lonely girl calculating how old she is according to taylor swift albums

I always find myself come here when I'm sad, when I feel lost or just tired of the days rushing through me like I'm some ghost. I don't know.. Maybe it's my place of sanctuary. I feel like.. It's where I left my last whole piece of childhood. The unfettered innocence kept intact away from the prying eyes of adulthood. It's somehow a secret place, where I've carefully hidden something I could always go back to.

I was munching away a Php65 pasta from Pasta Boy and with a Php35 mango graham shake while I sat cross-legged in my dress.  (My own version of heaven -- delicious, affordable, belly-bursting).

"Patugtog ka nga ng Taylor Swift." (Play a Taylor Swift song.)

Plays Blank Space from the current album.

"Wala ka ba yung luma? Yung mga Love Story, ganun?" (Don't you have something older than that? Like Love Story?)

I rolled my eyes. Shoot. Is that old? Then I counted the Taylor Swift albums from the time when I was in college and the current one, their time.

Fearless (2008)
Speak Now (2010)

Red (2012)
1989 (2014)

So okay.. Three.. In the span of.. Six years. Was that six years already?

I looked at their faces and know exactly that I don't look like them anymore. Some semblance still, maybe. I mean, the guard still let me pass the gate. But when you look at us closely, I know, I've lost something that I couldn't get back anymore, but gained something they still haven't got the chance to earn.

These are the kids of the late 90's. A four year difference at least, gives us a cultural gap that will expand extensively once we get to have jobs. A gap that is clearly seen between our faces, our mannerisms, and how we talk. A gap distinguishable between the ones who are still here, and the ones who walked out the door even just a few years ago.

Maybe I have some issues with growing up, like how I want to be that kid again who only worries about assignments, projects, and exams. Maybe.. Maybe time forces me to.

But I'm grateful that this place will continue to exist, if only to remind me that it's okay to go back once in a while, that I'm welcome to go about my last whole piece of childhood whenever I'm sad, or whenever I feel like a ghost, cold, alone, and unseen in the busy, hyperventilating world of adults.