Thursday, April 9, 2009

do you remember

I finally got to see my college friends eight months since we last hung out. We used to see each other monthly, exchanging updates and secrets. At times, if I closed my eyes it almost felt like I was back in college in my old rose barong hanging out at Coffee Bean in Gateway. Deadlines, schedule conflicts and other things that suck prevented us from our monthly dose of each other.

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.

Ang alin?

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)!

30 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Ooooh, nagturo ka pala? Ako din dati. Ang saya magturo, pero ayaw ko na sa school na 'yun. Kung ano mang school 'yung tinutukoy ko. LOL! =)

    -- Mr. Scheez

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  3. I would not call correct self-valuation to be "selling out". Failing to adequately value oneself is just a throw back to early Christian asceticism and its rejection of present material conditions. This also comes out in this anti-money attitude.

    Money has no intrinsic value. Over valuing it is a problem, just as under valuing it or denying it its material value is a problem.

    In other words, I wouldn't give yourself a hard time over it. Being gay and taking a vow of poverty is just so last century seminary!

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  4. @line of flight: i guess i'm feeling a little guilty that i didn't do what i set out to do. as far as the early christian parallelism, i doubt if i would've seen it that way had i been a real teacher. i would be too fixated on being hungry and wanting things.

    it's true that money in itself has no intrinsic value. it's the things you can buy with it. haha i confess i'm a little guilty of over-valuing money but i think everyone goes through that phase every once in a while. and yeah, i don't think i should feel bad about it. thanks for confirming that. :D

    @mr. scheez: bakit ayaw mo na? kakaintriga naman.. at wait wait.. bakit ka umalis sa blog world?! waaaahhhh!!!

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  5. big plus on the new profile-pic btw its much clearer -- coming from someone cloaked in shadows. i found the people that are most ascetic and anti-money are the very ones that put too much value on it just in a negative way. i can tell you the transition to reformist from revolutionary is much easier that correcting problems with self-valuation.

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  6. thanks! haha a good friend of mine took it. i asked permission naman. hehe

    i think there's being selfless and there's being silly. having some money and spending it doesn't make you a hedonist. i'm no psychologist nor am i an intellectual but i have a feeling a lot of this can be traced back to screwed up parenting. haha

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  7. a lot of it, or ... all can be traced back to that!

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  8. and that's exactly how you managed to stay afloat ehehehehehe....

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  9. @line of flight- best advice i ever got: blame your parents and then move on. haha

    @yj- uh huh! self-psychosis all the way!

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  10. Hey Nelly! Can you change my blog address to
    http://feeds2.feedburner.com/apolcano. Baka sakali magupadate yung blog entries ko. Nakakkasawa na yung system restore e. Hehe. Thanks =)

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  11. Gusto ko pa actually magturo, pero ayaw ko na dun sa "school" na yun. Hehehe =)

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  12. hey! you're not anonymous anymore! hehe

    re: school hmm.. bakit kaya? interesting

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  13. i missed your note at the bottom. can't wait.

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  14. me neither.. it's been a tedious process.. i'm still stuck on the procrastination phase. once i finish cleaning my room, updating my phonebook contacts, arranging my wardrobe (by color and cut) and all the other things i just *have* to do, i'll probably start writing again. hehe

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  15. hahaha. i'm suffering a similar fate in my writing! everything else must be in proper order for creativity to turn into text!

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  16. I would agree with you Nyl. I always wanted to teach, I taught once but I only lasted a semester. I left it, I worked in a call center and so far I have no regrets.

    It's just, now that I am young, there is a lot of things that I want to do and I can't do those things if I stayed underpaid.

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  17. papa nyl..pwede paturo? *giggles*

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  18. @LOF death to writer's block! reminds me of this scene in under the tuscan sun... it was at the beginning of the film. she was serving some homemade brownies- proof of her procrastination.

    @juber i guess that's why we get along. we went through a lot of the same things. or... mukha lang tayong pera! haha

    @herbs ng ano?

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  19. hahaha. its more like anxiety for me. i can see what should be written, but yet I can't face the truth that is pushing to be expressed!

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  20. i hate it when that happens.. it's like getting diarrhea and being constipated all at the same time. boo.

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  21. hahaha. the truth is, the creative process is creative and knows no order!

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  22. that's why they call it the creative process! haha i envy the people who can sit down and write regardless of their move.

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  23. aww!teacher ka pala!sabagay mas ok na din naman sa job mo mas ok salary at masaya ka din naman kahit papano so walng talo.hehe

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  24. yeah i guess.. may mga days lang na namimiss ko like a few days before i wrote this post.

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  25. there is a major sickness to writing on command

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  26. even sicker is when they actually make money from their ability to write on command!

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  27. i stand otherwise, parteeboi..

    i feel the complete opposite. i wanted to teach but i am still on the same industry. haaay

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  28. well, different strokes for different folks. i suppose PB and CB are friends for a reason. hehe

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