Thursday, April 9, 2009
do you remember
It’s been so long since we last saw each other. I started giving them updates – true and false – just to check how well they still knew me- I love my job (true), I loathe my job (true), I got a tattoo (techinically true), I started singing in a pop reggae band (false but they totally bought it), I shaved all my hair off (half-true). It was a nice way to catch up with each other as well as a good reminder of how far we’ve come. Gone are the days when I would scrimp on lunch just so we could all watch the latest Ai-Ai de las Alas movie. We were talking about something silly when we suddenly got serious. I looked around and realized it was that part of the night when we would question our intentions and evaluate each other’s accomplishments.
“Di mo ba nami-miss?” asked one of my first friends in the group.
“Mag-turo. Sayang ka eh.”
“Nagtu-turo naman ako ah. Iba nga lang.”
“Hindi. Yung totoong pagtu-turo. Yung bang sa classroom tapos puro bata kaharap mo.”
“Di naman. Nakakatamad din kasi mag-gawa ng class records at lesson plans.”
“Sayang ka kasi eh.”
It was clear what she was implying. Out of everyone in our little group, I was the only one who did not pursue a full-time teaching career. I was the corporate sell-out. Was it worth it? I sipped my macchiato and remembered the days when I couldn’t even afford coffee. The answer was simple. I was tired of not being able to afford the things I wanted. Is it so wrong to want a better life?
I suppose they would never really understand why I chose this life instead of theirs. They’ve always had a clear idea of what they wanted in life and they did everything they could to find their happiness. Looking back, I had about a handful of events that changed my life- flunking the UPCAT, taking up Education, trading in my diploma for a headset, switching companies, applying for a promotion. If I had changed any of these variables, I would probably be in a different place right now. I could’ve been a teacher at a public school convincing myself that money is overrated. I could’ve been a starving artist, peddling stories for food or money. I could’ve been so many things. Why was I here? Am I happy?
I’m here because I made lemons out of lemonade. I’m here because I learned to accept the gap between what I want and what the world has for someone like me. I’m here because despite wanting to believe that I am a victim of my circumstances, I know that I chose this life. Am I happy? That’s debatable. Most days, I’m alright. Everyone has good and bad days. Sometimes people have good weeks, good months, even good years. I’ve had a good couple of months and I really have no reason to complain. Now that I’m finding more bad days than good, I gotta learn to suck it up and be a man about it. I’ve stopped sulking, in case you guys were wondering. I finally understood that I wouldn’t be so burnt out if I took better care of myself. Patience is a virtue, they say. I still have plenty of things to learn. Until I’ve learned all my lessons, I shouldn’t be in such a hurry for things to speed up.
“Di naman sayang. Masaya naman ako sa ginagawa ko eh. Siguro kung milyonaryo lang ako, nag-turo na ako sa totoong school. Eh kaso hindi eh.”
She nodded in agreement and decided that that was the end of that. That’s what I love about friends. They make you realize the strangest things at the strangest moments. I’m not really sure when we’ll see each other again. All I can do is just sit and wait in fervent anticipation for the conversations and epiphanies in our next night out.
BRB. In completely unrelated news, I’ve decided to take a break from heavy blogging. I’ve recently reacquainted with my first love- fiction. I finally finished writing a story (two years after I wrote my last story) plus I’ve got a few buns in the oven just waiting to be written. Like most infants, they need all the attention they can get and so to do that, I decided to limit my blogging. *hangs up Do Not Disturb sign* See you in a few weeks (hopefully with something good)!