Monday, 11 June 2012

Leaving Neverland

Someone once told me, in order for you to write well, you have to write what you know. What do I know?

I know at one point we've all dreamt of going to Neverland. We've dreamt of being picked up by peter pan in the middle of the night, sprinkled some fairy dust on, and in the wee hours, fly in a starry, starry sky towards one direction -- the second star to the left. I can remember daydreaming during class or before going to bed that the pan would come by my window and we'd jump off into that night sky with the moon behind our backs, leaving everything behind. I still imagine that sometimes. Who wouldn't? Who wouldn't want to forget all of their problems and remain a kid forever where all you've to worry about is what to play next, right? And you'll be in Neverland where pirates, mermaids, forest spirits, and creatures beyond our imagination exist. Plus, you won't have to grow up. You don't have to worry about paying bills, falling in love, falling out of love (with the emphasis on out), thinking about how other people think of you, committing to another, healing a broken heart, and, probably the most problematic of all, shaving facial hair. No joking. It's annoying to shave facial hair almost every day just to avoid people having to mistake you as some homeless dude who lives under a bridge or sleeps on sidewalks with his wiener sticking out without a care in the world.  Truth be told, sometimes I envy those people. It’s hard not to think about how people perceive you. You may say you don’t care about what the people’s perceptions about you are, but deep down, you do. You just hate to admit it because that's what grown-ups are like. They hide their feelings in a box, slowly accumulating all of the loathing, the envy, and the whatnots until one day, all of those pent up emotions explode. Well, you know what happens when that happens, right? You get to have ringside tickets to a boxing match. Not bad, eh? 

I'm not here to tell you what sucks about growing old or growing up. After all, I am a grown-up. (Takes a step back, bows, and then moves forward again with a matching *ehem ehem*) I do have something to tell you though. Let me tell you about a little secret that not a lot of people know. Did you know that Neverland wasn’t really at the second star to the left?  Think about it. Neverland wasn't really a place to begin with. It's a phase in every person's life. It's that little stage before we think of snogging or making our own peter pan or set of lost boys. You don't have to worry about anything, just how to get home to eat, and return back to you Neverland after. My Neverland wasn't just about mermaids, fairies, and pirates, it was also about anime, endless laughter, and a lot of unimaginable things -- there were no credit card bills, no phone bills, no glares from people, no society who will judge your every action, no crime, no heartaches -- just pure bliss.  

 It was paradise and I really couldn't ask for more. The only downside of being in Neverland is the time is limited. While I frolicked in the lush green meadows under a golden sun, swam with fishes unknown to man, treasure hunted in deep caves covered in weird foliage, canoeing in a river with creatures I could read in mythical books, slept under a blanket of starry night sky, and woke up with a kiss of summer wind as the sun rises; Time passed by in the real world. It’s true when they say that time stops for no one. I can’t stay a boy forever. I had to realize that my Neverland was made up, everything was. And sooner or later, I had to open my eyes and grow up. The boy had to be a man. My little sanctuary will collapse sooner or later because it was not even real in the first place. It was an escape of a kid trying to avoid responsibilities and pretending that nothing mattered except playing and having fun. Playing is never a crime. However, we have to face reality and the unjust world because in that unfair and ruthless world, will we find love. A love that we can never experience in Neverland.

At some point, we all have to leave our Never, Neverland. Only when we leave our Neverland, will we be able fly. Think.