Earlier today, I hanged out with my cousins at a posh shopping mall while waiting for our parents to come back from an important meeting. It was a rare Sunday afternoon set-up, because for the past few months the default has only been one of two things: either my family pays the grocery a visit, or we go straight home.
I’m not a mall person, so I was more than willing to look for our favorite coffee shop to sit back and chill. We were clueless how long the meeting will last, so of course stories had to be told (and retold) to help pass time. But we ran out of stories, and soon we were all looking at something else: a mobile phone, a book, even a stranger across the shop.
Suddenly, I longed for conversations that would go on for hours, cellular phone calls that would be cut every 15 minutes but would be redialed anyway, and late night talks with best friends who would try their hardest to keep staying awake just to hear you rant.
At that moment of realization, I grieved for what has happened to my generation, who had the rare opportunity to straddle along the old and new. We knew best the difference between real time conversations and Viber messages, but we have chosen the easier path.
It is quite upsetting that “hanging out” now means being seated together but never really talking, just tagging each other on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook. And we choose it everyday because ironically, we never have enough time to sit down and pause.
Today, I paused. And in the next Sundays and Mondays I hope to pause more until I can keep pausing once in a while even during work days. I have resolved not to let life pass me by again.
Five months is enough.