beer and rain don't mix.

Monday, September 24, 2007

saturday night found me at home with perennial drinking buddy perry, sharing bottles of red horse while the rain continously hammered our flimsy, rusty roof.

"pare, desidido na ako. punta na ako ng singapore or dubai, pinakamatagal ko na siguro early next year. kung nagkataon pala ikaw na lang talaga maiiwan sa barkada no?"

i thought for a moment, then sighed and said "oo nga no? richie. elaine. algene. kabbie. saclay. giron. gj. kel malapit na din, tapos yung mga nandito naman sa 'tin, di naman na nagpapakita..." i stared off into the rain and kept quiet, letting the words sink in. it was true. one by one, the people that i call friends are leaving for the proverbial greener pastures abroad. i almost hate them for it. almost.

but then again, this entry isn't about being left behind.

rather, it's about realizing that so far, my life has been nothing but a showcase of uncertainty, sacrifices and so-so decisions. i am a poster boy for mediocrity.

this has been a recurring source of agitation for me, something that i can't attribute to "midlife crisis" (because i don't think i'll live beyond 50) that easily. while my friends have been busy trying to live their lives and taking steps towards independence and stability, i have been procrastinating and trying to convince myself that i was doing the same thing as they were. now that i think about it, i'm not certain if i even gave a decent enough effort. yeah sure, i now work in advertising, but it took me 6 years to decide to go for it because i was afraid i wasn't good enough to be in the industry and, while i earn enough money to keep me comfortable, my pay is nowhere near the money my other friends get from their jobs. heck i could be living in NY right now with my mom, but instead i told her that i wanted to stay because i din't want to leave my grandparents behind.

there's always something in the way. there's always a reason why i can't break free from monotony.

sometimes i think i make up excuses why i suck at life and pass them off as logic, like "it's not my fault that i'm not who i want to be because of circumstances i can't control" or "i'll put other's needs before mine because i'm selfless like that." my sentiments are sincere, but sometimes i can't help but wonder if those rationalizations are the ones that are holding me back. i don't even know if those are the only reasons.

i need answers, now.

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  1. friends always ask me (when they're in town because i'm the only one left here haha) "wtf-are-you-still-doing-here??-sayang-ka!"

    maybe i'm just chicken shit? i dunno, but i sure have to do something really soon. lols.

  2. success does not equal money. it's about you being happy and enjoying what you're doing. ;-)

  3. you remind me of the guy in this cartoon :p

  4. interesting. I also have notions of not living beyond 50.

    about that ... had the same questions, had made the same rationalizations.

    then something triggered me to go. maybe you only need that to happen. so don't fret, procrastinating is still lovely while you wait.

    not a good answer i know, since different things work for different people

  5. wow, 2 anonymous commenters. i hate those. it's not that difficult to put your names at the end you know. :p

    niki: i dunno. maybe there's more to it than just plain fear. :D

    anonymous number 1: it isn't all about money. it's the sense of fulfillment. unfortunately, how much you earn is one of the yardsticks of success, like it or not.

    anonymous number 2: nice cartoon. hope you don't mind if i incorporate it into my entry.

    quents: yeah i kinda saw that on one of your entries. weird huh?

    maybe you're right man. it's just that i feel so useless just waiting. i'm proactive you see, one who believes in making your own destiny.

    so you think it's just okay to "ride the tide" for the meantime?

  6. heh yeah. ride the tide and enjoy it man.

    i don't think you're someone who's willing to make gut-wrenching decisions just yet. then again, i don't read you that well yet either.

    i dunno, i don't think any of these things should really bug you. maybe you just need more appreciation to the things you're already doing. i mean, you're still better off than most believe me. besides, even greener pastures have a price, but i won't delve into that.

    anyway, if the itch of discontent is still there, lemme just quote mark twain:
    twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did. sail away, dream .. discover.

    yeah, whatever.

  7. quents: if i din't know any better, i'd think you just called me "immature". :p

    i guess that's the point here, me being not able to do the things i want because of my flimsy excuses. that doesn't mean i'm not thankful for the blessings that come my way tho. i just wish i could do more. :D

    thanks for the words man. appreciate it.

  8. oh dear. i know how you feel.

    when i was in the US, my relatives were making all kinds of plans to help me get a job there. i told them i wasn't staying. it broke they hearts. they couldn't believe that i was going back to manila.

    sometimes i feel that most of my friends are doing better than i am. but really, when i think about it, my life isn't so bad. sometimes we forget to give ourselves more credit.

    i worry that i will never figure out what i'm really going to do with my life. but i'll get there.

    and you too, will get there. :)

  9. jar: thanks for your words. i do hope you're right. i mean, i'm 27 goddamiit. by now i should at least have an idea right? :D

  10. oops. sorry, sorry. i was anon. #2 :P was too lazy that day heheh

  11. Larry: You haven't changed, you are still the very sentimental bestfriend i had way back in elementary. =). Change, like friends leaving, is a thousand piercing daggers to a person of your character.

    your decision to stay and be with your family is already a success on its own. you cannot buy time. spending them with your loved ones is never a mistake. just by being with them everyday is worth more than you can earn overseas. the time you have spent with your nanay and tatay is worth more than bill gates' net worth to you. and this way, you are already a billionaire.

    regarding oppurtunities and control in your life, well, you don't have to go far to earn enough. it is you who will dictate what is enough. avoid comparing yourself to others (earnings, achievements, stature, etc). and satisfaction will follow. just compensate by hardwork. oppurtunity is everywhere. set a goal. plan. i've been in that situation before and i chose to stay and be with the people i love. i have no regrets so far.

    you are still very lucky that as of the moment, you have the steering wheel. you can still choose, plan and decide when to have a family, when to just abruptly quit and look for another job, where to go, what to buy with all your earnings, what to do with your time. (well, in my case, a small lapse in self control ended all these, overnight and i have to start everything off key). It's much easier to make decisions being single. you will appreciate and know this in time.

    Lastly, well this might sound lame but of course, spiritually, we all need a deeper understanding and sense of guidance. all the things in the world will never be able to satisfy one man's desire. it's a lost battle trying to find fulfillment from all of these. seek ye first the kingdom...(so on and so forth).

    kaya mo yan larry, isa ako sa mga taong saludo sa'yo. find your true north and sail away.


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