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More than 14 reasons to keep going

/ 06:09 PM January 22, 2021
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My eyes slowly opened to the sound of my alarm and the sunlight that breached my bedroom window. It was the start of a new day, the crack of dawn at 5:30 a.m.

You may be wondering why a homeschooled 14-year-old teen is awake so early in the morning when normally he should still be asleep at that time. The main reason for this is that I have to walk my little girl, Zoey. That’s the name of my dog. No matter how much protest my mind and body tell me (that I have to go back to the comfort of my soft and warm bed), when I see my dog downstairs, I just know she is well worth waking up for when I see her all excited for her morning walk.

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The walk starts off with either the warm or cold breeze of the morning air as I step out of my house, into the neighborhood, with Zoey right beside me. The sight of the sun rising with the color of the sky, a mix of orange and yellow is something you could get used to after a while, but it is still very beautiful no matter how many times you’ve seen it. After the serene and refreshing walk with my dog, I arrive home and start my chores so I can earn money for the stuff that I want, like future gifts for my family or a new phone.

However, the most important thing, the thing that keeps me going, is being able to see and talk with my loved ones, like my mom who works day and night just so I can have a comfortable life. She has been working from home since the start of the pandemic, which gives us time to bond more. Her commute time has been replaced with our talks about current events, dreams and plans. I will miss this when she will have to go back to the office. I do miss my grandparents so much as they can’t visit us here in Manila because of this pandemic. I grew up with my Mama and Papa in Bacolod until I was 12.

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Every day when I go out of my room, my own little space in the house, or do anything downstairs, I can tell my loved ones how much I love and appreciate them, and tell them whatever is going on in my mind, which helps me not to give up. Their reassuring words of support are like a power up in a video game, something that makes you feel stronger and ready to tackle any challenge that will ever come your way. I have to admit that my life is privileged since I am able to do what I do every day during the quarantine without worrying about running out of water or food. I am extremely grateful for that.

The sun sets and the sky slowly turns into dusk, signifying the end of my long yet fulfilling day, each day, and is also a sign of a new day to come tomorrow. My eyelids try their best to keep open and I try to stay awake but I fail due to the comfort of my bed and the cool surroundings. Soon enough I fall asleep, dreaming of the things to come.

As you can see, dear reader of this essay, my life is quite boring and simple. But that’s my life so I’m grateful to be able to have it when others don’t have a chance at all. Props to all those teens who haven’t given up and continue to support their loved ones, however they can, in these hard times. This leads me to think about the children and teens that are in Cagayan or Marikina who lost their homes which were all swept away by the floods during Rolly and Ulysses. Some might have lost their parents as well. In the future, I want to be able to help children and teens that are in need by helping raise funds or co-funding charities that will give such teens, who are the future of our country, a chance to thrive in life.

This is why I have to keep going, get good grades, a good college education, and lastly a job. I also want to be able to repay, in any way, my family for what they have sacrificed for me.

It is now a brand new year but nothing much has changed. I still can’t visit places, especially Bacolod. The routine of waking up at 5:30 a.m. to walk my dog and do chores to earn money continue to be the first things I do in a day. Restrictions might be lifted soon with the availability of the vaccine. Or, we might still be in the lowest quarantine level until the end of the year. But I know that what kept me going in 2020 will definitely see me through 2021, until that day when I can once again hug and kiss my grandparents.

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Joshua Joguilon-Nepomuceno is 14 years old. He enjoys anime, sleep, and his studies. Originally from Bacolod, he is now based in San Pedro, Laguna. He expresses deep concern for his fellow teenagers especially amid the pandemic. He hopes for all of them “to be able to dream high and reach [our] goals in life without forgetting to give back to [the] community.”

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TAGS: Bacolod, creative nonfiction, essays, Grandparents, homeschooling, nonfiction, pandemic, Pets, Quarantine, teenagers
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