The graduation march is playing. Hear ye, hear ye!

But of course you know the drill.

You go up that stage and walk past a row of teachers, beloved and feared of alike. You smile at them because of gratitude but also, of relief that the haunting years are finally over. You meet the school principal at the center of the stage and your diploma (or a roll of blank paper neatly tied with a ribbon) is handed to you. However, if you’re one of the diligent or blood sucking bunch (or both for those who dare do), you’d probably receive a few more certificates than the usual. You take a moment to pose for the camera- an obligatory photo previously paid for by your parents, marked by a tiny ribbon pinned on your chest. You get off the stage and smile in relief. High school is a period of extremes. The lucky ones go in full bloom as they gracefully handle puberty and social norms, the rest just kind of go through all the awkward stages because they have to. One day you find yourself struggling to let the words out in the attempt of introducing yourself. The next day you’re crying and laughing with your best friends because it is finally over.

Not too fast kid.

Soon you find yourself entering college/university. It could be very well intimidating, especially if you’re by yourself. You’ve seen the movies and read the books, and you think you’re familiar with the do’s and don’ts of handling first days anxieties. Frankly, just the thought of plunging yourself into yet another educational institution and forcing yourself to talk to other human beings more than the necessary could easily eat you alive. Oh but the promise of everything new could be as powerful and inviting as well.

Without noticing it, the years go by too quickly. You forgive yourself for thinking College could never be as fun as you see it in the movies. The brutal days spent over exams, presentations and the dreaded thesis defense don’t seem to matter anymore. Not when the drunken nights spent with friends easily outnumber them. The whole college experience has its unique way of shaping people. Keeping your sanity intact could be tricky as you try to balance your academics and social life, especially during days when bumming around has the greater pull. The art of cramming, to be specific, is a necessary evil students will have to learn and master if they wanted to survive this whole shebang. Soon enough, you’re filling out your clearance form and that familiar relief dawns upon you. You graduate and you feel like everything could only get better from there on. You’re ready for the “real” world you’ve been told to prepare for every so often. What happens then?

You land yourself a job, of course. Or not, depending on your a.) luck, b.) the number of  fellow graduates-turned-applicants you are now in competition with,  c.) networks you have made and maintained for the past couple of years, and d.) your ability to resist staying in bed every single morning. Fresh from college and plunged into the work force, everything seems to be new and inviting. Office spaces to organize, bosses to please, deadlines to meet, workmates to either love or hate, and of course, le moolah to waste. Then slowly you get sucked into it and you find yourself getting tired of doing the same thing everyday. Some days, workplace gossip seems to be the only good thing that happens at work, because of course, it doesn’t get any better than a pool of grown-ups being totally mature about handling grown-up stuff (i.e., lunch room spaces, Who wore it better than who, Seriously why is she/he being such a bitch, Is he gay, Is she gay, Why is he flirting with me oh my god he’s married).

When does it stop then? Or does it ever?

Are we bound to be caged rats running on a spinning wheel? Four-legged money-making slaves on repeat?

The myth is real. High school never ends.

Happy graduation, ladies and lads of the Philippines.

Caldereta files.

How long has it been since you left?

Time has a tricky way of trapping people. I know it has been a year, but some days I feel like everything just happened yesterday.

You’ve always had your charm with people. The idea of writing down the fond memories I’ve had with you and your family when things were still doing great and beautiful, is too tempting. I could try, but where to begin?

I’m not even sure why I’m writing this today. Come to think of it, we’re not even related by blood. I cringe because you never really made me feel that way. Maybe it was just you being your usual polite and warm self, and maybe it wasn’t so much because I was your son’s girlfriend then, but during those years I felt really special, welcomed, and loved. I am grateful, really, for all that you’ve done for me and for the two of us when we were still together. It’s not everyday I get the chance to know someone who has so much love for the people around him- family, old comrades, and new-found friends alike. This is a jaded world we live in, and we seldom find people who are willing to let other people in. You, clearly, are not of them/us.

