Crash and Burn
Do you ever have that feeling when you are immersed in a routine for several days now and suddenly stop dead to think, ”This is not what I want”?
I’m sure most of us do. We all have these moments of discontent, maybe frustration, and somehow a feeling of entrapment where circumstances seem to crush us like a boa constrictor. Most of the time, the oppression comes from the outside, but the pressure will always start from the inside. Our reaction to what life nudges us to do will ultimately affect our decisions, no matter how big or small. Life may not be demanding as we think but we deem it to be so, and that’s why we try to escape from it.
For the past few weeks, I’m working for a company in which I really consider a great honor to be working for. The pay’s good, the workload’s not too demanding, all the people here are nice and they have always treated me as one of their own even if I consider myself unfit for their line of work. I couldn’t ask for more from them. But I kept asking more for myself. My friend once commented that in this age we are in, we are still filled with rancor of idealism, of wanting to be anything we want, anywhere we want to be. I guess part of the reason is attributed from that. The other is my own emotional immaturity. I still want to enjoy life, not to be a freeloader for my parents or forever tambay sa bahay, but to do things at my own way, at my own pace. Either way, doing what I want and becoming a freeloader is a selfish decision. While other people are scurrying to find jobs here in this country, I am thinking of losing mine.
My plans in life is as hazy and muddled as a mud puddle. Inspired by the likes of Brocka and Ricky Lee, I want to study film making and enter the ‘gritty’ industry. A part of me enjoys reading criminal and civil cases back from the college days and several times the thought of going to law school drifts in my mind. I would like to work for an NGO, for a cause I really admire and passionate to supplement. In one of those crazy moments, all I wanted to do is to flee from the stifling Manila, from my family and friends, get rid of my whole identity and start anew in some distant land like Cebu, Davao, Bacolod or Batanes. I would be a businesswoman, a farmer, an OFW, a writer doomed to obscurity or any other persona I can seek refuge of just to stop becoming me.
Either way, the only consistent thing I want is to escape. Just do anything I want. I want to ride all my time motorcycling across Manila (provided that I don’t run out of gas), be with my friends who are still students for medical school, write some ideas and scripts that constantly drive me nuts, sleep and eat and basically live a life of a forever-batugan (with a larger ego). I can’t afford to be snared in one particular routine. Maybe it’s just a phase, I’m not sure, but I know I can’t last this long. I need to shift the gear and steer away from that direction before I crash and burn.
I guess anyone of us just wanted to escape too, but we are bounded with much bigger priorities, with larger responsibilities which we knew are more important than a passing hobby or interest. We do this not for our own, but also to our family and to our country. We like to think we are doing our part in our own way, not languishing in our house and depending on your parents while you troll how stupid and useless this government and country is over the internet. Being with the system, becoming part of a larger whole, to the well-oiled (albeit, rusty) machine gives us a sense of purpose and dignity. The world at least has some use of our seemingly petty existence.
Sadly, this doesn’t work the way for us deviants. We take the path that is painfully impractical and totally selfish. We refused to be part of the system. We shun away from society even before as society had shunned us. Even if it’s beyond our abilities, we are determined to carve a new path and live the life we wanted to be, to stumble once in a while, to be humiliated and scoffed, to fail on proving ourselves. Or succeed on our path. Whatever it may be, we are destined to suffer or fade away in some time, like a fireworks exploding in the sky and dissipating to the clouds. We will continue to seek ourselves, even if it took our whole lives to do so. Anything to grasp that elusive thing we call happiness all of us are striving for.
One thing I can promise is this: I will do my part and take the path that is laid in front of me. But I cannot promise to stay with it until the end. That couldn’t be avoided; I have a penchant for losing my way. I’m not destined for greatness nor I am destined for a perfectly, ideal life we all dream about. I have long accepted that I can only be me, what I make it out to be. I will always try to escape, not out of fear of responsibility or duty for I vowed to pay back or give what is expected of me. But this time, I will always try to escape because I desire to be free, to not lose myself in this system gripping us, to be free and look for a happiness that is long-lasting and makes life worth living.