Here I am again. Trying to sleep but my thoughts won’t let me rest. I’m used to sleep around 2am or 3am during school days and my body hasn’t adjusted yet to the fact that it’s already our break.
My mind once again travels down to my deepest thoughts – to my long list of ‘Why’ and ‘What If’. I’m used to falling asleep having those questions in my mind. Maybe that’s the reason why I always have unpleasant dreams.
Out of all the questions I have, there’s this one silly question that I always ask myself: What if I was born in the 1800s?
I know every era has its bad side. If I was born in the 1800s, clearly I’m dead by now. Haha. But kidding aside, it wasn’t that much great back in the 1800s. There were social issues that people won’t address such as slavery, women can’t go to school, colonialism and wars were everywhere. In fact, if I was born during that era and still living in the Philippines, I may be one of those people who will rebel against our colonizers. During the 1800s, we were under the power of Spain, and that has been the case for 3 centuries. It was written in our history books how our ancestors fought for our freedom. I used to cry while reading some stories during that time. We’ve been into so much uprisings just to finally have our freedom during the early 1900s.
But despite those discouraging facts, I love how simple life was during the 1800s. Yes, they don’t have the internet or all the advancements we experience today. But isn’t it great that fresh air was free and you get to hear the cricket at night (which is, by the day, still possible if you’re in the province)? Or perhaps sleep early because you don’t have any other things to do?
But then, if it’s 1800s, maybe I’m already married or if not, my parents are already worried that I’m still not married at the age of 25. So I’ll start to freak out and give up on the idea of finding true love. Ugh. Haha. Or maybe I’ll choose not to settle down if love is not the reason why I’m going to get married (I really feel like that’s what I’m going to do if I was born in the 1800s). I won’t be able to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor and maybe I’m someone who cooks lovely dishes for my family, make beautiful dresses for my kids and play the piano when I’m bored. Not to mention the luxury of time I can spend on reading. Although I won’t have a blog, I’m quite sure I will be able to pursue my dream for writing. One thousand copies for my first book is enough. I will rejoice just by knowing that one of my works was published.
And let’s just say someone got interested in me. He will start to write me letters and go to our house and meet my parents. And then if I like him too, he still need to wait for months or maybe years because it’s not good to confess right away. Haha. I won’t be able to see him without having a chaperone. We will have walks going to the park with my head down and then I’ll be forced to talk ‘like a lady’. I’ll cover my mouth with a huge fan while laughing at his jokes. I’ll be walking 2x slower than my usual speed. Haha. 😂 And then he will carry my things and hold the umbrella for me. He will sing songs for me or write a poem because he knows I love poetry. And then when I finally said yes, he will ask me to marry him. In short, courtship was kind of funny but at least all pursuits are intentional – something that I wish is still what it is today.
It’s so easy nowadays to just drop a message online and start conversations that will eventually puzzle you. No more romantic walks and longer time for courtships. Worse, guys will only go to your house when you finally said yes. It won’t be as romantic as what you’ve always been dreaming.
I’m quite sure we have so many things to be thankful for that we were born as Millennials. Just the fact that you are reading this from another country is quite ‘miraculous‘ for a person born in the 1800s. We don’t need to be scared of speaking for what is right because we have all the freedom that we need. But I hope even if we don’t have to suffer like how they suffered before, we still keep their virtues in courtship, marriage, raising kids and loving a family. I hope all these ‘changes’ won’t change our core values in order to belong.
I wish I was pursued like how it was during the 1800s – with clear intentions. I wish I was brave enough to write a book like many writers did during that time. I wish I have many time to play the piano and read my favorite books. I wish doing those things are easier for me to do today. But it’s not.
That’s why as I go to sleep, I imagine things that I wish I can do or things that I wish is still possible today. But everything changes. Every era has its downside. And I guess as a Millennial, I must learn to thrive.
We always want the things we can never have. We will always be curious of what could have been if life is a bit different from what we have right now. But I hope as you I sleep tonight – whether you’re from another country or not – you will think about what can happen if we change the way we see dating and bring back to life all those virtues our society destroyed.
We don’t need to let our virtues die just to prosper. We don’t need to suffer having broken families and relationships just to succeed in life.
I hope my thoughts awaken yours. Maybe by then I can finally see that Millennials can also live like how it was during the 1800s.