In the recent past, I have grown more nostalgic for my youthful years. Times have changed, people have also changed too. The young have grown and moved on with their lives. It has become too difficult to live the simple life I used to live when I was a child. That life where there was little care in my world. I strongly feel this desire when I went back to my hometown. This is the town where I was raised up and enjoyed my early years. There is little advantage of living in the past. Time has really gone and the place has changed. There are lots of contemporary buildings. Technology has also had great effect on this small town at the back of the city.
When I was a child, I enjoyed walking to downtown. Back then the town was full of commotion with friendly faces and enjoyable things to do. Presently as I walked downtown, the place was empty, save for the developers busy with reconstructing the old structures. In as much as it may not feel that long ago when I hang out with my friends at our popular snack joint, Del Pizzeria’s. at this point, we used to spend most of our hard earned pocket money in the well prepared snacks. It is also the same place where we could hold birthday parties with our friends and age mates alike. This joint was so popular that in the evenings, most of the casual meetings often took place at this place. Looking around the place, even the table cloths have been removed. The comfy booths are no longer around. Instead of the homely pink and white checkered tablecloths, there are charred imprints randomly placed within the place. The building does no longer exist. In its place, there are old metal girders and other materials strewn all over.
The streets are also so strange to me. During the good old days, there were many baby shops. There was hardware, a pharmacy and a big green grocer. All these have been replaced by one scruffy Wal-mart. This is also home to the Development Regulatory Committee which is overlooking the developments in the region.
For sure everything within my hometown and its surrounding has changed.
When I grew up I was familiar with the name of every young person in the neighborhood. During summer we could ride our bicycles round the neighborhood. We could even play as children by the pond which is presently unreserved and occupied by weird creatures. It is even difficult for me to identify the same people we went to high school with. Majority of them are bald-headed. Others have added on weight and become disfigured. Still others have gone through physical metamorphosis to be easily recognized. When we occasionally meet along the streets, it becomes difficult to let out the hearty laughter we were so used to sharing. It is even harder to smile and greet each other as we were so used to. The changes have been escalated by challenges in stages in life. These changes, I have come to realize are inevitable. Time moves and so does life too.
There are other losses I have felt as I went touring this old town. My elementary school’s gymnasium was beautiful and big enough for any school event. Presently, it looks so plain, cold, empty and haunting. It looks like a morgue than a school’s gymnasium. Everything in the schools seems to be decaying. There are no open luxurious activities which we used to enjoy as we grew up. I am left with the bitter feeling why I had to revisit this old town. I wish I could still hold on to the beautiful and wonderful memories of my old hometown. I am filled with the wishful desires that I too could still be strong and youthful as I was when I last walked down the streets.
Family, friends and the entire neighborhood has changed. Personally I have changed too. I am no longer the strong beautiful girl I was ages ago. I graduated from high school to college where I specialized in research and biostatistics. I am married and have children of my own too. I have moved from the old and distant town to the centre of the city. My life has changed too. I no longer have time to ride my bike and sit for long hours storytelling with my friends. I am busy with life issues; from family to career to spiritual matters. This is how the cycle goes on apart from holidays where I get time to visit family and friends. I no longer have time to stroll without any major plans filling my mind. Expectations of the present society have also changed. I am expected to meet the needs of my family members. The society expects me to give back in material and monetary terms. I also have my desires. I look forward to have an established statistical consultancy firm where I can offer solutions to real problems through a statistical approach. I also desire to have my own ranch in the north where I can retire to and enjoy nature in the old age.