Ikaw na Sumandal sa Akin

Oo, ikaw. Ikaw kuya na may glasses at naka-polo na white na mahimbing na natutulog at naka-sandal sa akin sa loob ng UV Express van pauwi ng Cavite. Ang payapa siguro ng araw mo no kaya ang payapa rin ng mukha mo habang natutulog sa balikat ko. Hindi naman ikaw ang unang tao at lalaki na sumandal sa akin habang bina-baybay ng barumbadong van driver ang ma-traffic na kalsada ng Maynila. Marami na kayo at sanay na ako. Pero kuya bakit ngayon pa. Bakit ngayong araw na to na para bang ang bigat-bigat ng mundo, dumagdag ka pa, edi wow. Kung gising ka lang, sana napansin mong iba ang tunog ng singhot ko, hindi yung tipong may sipon lang kundi singhot ng taong hirap sa kakaiyak.

Pag-tungtong pa lang ng van mapula na ang mga mata ko sa kakaiyak habang naglalakad papuntang terminal. Pasalamat na lang ako at gabi na at hindi bukas ang ilaw ng van kaya’t hindi mo siguro nakita ang malulungkot kong mga mata. Pero sana nga nakita mo na rin para naman nahiya kang sumandal at dumagdag sa aking pasanin di ba.

Siguro masaya ka ngayong araw na to? Pagod—-obviously, pero masaya. Siguro kaka-hire mo lang at yang magandang white polo mo ang nagdala. Ako rin may raket. Kahit freelance work to, feeling ko first job ko na rin to alam mo ba? Pero yun na nga ang problema, unang sabak ko to. Wala pa kong masyadong alam, inexperienced, baguhan at madalas nagmumukhang tatanga-tanga. Hindi ko naman sinasadayang ganon ang mangyari. I try my very best to avoid it. Pero ganon talaga eh pag bago sayo ang lahat. Sino ba ang hindi?

Ngayong araw lang akong umiyak nang ganito, pagbiyan mo na ako. Nawala ako sa comfort zone ko eh. Sobrang laking adjustment ang ginagawa ko. Alam mo ba yung adult world anxiety? Parang kelan lang ang secured ng buhay ko sa school knowing na marami akong masasandalan tulad ng pamilya, kaibigan at kahit na mga propesor. Pero sa real world, para kang sinabak sa arena na kahit tinuruan ka namang lumaban, hindi pa rin sapat dahil first time mo nga, hindi mo pa nasusubukan kung kaya mo ba talaga. Kala ko ang galing galing ko na nung nasa unibersidad ako. Kala ko isa ko sa mga kakaiba. Pero sa mas malaking mundo ng matatanda, isa ka lang bagong mukha na maraming akala. Bawat mali ko na nagawa sa trabaho ay naging dahilan para isara ng boss ko sa mukha ko ang pinto at yang mga mali na yan ang bagahe na dala ko pauwi ngayong gabi.

Sana wala kang dala-dalang kaparehong bitbitin. Pero mga ilang araw mula ngayon ganito rin ang magiging sitwasyon mo; parang tangang umiiyak sa loob ng madilim na van habang ang lahat ay payapang natutulog at malamang ay nasa alapaap na. Maari ring mali ako at mas mabigat pa ang problema mo sa akin ngayon at maaring mali rin ako na iyakan ang ganitong problema na kumpara sa problema ng iba ay mukhang butil lamang ng bigas. Pero hayaan mo na ako. Ngayon lang. Magiging okay din ako.

Kaya sige sumandal ka lang. Kaya ko naman siguro ang bigat. Hindi na rin naman ito siguro magtatagal, dahil ilang minuto na lang ay matatapos na ang byahe, bababa ako at bababa ka na. Matatapos din ang lahat.

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Alone in the House and a Few Pre-Graduation Thoughts

My friends only like to talk about two things right now:

  1. The past
  2. And the future

Do you remember that time during the first days of college when you have a different set of friends but then some backstabbing and I-don’t-like-what-they’re-doing moments happened and you jumped to another clique? Or that time when your team has beaten all teams in this class and they all envied you and your friends? We like talking about proud moments like that, don’t we? Then we start liking and commenting on old and usually embarrassing photos of our friends so that it’ll show up on other people’s feed and suddenly everyone turns it into a bandwagon!

