childhood in more than eight colors

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They moved on. I should too.

It has been six years. Time flew past my very eyes so quickly I was not able to capture everything for safekeeping. The year I commenced my college life also drew the finality of my stay in that “boys’ home” for almost a decade. That humble abode for a makeshift family is certainly a place I will visit even just on my mind. They taught me so many things. So many that I still try to remember everything and hold them together dearly. To keep them perfectly intact until I’m ready to lose them.

In that shelter where all of us were boys getting the time of our lives away from our biological parents who were incapacitated by situations to providing us a good life, I learned how to be a kid. That time I first laid my hands on those jigsaw puzzles and Lego blocks, I thought they only existed in that TV show For Kid’s Only and that those were toys for the elitists, even I didn’t have a concrete insight about that concept yet. I used to believe those were stuff invented only for anyone beyond the lower class. I was wrong. There, I was also introduced to insane color pencils and crayons. That’s the first time I could declare that life was indeed colorful. That there are boxes of sixteen and thirty-two. The higher the number the more colors you get for your almost lonely life. That’s something I missed prior to being admitted in that place — that life has more than eight colors.

There, I also learned that El Shaddai is not a religion and Catholicism was just my choice of religion by default. The people who took me in enthusiastically believed in Evangelical Christianity which you tell others as Born-Again Christianity as most people back then didn’t like complications. Simplicity was a staple food even during friendly conversations. If you’re agnostic, don’t say you’re a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God, satanic was a simpler term and would be highly understandable to most people. I didn’t get them why but I never liked that reasoning. Going back, I was introduced to a multitude of spiritual things– from the Daily Bread to Sunday School. They taught me how to pray. It was direct. My first communication with the Lord, if I could remember clearly, was to be good at praying. Probably, it was due to the fact that during prayer meetings prayers were said out loud and committing dead air was something I would like to avoid. After quite some time, I accepted the fact that at one point or another, I would stutter and God would still spare me from the fangs of hell. It is what is in your heart that matters. Everyday, I talked to God. I learned that you can talk to Him whatever your heart desires to talk about — forgiveness, blessings, guidance, etc. I even asked for vengeance once in a while. He covered a whole lot of issues in my life. I heavily relied on Him than those people who would rather seek Oprah’s help rather than believing that prayers can move mountains. But I must admit, I liked Oprah went she gave out cars in that one episode.

The first time I attended Sunday School was comparable to that story of that Wimpy Kid minus the bullying. I felt too weak. The kids around me were undeniably accustomed to religious attitudes but why was I seeing some who exude the spoiled brat aura? I thought everyone was supposed to be holy. There was nothing Jesus-like in the way they talked, I thought. I was not impressed but Sundays sprinted so fast without realizing we grew up together. I came upon me that all of those insolent days as kids was just a phase. The mean-girls-bully-boys days were over soon over. We were called to be the youth group and we started thinking like adults. Firm, bold, and ready to relay the good message. Unsurprisingly, we started following the spiritual steps of our church elders and leaders. We started to lead youth jams, discipleship, and even the worship and music ministries. The impudent kids I was introduced to long time ago were gone. They have started showing pleasant and kindly disposition. I thought I was transformed too, along with them — with very high social responsibility to be seen as righteous as what everyone thinks as the savior of mankind. However, it felt so good. I couldn’t complain.

Fast forward. The past six years have been ridiculously tough. I had to leave behind the place where I grew up, the people who taught me a lot and the church where I had wonderful fellowships with other believers. I reckon Chris Martin would agree — nobody said it was easy. Who would’ve thought that anytime one should leave his childhood behind. I am no expert. I don’t have the right answers, only assumptions, as to when this occurrence comes knocking on your door. It just knocked on mine one day without warning. End of contract. Leaving things behind also sparked a new chapter. I now have a new life. Life that is without the people I knew. Maybe not entirely but everything won’t be the same anymore. Everything was just one big prologue leading to a new story. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe I am just waiting for things to unravel on their own. Maybe I am just overly concerned about what’s to come. Or maybe, I have to do something about it. So many maybes. You could feel the uncertainty. Nonetheless, I am happy. I think so. I have something that I can hold on to — the life I learned when I was a kid is still right before my eyes. I can always go back and be pensive to the things the past has showered me if I want to. They are still in awesome and pristine form. Thanks to the concept of nostalgia. It’s not the perfect childhood, but I will certainly say — it’s a wonderful one.