Someone posted a Facebook album of a family celebrating their Dad's promotion. The Dad and I went to the same university, he was a few years ahead and by the time I was graduating, he was also a professor, taking up graduate studies at the same time.
Back then, he drove to school, not the latest model but it was a decent model. Obviously, it was a car provided by his parents, as if naman kaya nya bumili ng car at that age. He also went to an expensive Chinese all-boys school. Fast forward a couple of decades, he's married and has 6 kids - the first 2 aren't his, only the last 4 are, but he's taken responsibility for all and from the posts of the eldest (oo, chismosa ako at ni follow ko yun), he is a great dad.
One thing that stood out to me while browsing through the photos was that they were commuting. The album showed several photos of them riding a jeepney. Nag grocery pa sila and all I kept thinking was "ha ? nag grocery sila and pano nila iuuwi ? Jeep rin ? Ang dami nilang kids, how do you get a jeepney with space enough for 8 ? "
Back when I knew him, he was driving a car. Now, he does not na (unless they have a small car which doesn't fit 8 people ? pero parang impossible ), parang na downgrade* ? I couldn't get past that and started speculating how things might have progressed for him.
I was imagining different scenarios in my head in an effort to understand the situation when I came across another friend's post on my newsfeed, sabi nya....
"... for making me realize success is not measured monetarily."
And just like that, it clicked.
* thought I'd provide a little context about the term "downgrade" - I went to the state university and my classmates were from all walks of life. There were the obviously rich kids who come to school in expensive clothes and drive the newest model car every year and then there were the more deprived ones who one have 1 pair of jeans which they wear the whole week and then wash over the weekend. If it rained on a weekend and his laundry didn't dry, he wears pambahay shorts on Monday.
The happy part is that these days, yung mga deprived dati, they're doing really well with houses of their own. They also have their own cars, yung iba may investments pa na condo on top of their own house. Nakakatuwa, diba ?