I did not see you in pain and I did not have the chance to say goodbye. My last memory of you remains as clear as the first one. I smile upon realizing both times took place at your home, in the kitchen, because of course, that’s where your throne rests. You were sitting down by the dining table, slyly covering your face as you try to rub off the tears. We were both trying not to cry, and we awkwardly laugh because that’s how we are when we won’t admit we’re so close to breaking down. No, not even to ourselves. I said we’re going to meet again, and you said soon enough, all the wait will be over, and you are going to cook caldereta for me once I come back. We hugged and we said our thank you’s and goodbyes. I clearly remember that day, and I doubt I will get to meet someone who cooks sinigang and caldereta as good as you.

I hope you don’t mind if I still call you Papa, even if it doesn’t sound so fitting anymore. I will try hard not to cry when I visit you one day, and I will because I owe you a proper goodbye speech. You are missed and loved. Tonight, this shot’s for you.

Happy birthday.

Question everything that you know about Life so far, said that little bird inside my head.

Death. It means differently to each of us.

To a man who’s been suffering from a terminal disease for several years, it could mean relief. To someone who is about to commit suicide by jumping off a building, it could mean success, or an idea he should have given another thought. To a father who is given the impossible task of choosing between the wife he dearly loves and the child that is about to come to life, it’s a thought that will haunt him forever, no matter who he decides to save. To someone who jumps in front of a train because of her cheating husband who impregnated their basement tenant, it could be her permanent and quick escape. To a grandchild who lost her  grandfather, but more so her best friend, while she’s halfway around the world, it’s a damage nobody will ever be able to fix.

Death. I think it has a certain ring to it.

I’ve never met anyone who came back from the dead. I’ve heard and read stories of people having near-death experiences, a few about some individuals even claiming to have gone from the heavens (or hell, I guess we’ll never know) and came back here on earth. Is there any way to prove it? What if Death is just the final frontier, the end of it, and after which is just emptiness and nothing? I do not know the answers either.

Death. Such thought questions humanity’s existence, or affirms it, I guess it all depends on one’s disposition in life.

What have we been living for? How have we been spending our days here on earth? To what or which end, or which among the many possible ends are we heading? Does it even matter? If it does, why does it matter? I go through everyday without giving so much thought about the purpose of my actions. Everything seem to be a routine, brought about by habit. Maybe that’s the purpose then, doing things and going places without the pressure of having a specific purpose.

I do not mean to bore you with my questions, I do not mean to burden you either. I… I do not know what to think anymore. My head is starting to hurt. I blame it on Isaac Asimov’s The Last Answer. I’ve been reading and rereading it for a few months now and each time I go back, it never fails to surprise me with a whole different meaning. Words and meaning are funny that way.

This may be a tad long and you may not find it as amusing as I do but if you’re into the exciting humdrum that is existentialism and the like, do yourself a favor and give it a shot. Here goes nothing. Or everything.

The Last Answer by Isaac Asimov — © 1980

Murray Templeton was forty-five years old, in the prime of life, and with all parts of his body in perfect working order except for certain key portions of his coronary arteries, but that was enough.

The pain had come suddenly, had mounted to an unbearable peak, and had then ebbed steadily.  He could feel his breath slowing and a kind of gathering peace washing over him. There is no pleasure like the absence of pain – immediately after pain.  Murray felt an almost giddy lightness as though he were lifting in the air and hovering.

He opened his eyes and noted with distant amusement that the others in the room were still agitated.  He had been in the laboratory when the pain had struck, quite without warning, and when he had staggered, he had heard surprised outcries from the others before everything vanished into overwhelming agony.

Now, with the pain gone, the others were still hovering, still anxious, still gathered about his fallen body –– Which, he suddenly realized, he was looking down on.

He was down there, sprawled, face contorted.  He was up here, at peace and watching. He thought: Miracle of miracles!  The life-after-life nuts were right. And although that was a humiliating way for an atheistic physicist to die, he felt only the mildest surprise, and no alteration of the peace in which he was immersed. He thought: There should be some angel – or something – coming for me.

The Earthly scene was fading.  Darkness was invading his consciousness and off in a distance, as a last glimmer of sight, there was a figure of light, vaguely human in form, and radiating warmth.

Murray thought: What a joke on me.  I’m going to Heaven.

Even as he thought that, the light faded, but the warmth remained.  There was no lessening of the peace even though in all the Universe only he remained – and the Voice.

