I wrote this piece on my journal less than 2 years after graduation and been meaning to send this to the PDI's Youngblood section and later, the Peyups homepage. I never did for lack of an appropriate title and ending. Classic quarter-life crisis is what this was about - and I'm glad I'm past it. That's not to say that I've now completely come to terms with the way things have turned out - but it's a work in progress. Funnily, I've now managed in some way to define my life in "comprehensible chunks" in the real world.
One thing I noticed about working is that you lose track of what time of the year it is. It seems to make no difference whether it’s February or June or October. I guess the only time frame office workers recognize is December- when there are hefty paychecks and equally long list of expenses.
It’s not like when you were a student when there are lots of signs that says it’s another season, it’s another phase in your life. Something ends, something starts. Like by this time, when the temperature starts to rise, finals are starting to get scheduled. Like if you’re craving for icy Coke, you know you have a 2-hour summer class in a hot afternoon. And when you smell those funny-smelling trees or see higads you know it’s first sem and it’s going to rain soon. And when it’s cold, you know there’ll be the Lantern Parade, the Dakdakan, the Maskipaps and the Running Oblation. You’ll know you’ll be another year older when you don’t see other people you used to see in school anymore. You know it’s a new start when you get a Form 5 and stand in long lines for classes. You know it’s going to be an ending when you pass that paper or get that class card.
There was satisfaction to that kind of life. Like your life is made up of these sub-lives, each with a story of its own, with a start and end of its own, its own memories, its own characters, its own soundtrack. And its own learnings. Somehow it’s easier to look back and see everytime a sub-life ends - what happened to you, what good things, what bad things--- what things you can change to make the next sub-life better.
Well, it’s so different now. Life has just become so... big. You can’t just cut it into chapters as easily as you used to. Like February doesn’t seem to hold any more meaning than May or August does. Being cooped up inside the office also makes you fail to realize, “oh, it’s getting warmer outside” or “look, it’s 6 o’clock and it’s still so bright” or “the first drop of rain this season!”. There is an eerie sameness to each day. Sometimes it even takes me so long to realize that June is when a new schoolyear starts and my brother is going to high school by then.
Somehow, it’s just music now that tells you - music that serves as your time keeper, and puts these light marks which chops your life into more comprehensible chunks. Or perhaps the people who at some point was part of your life but eventually left, they too help put it in chronological order. But apart from that, nothing seems to make one day different from the other anymore. Nothing sets one week apart from the next. Or the months. And knowing my life, probably even the years.
Is it the whole routine of working, this neverending routine, or is it just me?
Happiness comes from nobody else - I hope I learn the difference between self-care and eternal self-vigilance. During moments when I fail to do so, I hope Jose Vanders will remind me ...
6 months ago