How Curiosity Burned My Hand

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According to my ever-so caring Yaya Jane, “Don’t worry, ya! I’m brave!” was first thing I said after I burned my hand (out of curiosity). After she saw my burned hand, she went ballistic for a second. Thankfully, she returned to the loving, caring, and protective yaya that she is. I believe she sprinted faster than Usain Bolt, as she dashed from the living room to the restroom and back to the living room which are at the opposite ends of the house to get toothpaste; since, she thought this was the best pain reliever/soother for my fresh burn. 

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She was an instant doctor. After applying the toothpaste on my burn, she asked me in a panicky and cracky voice why I did what I did when she specifically ordered me not to touch the flat iron most especially the bottom part which is “very hot” stated in an overemphasized manner. Thus, instinctively, I didn’t take it seriously. As she was jittering, scared of how much pain i was feeling. All the while, I could feel her heart beating twice as fast as mine and scared as if she were the one who got burned. 

I was calm, because I was contemplating on what I did. Whether if i did was worth it, and if I would do it again. And my conscience said I would because I am curious, brave and thrilled. I answered her and calmly said: “ Because I was curious. Ya, it’s ok. It’s not super ouchie. You can breathe now you know. Because im scared you might faint. And I don’t know what I will do if that happens”. She took a deep breath and was able to calm herself down. She gently held my face with both of her hands, letting our foreheads touch and said: “Ok ka lang ba? Why aren’t you crying, baby. Wait lang tawagan ko muna si mommy mo.” 

For the first time, I remember that I didn't cry out loud and scream out the names of my mom and dad, which was my habit when things go wrong or not according to my plan. Tears were forming in my eyes as I laugh hysterically, I felt weird. I was feeling happy, in pain, proud, cool, sad, stronger, and bolder as if I were a fire-proof giant ready to take on the world. I was laughing but my eyes were telling a whole new different story. That is what started everything, else. I wanted to keep that feeling alive because it felt like an explosion, a good kind of explosion like fireworks. It ignites me within that radiates outside. It felt like I was seeing the world for the first time with two eyes wide open. Therefore, curiosity is personally the best teacher as it allowed me to discover myself, the world and God.

I consider “curious” as my first big word because it was the go-to adjective of my parents as they describe me to family and friends. It was and still is the best-fitting description for me. As a 4 year old everything was set as a gray area. There were so many things I was not allowed to do or take part in because I was “too young, too immature, too kiddish, and too unexposed to the realities of life”. As the unica hija, I felt obligated to discover the world first hand to be able to guide my younger siblings. I am the ate and I should start acting like one, even if I am still young. 

I knew I needed to be the protector of my siblings, but through the experiences I have gained fueled by curiosity to try and encounter new things, new toys, new food, new people, and new problems it was hard because I was alone. That was when I realized that it ok to ask for help and still be strong. That I can’t save and protect them in their nightmares when I, myself, have my own devils, monsters and nightmares to face. I learned that I can still be courageous even if i have fears. By being curious, i was able to find the pieces that i felt were “me”. 

I was able to distinguish my likes, dislikes, habits, and flaws. With the varying and very contricting standards imposed on young women in this generation, I did not feel the need to conform to these so called “normal things” that girls my age would do. At times I felt odd, for being too curious and too eccentric for most peoples’ taste. But the feeling of being different, made me unique from everyone else. All my friends would say in the sweetest voice: “I like you, because you’re you, weird or not”.

I used to think that ActiveFun was the best and biggest playground in the world, but no the world itself is the best and biggest playground. Just like ActiveFun, the world has its own ball pits, slides, wall climbs, punching bags, stairs, mazes, doors, and booby traps. The world is surreal and beautiful. Most of the time, I take numerous things for granted when in fact they should be appreciated and taken care of. Curiosity pushed me out of my comfort zone, which led me to travel out of town, and even out of the country. 

I realized that at the end of every playdate in Activefun, amidst all the sweaty clothes, smelly socks, and roaring bellies. I had fun, I was satisfied and I was in a state of bliss. Just like how every day comes to an end, but this time as a teenager I am grumpy, disheartened and stressed. The difference is not the world, but how I choose to see it. My perspective of my environment is the most critical aspect in living. Everything has a cycle, a beginning and an ending, causes and effects. Everyday I act differently but somehow the same, as my actions are based, centered, and fueled by my insatiable curiosity.

Growing up in a contemporary Roman-Catholic household, I was introduced to God, the Church, and the Catholic faith at a very young age. I was constantly asking questions about God -- how He works wonders even though He is not physically present, how He made the world so beautiful and at the same time intricate , and the most asked question of them all which is how do we know that He actually exists. My parents always assured me that God is real and He exists and that was when I first encountered the word faith. Based on its lexical definition, “it is the theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will”. 

However, faith for a Catholic it that is a strong sense of trust in God. Despite not being able to see Him, we can feel his presence in our very core because faith is a way of life and not just a single act (n.d.). As I was more exposed to the Scriptures and the teachings through Christian Life Education (CLE), I remember during discussion Mr. Ramos saying: “We don’t understand God’s ways because we are not God-like. His ways are not our ways. But rest assured that He is always present. And the only right attitude is to have faith and trust God.” This was the turning point of my faith allowing me to dive deeper into my personal relationship with God and offer everything to Him and in His name. Up to this day, I am constantly learning to appreciate all the little things as I know that all that I have is because of Him.

My innate inquisitiveness is generated by endless questions that allowed me to cultivate myself and see the world through a different lens. Even if it entails learning through the most outlandish ways possible. Thus, Ateneo will serve as a catalyst and the best learning environment for me to acquire new learnings and experiences that will hopefully inspire others to allow themselves to be curious but not childish, to question and not to mock, and to take risks from time to time.  

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