The Voice said, “I have done this so often and yet I still have the capacity to be pleased at success.”

It was in Murray’s mind to say something, but he was not conscious of possessing a mouth, tongue, or vocal chords.  Nevertheless, tried to make a sound.  He tried, mouthlessly, to hum words or breathe them or just push them out by a contraction of – something. And they came out.  He heard his own voice, quite recognisable, and his own words, infinitely clear.

Murray said, “Is this Heaven?”

The Voice said, “This is no place as you understand place.”

Murray was embarrassed, but the next question had to be asked.  “Pardon me if I sound like a jackass.  Are you God?”

Without changing intonation or in any way marring the perfection of the sound, the Voice managed to sound amused.  “It is strange that I am always asked that in, of course, an infinite number of ways.  There is no answer I can give that you would comprehend.  I am – which is all that I can say significantly and you may cover that with any word or concept you please.”

Murray said, “And what am I?  A soul?  Or am I only personified existence too?”  He tried not to sound sarcastic, but it seemed to him that he had failed.  He thought then, fleetingly, of adding a ‘Your Grace’ or ‘Holy One’ or something to counteract the sarcasm, and could not bring himself to do so even though for the first time in his existence he speculated on the possibility of being punished for his insolence – or sin? – with Hell, and what that might be like.

The Voice did not sound offended.  “You are easy to explain – even to you.  You may call yourself a soul if that pleases you, but what you are is a nexus of electromagnetic forces, so arranged that all the interconnections and interrelationships are exactly imitative of those of your brain in your Universe-existence – down to the smallest detail.  Therefore you have your capacity for thought, your memories, your personality.  It still seems to you that you are you.”

Murray found himself incredulous.  “You mean the essence of my brain was permanent?”

“Not at all.  There is nothing about you that is permanent except what I choose to make so.  I formed the nexus.  I constructed it while you had physical existence and adjusted it to the moment when the existence failed.”

The Voice seemed distinctly pleased with itself, and went on after a moment’s pause.  “An intricate but entirely precise construction.  I could, of course, do it for every human being on your world but I am pleased that I do not.  There is pleasure in the selection.”

“You choose very few then?”

“Very few.”

“And what happens to the rest?”

“Oblivion! – Oh, of course, you imagine a Hell.”

Murray would have flushed if he had the capacity to do so.  He said, “I do not.  It is spoken of.  Still, I would scarcely have thought I was virtuous enough to have attracted your attention as one of the Elect.”

“Virtuous? – Ah, I see what you mean.  It is troublesome to have to force my thinking small enough to permeate yours.  No, I have chosen you for your capacity for thought, as I choose others, in quadrillions, from all the intelligent species of the Universe.”

Murray found himself suddenly curious, the habit of a lifetime.  He said, “Do you choose them all yourself or are there others like you?”

For a fleeting moment, Murray thought there was an impatient reaction to that, but when the Voice came, it was unmoved.  “Whether or not there are others is irrelevant to you.  This Universe is mine, and mine alone.  It is my invention, my construction, intended for my purpose alone.”

“And yet with quadrillions of nexi you have formed, you spend time with me?  Am I that important?”

The Voice said, “You are not important at all.  I am also with others in a way which, to your perception, would seem simultaneous.”

“And yet you are one?”

Again amusement.  The Voice said, “You seek to trap me into an inconsistency.  If you were an amoeba who could consider individuality only in connection with single cells and if you were to ask a sperm whale, made up of thirty quadrillion cells, whether it was one or many, how could the sperm whale answer in a way that would be comprehensible to the amoeba?”

Murray said dryly, “I’ll think about it.  It may become comprehensible.”

“Exactly.  That is your function.  You will think.”

“To what end?  You already know everything, I suppose.”

The Voice said, “Even if I knew everything, I could not know that I know everything.”

Murray said, “That sounds like a bit of Eastern philosophy – something that sounds profound precisely because it has no meaning.”

The Voice said, “You have promise.  You answer my paradox with a paradox – except that mine is not a paradox.  Consider.  I have existed eternally, but what does that mean?  It means I cannot remember having come into existence.  If I could, I would not have existed eternally.  If I cannot remember having come into existence, then there is at least one thing – the nature of my coming into existence – that I do not know.

