When I was a young girl, I wanted to be a storyteller.
For the first six years of my life, I was an only child. My parents had a miscarriage before me and lost my brother just before he can reach the third trimester. When I came more than a year later, I was doted on as much as parents dote on their eldest child. Although they took great care in making sure I do not become a spoiled brat growing up, I had more than enough attention for a child my age. My parents believed in “educational” toys and usually gifted me with sets of books or crafting materials. Mom read to me often. She would halt when there was a word I did not understand, and instruct me to retrieve the meaning from any of the thick dictionaries (we owned the hardbound ones that had too many words in it).
When my brother was born and my parents inevitably had to pay more attention to the new baby, books became my reprieve. I’d be holed up in my room, accompanied by infinite worlds within pages, and fill my unsupervised six-year-old mind with ideas I could not wrap my head around. Roald Dahl’s Matilda even had me believing that if I read enough, I’d be able to move things with my mind! Mom had a laugh with that one, rented the tape of its film adaptation, and patiently explained that it’s a story. That was the moment I found out that grown-ups can buy nice things by writing down their fantasies for other people.
I know, I know. I have rambled a bit. But the point I’m trying to make is how most often than not, life never ends up the way we thought it would. My childhood dreams of spinning tales and providing someone else reprieve from the reality they live in never really came to fruition. And my dream after that, and all other various dreams that followed. I did not get to be a storyteller, an archaeologist, nor a blonde lawyer with a chihuahua in tow (I love Legally Blonde, okay). My imagination has lost most of its luster, and the universe had taken off the rose-colored glasses I wore throughout my childhood. There are days where I still wonder how that child that aspired and read 4 books per day just so she could move things with her mind, ended up in a thankless job with a 45-hour work week. Life, in general, has been demotivating lately and has started to take a toll on me.
But then, I’d look back and see how even though my path has twisted and turned into directions I never planned, it has also lead me to more places that did not even cross my mind. I’ve ticked off things that weren’t officially listed on my bucket list. I’ve gone and literally stepped foot in far away soil*. Life has happened beyond any of my plans. It may be a struggle to be grateful about how actually awesome my life is considering all these setbacks, but there’s no denying it’s a wonderful life.
*Here’s a highlights reel of my trip to Seoul with friends. I wasn’t feeling great about myself for a number of reasons lately. While editing this vlog, I realized that my childhood dreams may not have come true, but in return, I got new dreams instead. One of these dreams are of traveling that is being fulfilled one new place at a time.