the first time. I thought I knew where I was going but when I started to notice the unfamiliar houses and the street names I read for the very first time, I knew I was in big trouble. My knees were shaking, literally while I slowly took one step at a time. Deciding whether to go left, right, or go straight was as enigmatic as solving a word problem in Math. Eventually, a familiar street name caught my eyes and when I did, I swear, I saw the heavens open up and the choir of angels sang in unison.
In a nutshell, I got a fair share of ups, middles, and downs during my elementary days. I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I got lost but I found my way, everything that had happened during my grade school time definitely helped my molding as a person.
My High School Days
“To live is not only to exist, it’s not only to love and to dream, living is also about learning.”
It was during high school when I developed my public speaking skills. My high school years is probably the most exciting stage of my life simply because I stumbled upon the coolest, smartest, the most talented and fun people I’ve ever met. I experienced a myriad of discouraging failures and also encountered successes along the way.
It would be impossible for me to pick one event in high school that I would say would be the most memorable one because let me tell you, there are a really a lot. I remember during the Junior and Senior Promenade, I was somewhere in the corner of the school quadrangle chatting the night away with some friends of mine when out of the blue, my name was called as one of the nominees for the Mr. Prom. At first I thought someone’s trying to pull a prank. I think I had to hear my name the second time to make me go up on stage to be in line with dudes who were probably as good looking as me (any violent reactions or protests against this statement is not welcomed by the author).
However, kidding aside, I knew for a fact that I wouldn’t bring home the crown and I wouldn’t have the chance to go home and proclaim in my neighborhood that my mother has given birth to a gorgeous and talented young lad. It was one of those What-Am-Doing-Here moments where I become kind enough to go with the flow despite a hanging ax of humiliation that could strike me at any given time but had I given the chance to choose from two options, I’d choose the option that would send me very far away.
There were also moments that tested my belief in myself, my faith in God, and my faith in people. I would really love to specifically mention every detail of my high school life but I’d rather write the other details on separate posts.
“The past teaches us to move on, the present teaches us to live, and the future teaches us to dream.”
You’re probably wondering where exactly I am right now. I’m in my room, trying to fight the fatigue and the heaviness in my head while I struggle to complete my very first short autobiography.
I’m in my fourth year in college and one more year left, a door to adulthood is going to open before me. When I stepped into college, I have become more confident in talking to people and I have become more confident in what I can do as a human being. My principles in life have become stronger than ever and my faith in God has never been this strong.
So far, my life experiences have taught me a lot of valuable things. Life has taught me to make better decisions, to take smarter risks and never be afraid of their outcome. Most importantly, I’ve learned the importance of being nice to people without expecting anything in return. I’ve learned that the happiest place on earth could be anywhere and can be built by anyone. Everything you need is all found within you and the only thing left to do is decide when to build it.