“Then, too, although what I know is infinite, it is also true that what there is to know is infinite, and how can I be sure that both infinities are equal?  The infinity of potential knowledge may be infinitely greater than the infinity of my actual knowledge.  Here is a simple example: If I knew every one of the even integers, I would know an infinite number of items, and yet I would still not know a single odd integer.”

Murray said, “But the odd integers can be derived.  If you divide every even integer in the entire infinite series by two, you will get another infinite series which will contain within it the infinite series of odd integers.”

The Voice said, “You have the idea.  I am pleased.  It will be your task to find other such ways, far more difficult ones, from the known to the not-yet-known.  You have your memories.  You will remember all the data you have ever collected or learned, or that you have or will deduce from that data.  If necessary, you will be allowed to learn what additional data you will consider relevant to the problems you set yourself.”

“Could you not do all that for yourself?”

The Voice said, “I can, but it is more interesting this way.  I constructed the Universe in order to have more facts to deal with.  I inserted the uncertainty principle, entropy, and other randomisation factors to make the whole not instantly obvious.  It has worked well for it has amused me throughout its entire existence.

“I then allowed complexities that produced first life and then intelligence, and use it as a source for a research team, not because I need the aid, but because it would introduce a new random factor.  I found I could not predict the next interesting piece of knowledge gained, where it would come from, by what means derived.”

Murray said, “Does that ever happen?”

“Certainly.  A century doesn’t pass in which some interesting item doesn’t appear somewhere.”

“Something that you could have thought of yourself, but had not done so yet?”

“Yes.”

Murray said, “Do you actually think there’s a chance of my obliging you in this manner?”

“In the next century?  Virtually none.  In the long run, though, your success is certain, since you will be engaged eternally.”

Murray said, “I will be thinking through eternity?  Forever?”

“Yes.”

“To what end?”

“I have told you.  To find new knowledge.”

“But beyond that.  For what purpose am I to find new knowledge?”

“It was what you did in your Universe-bound life.  What was its purpose then?”

Murray said, “To gain new knowledge that only I could gain.  To receive the praise of my fellows.  To feel the satisfaction of accomplishment knowing that I had only a short time allotted me for the purpose. – Now I would gain only what you could gain yourself if you wished to take a small bit of trouble.  You cannot praise me; you can only be amused.  And there is no credit or satisfaction in accomplishment when I have all eternity to do it in.”

The Voice said, “And you do not find thought and discovery worthwhile in itself?  You do not find it requiring no further purpose?”

“For a finite time, yes.  Not for all eternity.”

“I see your point.  Nevertheless, you have no choice.”

“You say I am to think.  You cannot make me do so.”

The Voice said, “I do not wish to constrain you directly.  I will not need to.  Since you can do nothing but think, you will think.  You do not know how not to think.”

“Then I will give myself a goal.  I will invent a purpose.”

The Voice said tolerantly, “That you can certainly do.”

“I have already found a purpose.”

“May I know what it is?”

“You know already.  I know we are not speaking in the ordinary fashion.  You adjust my nexus is such a way that I believe I hear you and I believe I speak, but you transfer thoughts to me and from me directly.  And when my nexus changes with my thoughts you are at once aware of them and do not need my voluntary transmission.”

The Voice said, “You are surprisingly correct.  I am pleased. – But it also pleases me to have you tell me your thoughts voluntarily.”

“Then I will tell you.  The purpose of my thinking will be to discover a way to disrupt this nexus of me that you have created.  I do not want to think for no purpose but to amuse you.  I do not want to think forever to amuse you.  I do not want to exist forever to amuse you.  All my thinking will be directed toward ending the nexus.  That would amuse me.”

The Voice said, “I have no objection to that.  Even concentrated thought on ending your own existence may, in spite of you, come up with something new and interesting.  And, of course, if you succeed in this suicide attempt you will have accomplished nothing, for I would instantly reconstruct you and in such a way as to make your method of suicide impossible.  And if you found another and still more subtle fashion of disrupting yourself, I would reconstruct you with that possibility eliminated, and so on.  It could be an interesting game, but you will nevertheless exist eternally.  It is my will.”

