this is where i live.
i like it here. and i dont.
this is where i live.
i didnt grow up here.
when im asked "so where did you grow up?"
i always automatically say, "philippines."
but sometimes, i doubt the truth in that.
technically, i really did grow up there. i didnt leave the country until a few days after my sixteenth birthday. but isnt that only one definition of "growing up"?
i remember being so dependent, clueless, and careless. i just didnt care enough to know whats what because i knew that someone would always be there to look after me, take care of me, save me.
i always did things depending on my mood. i never tried hard enough for anything because i never saw a point in trying because i knew i would get whatever i wanted, one way or another.
but then i moved.
with 16 years of my life tucked away in 2 boxes and 1 backpack, i was transplanted from a familiar place of ease and comfort to a place halfway around the world filled with strangers and struggles. i had to try to be comfortable around strangers. i had to learn how to understand the way the words rapidly fire out of their mouths. i had to relearn how to make friends. i had to learn how to live with "family." strangers.
but worst of all, i had to learn how to do things, many things, on my own.
i had to learn how to entertain myself during weekends when i didnt have my usual friend to hang out with anymore. i had to learn how to navigate around the unfamiliar streets and hallways just to be where im supposed to be. i had to learn how to eat by myself. i had to learn how to walk by myself. i had to learn how to sit in class by myself. i had to learn how to figure things out on my own.
it was through all of these that i became the person i am today. it was through all of these that i look the way that i do today. i was through all of these things that gained the friends i have today. i was through all these things that i learned how to become a real family member, even to those who i lived with in my sixteen years "back home."
so when i really think about it, or if i feel like overanalyzing the question just to be a pain in the ass,
did i grow up here,