I live like any ordinary kid: I play outside and I have friends and things that I find myself interested in, like playing basketball, learning new kinds of stuff, and writing essays. I’m fond of those, but music appeals differently to me. I like to listen to music and play guitar and piano, any genre you name it. As much for being a music enthusiast, I’ll incorporate some of my favorites in telling you deeper about myself.

Just like any other kid, it all started as a young guy with big dreams. Growing up, our family wasn’t as thriving as we thrived today. I had dreamed of having all the cars, the clothes, or the foods I could’ve ever dreamt of. In my mind, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older? Then we wouldn’t have to wait so long.” I already wanted to give the life that my parents deserved because, “I want it that way,” as the song goes.

In my life so far, I feel like I’ve been through a lot. Sometimes I tend to do dumb things that later I regret, like talking back at my teachers and all kinds of other dumb stuff. But despite having done these, I also learned valuable lessons called “experiences.” I take pride in myself for having had these experiences.

At other times, I’m being pressured by the high academic expectations I set for myself, and thereby becoming burned out “to the bone,” as another song goes. Being frustrated with what my mind can only attain, I must work double or even triple time because I’m neither a genius nor gifted. With that burden on my back, insecurity and anxiety have set in. All I could do is accept and “let it be” and have the chance to “rewrite the stars”—if I may borrow these phrases from these songs. All of these, plus the effect of the pandemic, have clustered into one big ball of negativity.

Amidst this pandemic, our parents, however, have taught us, “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me,” and this familiar line in a song plays repeatedly in my head. I have realized the faith our parents have in Him and Her, and that’s what makes their bond stronger. And as they say, behind every sorrow is a silver lining. In every storm, there is a rainbow.

I’m expecting the same after this pandemic—to have new realizations and a new outlook in life, honoring the hope and trust that my family has placed on me in search of that pot of gold “somewhere over the rainbow.”

This is me: a young man with only hopes and dreams in his pocket, battling his way to that 1% where the likes of Henry Sy, Elon Musk, and others like them belong, alongside parents he could’ve ever dreamt of.

(Editor’s Note: Interested to have your essay published? Whether you’re a student or a professional, we encourage you to submit it to editor.newsnarratives[at]gmail.com. We pay P1,000 for accepted essays.)

By Benedict T. Baltazar

I am 14 years old and I study at a prestigious school in La Union and have been there ever since. I am so grateful to be doing what I love to do and surrounded by people who support me.

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