Murray felt a quaver but the words came out with a perfect calm.  “Am I in Hell then, after all?  You have implied there is none, but if this were Hell you would lie to us as part of the game of Hell.”

The Voice said, “In that case, of what use is it to assure you that you are not in Hell?  Nevertheless, I assure you.  There is here neither Heaven nor Hell.  There is only myself.”

Murray said, “Consider, then, that my thoughts may be useless to you.  If I come up with nothing useful, will it not be worth your while to – disassemble me and take no further trouble with me?”

“As a reward?  You want Nirvana as the prize of failure and you intend to assure me failure?  There is no bargain there.  You will not fail.  With all eternity before you, you cannot avoid having at least one interesting thought, however you try against it.”

“Then I will create another purpose for myself.  I will not try to destroy myself.  I will set as my goal the humiliation of you.  I will think of something you have not only never thought of but never could think of.  I will think of the last answer, beyond which there is no knowledge further.”

The Voice said, “You do not understand the nature of the infinite.  There may be things I have not yet troubled to know.  There cannot be anything I cannot know.”

Murray said thoughtfully, “You cannot know your beginning.  You have said so.  Therefore you cannot know your end.  Very well, then.  That will be my purpose and that will be the last answer.  I will not destroy myself.  I will destroy you – if you do not destroy me first.”

The Voice said, “Ah!  You come to that in rather less than average time.  I would have thought it would have taken you longer.  There is not one of those I have with me in this existence of perfect and eternal thought that does not have the ambition of destroying me.  It cannot be done.”

Murray said, “I have all eternity to think of a way of destroying you.”

The Voice said, equably, “Then try to think of it.”  And it was gone.

But Murray had his purpose now and was content.

For what could any Entity, conscious of eternal existence, want – but an end?

For what else had the Voice been searching for countless billions of years?  And for what other reason had intelligence been created and certain specimens salvaged and put to work, but to aid in that great search?  And Murray intended that it would be he, and he alone, who would succeed.

Carefully, and with the thrill of purpose, Murray began to think.

He had plenty of time.

###

Creative juices, otherwise known as workplace gossip.

There’s so many ways to start this post. I’ve been going through it inside my head, been rebutting my self as usual and I still cannot decide which is more appropriate. I’m not even kidding or making excuses for such a lame introduction. So much has happened over the days and I don’t know where to start. Time has a way of cheating us into thinking we’re in control when really, we are all on its feet, at its mercy. Such pitiful creatures, we are.

So Monday happened. After much thought and reconsideration I finally mustered all the confidence I needed to hand over my resignation. Pardon me. I am suddenly interrupted by my sister, asking for the pears I brought the other day. She just started watching One More Chance for the nth time (I know, no shame in admitting it’s already a cult classic), and for some weird reason she needs to be eating something while she’s at it. Something to distract her from crying, I suppose. Now back to it. I submitted the paper the other day and it went much easier than how I imagined it inside my head. I guess one good thing about anticipating worst-case scenarios is that, if something less frustrating happens in real life, you don’t get flustered easily. Yes, I am trying to justify my over-thinking tendencies.

Then some time around midnight – or dawn I can’t be sure, I woke up from this bizarre dream of hiking and running away with a man I’ve never met in person. I can’t remember the details now. I should really start writing down my dreams upon waking up. Remind me to keep a pen and pad handy beside the bed next time.

I went to work Tuesday afternoon and was warmly greeted by co-workers/friends. Separation and goodbyes are never my stronger points so unavoidably, I cried at the slightest nudge (One co-worker started singing “If I had only one friend left, I want it to be you..”). I seriously don’t know how other people do it – grow up and become adults. Some days I wish I wasn’t that awkward. There’s a plan for a small get-together on Saturday night with friends and co-workers. It’s a send-off and a pre-valentines party in one. There will be food, booze, videoke and since they made it their personal mission to find me a new flame, there will be a couple of guys too. Yay me! Not. We’ll make sacrificial lambs out of ourselves so we can all feel better about the coming highly commercialized occasion. I have yet to figure if I’ll bring my smart-assing mouth on that night. A friend told me I should at least try to be nice. If he’s weak enough to handle the slightest pun or banter however, I don’t see the point of trying to know him in the first place. Come on, humor and wit are always sexy. Always. Unless you’re already Benedict Cumberbatch, that is.

