Things they won't tell you about your 20s.
This is dedicated to debunking the myth and false pretense that your 20s are devoted to the things you much rather regret than relish.
This is for those who have lived enough to know, no matter if you grew up sheltered or if you had to rush past teenangehood just to stand on your own two feet.
This is for all the pain we’ve inflicted onto ourselves and those that surrounded our lives, both voluntarily and often circumstantial.
This is for all the beauty youth promised us but also for all the youth that life is bound to bury with responsibilities.
This is an ode to those who continue to serve as reminders of who we used to be and to the sum of our parts we continue to evolve into.
Disclaimer: Much of the content in this story is powered or inspired by past personal tweets, despite Twitter's growing redundancy in the ever-growing digital landscape that we know today, even more so by the time this story gets published (if it ever).
If anything, this is simply an attempt at committing to an age-old promise to a beautiful woman I used to know and loved dearly. For those who personally know me, cheers to a commitment I'm (finally) willing to see through!
Chapter 1: One For Those Who Ever Loved Me Despite My Monstrosity
By mid-20s, you can only belong to either ends of the spectrum – you’ve loved too hard or you didn’t try at all. The last 6 years of adulting can appear to be a complete blur but more often than not, that’s what you choose to believe just because we’re convinced there are no calculated returns on time wasted to grief. Well, at least that's what I've come to realise.
The type of love I grew up with was largely instructional and involved a reward system, of which the rewards were usually nowhere near materialistic handouts (unless my dad earns a bonus in some months) and instead shaped intrinsic accomplishments. Here are some examples to help you paint the picture of young Rey:
At age 2
If I finished my food, I earned 2 hours of outdoor play-time.
At age 3
If I bathed without making a fuss, I earned a cup of Milo. This used to be a luxury in our household.
At age 5
If I cleaned the living room, I get to turn on MTV and dance my heart away.
At age 6
If I wanted to write a letter that truly mattered, I get to use a pen. Pens used to be a luxury, too, and the ones we had were often fancy branded office pens my dad would get for free from work. Later when I was older, I also found out that my mother just wanted to minimise ink stains and visible marks around our rented flat.
At age 7
If I brought home good grades, I get treated to Happy Meals and add-on sides.
You get the picture. My parents wouldn't ask things like, "Oh, how's your day at school?" or "Have you made any friends?" or "What do you want for dinner?"
(To be continued)