Eight year-old mudpie

Mommy bought me my first and only The Beatles’ song hits when I was around eight years old. A candy vendor was selling a bunch of em along a sidewalk near the old Gaisano.

I remember how ecstatic I was of my seemingly puny possession. Comparing to my joys right now, it felt like owning an iphone 7 or a new macbook pro. I remember scanning through its brown, recycled, pages. My fingers sifting through each printed song lyric, figuring out if I was capable enough to play the complicated chord given my being noob in the guitar world. I barely knew B-Flat minors. Barely knew how to use the capo. Barely able to carry dad’s acoustic guitar which he bought from Tel Aviv. I remember being frustrated with my hands being small and my arms, too short.

Daddy would play In My Life without even looking at the song hits. And there I was, barely able to to press the strings with my flimsy eight-year old fingers.

My favorite was Michelle.

Not because of the meaning of the song. Ha ha. I barely understood what romance meant way back. My eight year old mind only cared about the tune and melody. I loved the how the words rolled like honey in Paul McCart’s tongue.

“Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble
Très bien ensemble”

I became fascinated with the silent letters. The French language. The sound. The beat. The Rhythm.

“I love you, I love you, I love you
That’s all I want to say
Until I find a way
I will say the only words I know that
You’ll understand.”

My young mind loved the concept of love as introduced by Lennon and Paul. I didn’t understand Romantic feelings back then. Romance, for me, was the flittery feeling, but I didn’t really understand. But I liked it.

And just like that. The Beatles introduced me to the hippie love. The Mccartney, Lennon, Starr, Harrison, kind of love.

year 2000

The sad kid that I was was pretty much delighted with the company of music. Dad introduced me to the music of his time. And humming Sting’s Fragile, James Taylor’s Up on the Roof, Billy Joel’s Vienna, became my normal.

Being a sad kid, I realize, was not my family’s fault. I never blamed them for it. They were imperfect, yes, but I lived in a home where a climate of  grace and forgiveness existed…and still exists up to this day.

Sadness was a state I created for myself. Perhaps, I have to admit that I loved the idea of sadness at a very early age. I relished the idea of being in that state. I loved my man-made world. My fantasies, self-tailor-made. That was my hamartia. A hint of my depraved mind.

And I made sure that I was always the victim. Atleast, in my own recollections.

And, No, this story is not a cutesy-story about a-kid-who-was-bullied-and-then-eventually-got her-revenge-when-she-became-a-beautiful-and-successful adult-story. No, this is the 21-year old Kim, who just realized that romanticizing things will get you nowhere near reality. Ofcourse, that is obvious. But realizing that…and deciding to change perspectives – isn’t really as easy as it seems.

Post-college-adulting-life will slap you hard on the face that eureka moments overflow every micro-second without you asking for it and it will still be useless because you cannot change yourself on your own.

The 21 year-old self will be able to “realize,”

but you will understand too, that “realize”

cannot equate with “changed behavior” or… a “changed heart.”

I started this with a story about my little joys when I was still an eight-year old.  My happies when I was eight are way different than my happies now that I’m twenty-one. Life is…precarious like that.

Whenever I try to assess my adult joys right now, I see too many shallow things. It is hard to admit that I’m slowly becoming what I feared to be whilst reading Antoine’s The Little Prince Way back in college – The Adult.  Now, I am more concerned with Matters of Consequence. I am concerned with numbers and likes and validation. My priorities have changed and is currently being changed. My wants and needs are sometimes misplaced and interchanged.

“We are far too easily pleased.” Lewis once wrote in The Weight of Glory.

We settle for mudpies in a slum when an offer of a holiday at the sea is offered.

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses

As I am writing this, I am already a twenty-one year old adult, sitting here in my office desk, staring at the clock’s tic-toc, waiting for five p.m. I’ve never been too old and too young than this moment.

I will turn twenty-two in fourty-nine days. I’m not getting any younger. I still haven’t figured out how to use chopsticks. I still haven’t mastered the subject-verb agreement. I still hate tenses. My mind is still caffeine dependent. My hair is thinning and it has lost much of its muchness. Gravity is still pulling me down. I still catch myself humming  Tadhana from time to time. I still love highschool musical. I still resort to Hersheys whenever I’m miserable.

I filed my resignation from the company a week ago. I’m not sure where this decision will lead me. What I’m sure of is that I’m being a hedonist right now. And I’m not sure if that is right.


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