You’ve got to love workplace gossip. It’s just full of creative and imaginary scenarios that ranges from logically possible to downright crazy. It’s only been three days but since I submitted my resignation, the magic of gossip has already unleashed its claws. I should be mad, I guess, but the rumors are freaking hilarious I can’t help but stay mum and watch other people formulate theories. Hindi ako nagfi-feeling, nakakaloka at nakakatawa lang talaga. I’ve heard four versions so far and in all fairness, they are all funny. Now to pay tribute to their imagination, here’s a list of them:

1. I got recruited by the previous manager who also resigned from the company late last year. Apparently, I’m a home-wrecker.  I started working for this company March of 2012 and eased my way into it because my manager back then was closely working with me. He was really a nice guy. Sure, he would break under pressure several times, some even think he had a foul mouth, but he was one of the nicer ones who were sincere enough to ask about my improvement, whether at work or elsewhere. He is married and gifted with a beautiful daughter. People saw him being nice to me at work. He left the company and I followed shortly. It was the perfect confirmation for some people who thought we were/are having an affair.

2. I had it coming so instead of getting fired, I submitted my resignation in defense. What happened was, a co-worker got hit by a car and the company didn’t deal with the accident properly. They did not follow protocol and my co-worker was too disoriented to notice what has been happening (or what’s not happening). One or two cameras caught the two of us having a conversation a few days before he submitted a complaint. People dealing with workplace safety paid a visit and did an investigation and thank the heavens, there have been a few improvements regarding his case. I told him he should pursue the case and ask for due compensation. Some people from the management are still being hard on him but the more important thing is, they cannot terminate him without any cause since authorities are watching closely. To be fair, I did have a conversation with him and I did gave him some advice. I think I did something good, and more importantly, something right so why would I be hiding anything in the first place? It’s not the reason why I’m leaving, but I’d gladly do it again if I have to.

3. I am pregnant. The current (not for long) workplace requires some manual labor especially on busier days. I have been having irregular menstruation from the start and was told by a doctor that I’ll be having a hard time conceiving a baby in the future so I will be needing a lot of bed rest in case I decide to have one. I might have mentioned this to a couple of co-workers during one of those lunchroom conversations. So there. Around October last year, a few people came up to me with well wishes and congratulations because of the “blessing” that apparently was growing inside me. A few days ago, some were at it again. Come on, you have to at least recognize their good memory.

4. I am moving to a new environment so I can meet new people and eventually find a partner. Self-explanatory. I wonder if I look sad or depressed these days. People seem to have lost their hopes on my behalf and they wouldn’t let a week pass without asking if I’m back into dating. I don’t have any plans of growing old alone but for heaven’s sake I will not be jumping around beds or relationships just so I can oblige somebody else’s whims. I appreciate their concern, really, and I know most of the time they’re just teasing but I’m really not in a rush. Also, I’m 24, not 27.

I could tell you the real reason why I’m leaving. Or you can read my previous post for reference. Either way, there’s no stopping me now. I really am looking forward to meeting new people and discovering new places. I’ve been here four years but I haven’t been around that much. Thanks again, winter.

Maybe I’m so full of myself to even think that this alternate reality cares whether any of it concerns them and their daily lives. I’d say maybe not directly. I know one of my closest friends Marvie, who by the way, recently started blogging (lots of hugs and welcome to the cult!), will be reading this. This could also be me, giving in to the pressures of her hovering and regularly reminding us to update our blogs. You are one demanding reader, my friend.

I’ve been working on a post regarding the death etiquette of the living. It’s halfway done and I’m really forcing my procrastinating self to get back into finishing it. Tomorrow, maybe?

We’re in the middle of the week already. January’s over. Time’s a cheat. I wonder why we even bother trying to outsmart it.

From pancake cravings to happy thoughts.

I just woke up from a 2-hour power nap and at 10:36pm, I’m craving for pancakes. Lame, I know, but I just have to let that out. Not the fancy, all-hype pancakes I see on Instagram, Facebook and/or elsewhere though, just good old homemade ones. It’s ridiculous how capitalism even managed to suck out breakfasts. They could have, at least, left us with the best meal of the day. Breakfast used to be simple. Warm, fuzzy, familiar and greasy c/o yo’ mamma. Or my mamma. You know what I mean.