You see, I have more time now to scroll down on my Twitter or Facebook home and everyone is in a nostalgic state about the past. We all love that “good sad” feeling, don’t we? Yeah it’s great. No matter if it’s a good or bad memory, we like looking back at it because of this relief and somehow proud feeling that we all went through it now. We’ve done it! Like how you’ve survived thesis with all that small and petty arguments or even that unexpected nod from the panelists. What’s important is it’s done!

As your thought finishes at that word, “done,” you now shift to the things “to be done” next. The things to do in the future! You start thinking and planning about looking for a job or applying for SSS, PhilHealth and other requirements of being an “adult.” Yes, they say you’re an adult the moment you get your diploma. You’re supposed to take care of yourself and plan for your future now. Then you look at the more exciting part where you can do things on your own like maybe traveling. You start enumerating the places you’d go to like, “Before 30, I should have gone to Korea, Japan, Macau, Australia or France.” Or maybe start pursuing that passion of yours that you’ve set aside because mama told you to finish a “good” course in college first. But hey guess what? JUST SLOW DOWN. If there’s anything I’d like to talk or think about right now, is exactly what’s in front of me, the “present” I’ve got right now.

I did not expect to have a perspective like this just as graduation looms. I always thought that I’d be all about who I was and who I will be. Academic stuff are all officially done now and I’m just literally waiting for the graduation day. Some of my classmates are fretting about getting a job they like and I did so too for two or three positions but it all asked me to officially graduate first before they even decide if they’ll get me. So I’ve decided I’ll take advantage of this time when I could just have fun and catch up to some TV shows. I guess there’s no rush. These days are like my reward for four years of stress and hard work and a re-charging moment before I go on to a gazillion years of again—-stress and hard work. It’s a moment for me to give attention to what I have right now and not for getting nostalgic about what I used to have and or worry about what I will have.

I’m actually having a great time. One thing about doing nothing and worrying about nothing is that it makes you more observant and appreciative of even the tiniest things around you which used to be drowned by the “bigger things.” Before, I did not understand what it’s really like to stay at home all day and wait until your family gets home at night but now as I experience it, the sound of the gate clicking as someone comes home becomes a pure pleasure to me. Then there’s their pure joy when they smell cooking after a tiring day.

I’ve also become so concerned about the daily maintenance of the house. As I stare at it all day, I appreciate how it became my protection and sanctuary for many years and I’ve decided it also deserves a reward. I now tend to it like never before. I gave our room a new look and it feels so refreshing like it’s ready for my new life. I also water the plants on the surrounding and talk to them often these days. I swear they look so happy like as if they missed seeing me water them. I’ve been so caught up with enjoying the bigger world out there that I did not even notice that there’s a new tree just along the pathway towards the entrance of our house. I personally picked its fruits and thanked it silently.

I’ve been assessing relationships lately as well. I realized you’ll know if a person will stay in your life even after graduation if you’re able to talk to them even if there’s no school involved anymore. I’ve decided who among them are around just because they were required to do things with me and of course those who’ll make an effort to do something…just anything…maybe they’ll message you and invite you to something…you know…. because they really plan to stick around for a really long time. Those are two different kinds of people. I know that now.

As I deal with these little things I discovered a lot about myself. I never realized how I love little things now that I have more time for them like the music playing from our neighbor or that good view of the village from our rooftop. Now I realize that I like the idea of giving importance to the little things in the stories that I write as well. Some of the other things I discovered about myself these past few days are:

  • I love the idea of creating stories for children and watching films for children triggered that.
  • I prefer classic books than young adult novels. Thank God I read The Great Gatsby a few days ago.
  • I’m single because I love Leonardo DiCaprio so much. No explanation needed.
  • I love songs about finding one self, therefore, I conclude that I’m still lost. I’m creating a playlist for that right now.

I have a lot more discoveries about myself that I’d rather not share anymore; too personal as I may say. You see, my point here is before you could move on from the past and prepare for the future, you should take advantage of the in between stage, the breathing stage, where you could find yourself again. Sufficient knowledge and understanding of one’s self could be your best tool in facing the world around you.

This is an important phase in your life and it is ending now, as you go on to the next phase, re-discover the essence of your spark. Do it in every major changes in your life. Never forget to re-discover the essence of your spark.