Supermarket Thoughts

Dearest Friend,

I was standing in line at the grocery check-out counter earlier when I began, once more, to lament on how little I had matured over the past five years. It’s a habit that comes back to me when I’m not doing anything – a habit I regressed to, for the first time in months, because for the first weekend in a very long time, I have no plans. No movie dates, no dinners out – just wasting away my two days before I have to work again.

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As I watched the cashier punch in the items of the lady who stood before me in line though, I realized how calm I was even though – in just a few minutes – it would be my turn to pay. Give or take eight years ago, I didn’t even know how to buy things. Literally. My palm would sweat, and I would panic. I would worry about not having brought enough money for my haul; I would worry over stammering as I stood before the cashier, who, I was sure, would subsequently brand me an idiot for failing to get something as simple as paying for things at the supermarket right.

And then, flashback to just a few months ago, I didn’t even have my own money to pay for anything. Up until then, as a cousin of mine once said, I was “pinadal-an”. My parents sent me money because I was incapable – then – of earning money on my own. But now the money I’m spending is mine. It’s money that I slaved for, cried for, woke up early in the morning for. It’s cash I made happen.

So then, I realized, as immature as I remain – I’m twenty-five this year, and even my boss once thought I was younger than my twenty-three-year-old colleague – I have grown somewhat. Whatever the quotables insist on, I think the opportunity for growth presents itself to everyone, even the most oblivious. The only way to escape it, I now think, is to stubbornly look the other way and insist that – despite your many experiences – your perspective towards the world and towards living remains unchanged.

I forget my point in writing all this, but all these things I mulled over, as I stood in line at the supermarket.

A.

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