Can you believe it’s already the 29th of January? Time has wings. I had so many plans to kick off this year but the weather has not been very kind. It’s hard to go running when it’s freaking -20 outside. It’s not much of a help too when my knees wobble with the slightest wind gush. Last week it has finally taken its toll on my feeble human body. I was coughing and sneezing all day, not that you care, really, but I haven’t been that sick for a long time and boy, my immune system really wanted to get noticed. I must be getting old. I should probably cut down on my coffee and stop eating junk food altogether. Maybe I should listen to the family doctor and take those vitamins again. Or maybe we can leave the coffee for now. Oh, my stubborn self.

I’m trying to keep a giggle here. My Monday was greeted with such good news but there wasn’t a lot of people I could share the news with since I haven’t submitted my official resignation just yet. I was smiling and humming all day even my mom noticed the difference in my cooking. Technically I’m still not signed because I will be submitting all the paperwork on Friday, and I didn’t really want to jinx it by getting ahead of all the technicalities but here I am anyway informing this alternate universe that I got a new job. Yay me! I’m subconsciously asking the universe to forgive me for being this excited in the hopes of NOT jinxing this one before it becomes legal and official. I listed three major goals this year and so far, I got this one marked off the list and the second one is already in motion. It’s not the ultimate goal just yet, not THE dream, but it sure counts for something.

When really good things happen to me, my brain automatically tends to over-think the situation and fear possible backlashes, even create consequences that weren’t originally there. Muscle memory, I guess. It’s almost as if I cannot be too happy, only too sad. Late last year I told myself I really need this one, a drastic change in environment. I’ve been slaving myself at the current workplace for a year and half now, and things were getting stale. The pay was okay, it wasn’t even about that. I mean, it could be a lot better but at least it was paying the bills. It was more of me wanting to do more. I drag myself to work each day and I see people around me who has been working there for over a decade, going about their routines and doing the same thing over and over again. I just cannot imagine myself being stuck there. I don’t think I will be able to forgive myself had I chosen to stop looking for opportunities and go somewhere better. I know this is all abstract to you, and not that you care really, but come on. This move is kind of a biggie so humor me.

Some days I can’t believe I waited this long to find ways and look after myself. I guess there’s really no point in occupying myself with regrets here. So far, it has been my learning and re-learning that if I want something, I could only depend on myself. There’s really nothing wrong with looking after other people but before I can make other people happy, I have to look after myself and make sure that I am happy too. It’s a constant push and pull between seeking self-fulfillment and waddling around safe waters. After all, we cannot really share something we don’t have.

Side note: I just saw How I met your mother’s 200th episode prior to this and I really liked what the naked man told the mother (You have to see it). He said that he was lost until he figured what he really wants to do in life. He then asked the mother what she wanted to do with hers, no matter how crazy. When she answered, he told her that from there on, every decision she will be making should be based on that and that alone. It was so casual, the way he said it – what with that cello covering his privates – yet so profound. I still cannot believe this is the last season.

I am scared and nervous but mostly really excited. It’s nothing familiar to me and somehow I do not feel intimidated. I guess even tougher blows have their purpose too. If this came years ago, I probably would’ve chosen to say no and stay in the comfortable. Maybe the universe has impeccable timing after all. Some wishes come to life and some don’t, but we can always, always, find ways to work around it and redo our plans. Aside from the planning, I guess it’s the little tweaks and turns that come unplanned which makes it all thrilling. Life’s a many dancing lessons, a poet once said (It was more beautifully put, forgive me and my memory lapse). Imagine what a boring life it would be if that wasn’t the case.  

Okay, enough with my prattling. If you’re still with me, I thank you for allowing me to share such happy news with you. If you’re not happy with where you are right now, maybe there’s something you can do about it too. It could be the tiniest bit of change you’ve been wanting to do but hey, baby steps count too! I sound too perky and happy but that’s because I am. I know it’s probably annoying, but let me rub off some positive energy on you. Life is good. Life is bad. Tomorrow when you wake up, you decide.