Friday, September 18, 2015

A Fork in the Road

To paraphrase John Lennon, life is what happens when you're busy making plans.

I've always considered myself a planner. As someone with a type A personality, it's not uncommon for me to make lists and as a writer, content plans once became an everyday thing. I find it hard to accept when things don't go according to plan, even when that's expected, even when I do have a backup. I mean, why can't everything just go smoothly, right?

This year was no different. When 2015 started, I had this grand plan to #gofurther, to take a huge step and make a great change in my life. It was more than a career change, it was a dream, a goal, a leap towards what I wanted my life to be like. When I resigned from my job last year, I was so motivated and starry-eyed, eager to jumpstart something and already imagined a one-track turn of events. Because when you dream, dream big, right? When you go on a journey, you must be positive and look at what you want to achieve, and must have a mindset that you can overcome the obstacles and trials and you will triumph in the end. Right? I wanted to be a success story. But I forgot that success stories don't always happen overnight. Or even over a few months.

It is more painful when the hurdles thrown at you come from someone who's supposed to have supported and laid out a good future for you. Oh you don't know how much I want to spill everything here and share my sordid story, but recently all I wanted was to escape and shut everyone out. I'm still finding it hard to accept that things have turned out the way they did. Especially because these days, everyone's social media accounts are glossed over, branded, and seem staged. I mean, people can throw hate at you just because you're this gloomy person ranting/venting/calling for help, and it's raining on their filtered/VSCO'ed feed, so they scroll down and move on.

I'm rambling.

When midyear hit, life happened. Things happened so fast that it felt like going inside a tornado and coming out alive. Yes, I survived, but it felt like everything I had was eaten and taken away by the twister I didn't know how to start over. Even now I can't believe what happened happened.

But I've also gone through so much that I've learned life has a way of sorting itself out, and all I need to do is put my trust in God that this is just but another bump in the road that is my life. I'll be honest, I kind of feel bad and admit that I've been a bad Christian, or at least, not as good or obedient as I was years before. I let my faith drift away from me, I clung onto things that I shouldn't have clung to, or maybe I trusted myself so much that I forgot to ask for help in a higher power and maybe this is just a slight slap in the wrist to remind me that I am not in control.

My experience in the last few months (after what happened happened), and reading beyond the usual websites I visit also reminded me that I am just one person in this world, a world with billions of people living lives I know nothing about, experiencing hardships worse than I am going through, and that I should stop thinking the worst of it. Yes, there are still dark days, days when I feel like it's too late and I can't reach for my dreams anymore, when I see other people's journeys and feel so alone in mine, but those days end.

Then I wake up and decide to begin again.

These days I face people who have nothing to their name, whose days don't revolve around hashtags and smartphones, but in toiling land and literally sweating their backs. These days I face people whose hands are so rough from working, whose skin haven't come across expensive lotions (or any kind of lotion), with wrinkles and spots that are visual testament to the hard lives they live. These days I talk to citizens whose only wish is to extend the life of someone they love.

But these days I also come across people who fake diseases, who scam people and make up sob stories just to get money they will feed their family (of nine or twelve), of people who take advantage and turn assistance into dependence.

I am now in a place where suddenly the problem of not having a perfect Instagram feed seems feeble, where celebrities and trending topics don't even cross people's minds, and realizing that a designer purse some people covet can feed an entire village. Isn't it curious how we can live in the same zip code and lead polar opposite lives?

Don't get me wrong, I've always been aware of the disparity between the rich and the poor. But it's different when you come across it every day, when you literally hold the thing to get them through the day's survival.

It's September and before we know it, it'll be 2016. I don't know what the world has in store for me in the year to come, but right now, I'm trying to learn the art of being still, of understanding and accepting where I am at this moment, and that being here doesn't mean being stuck here. I just have to appreciate the view.


  1. What are you doing now?! Sounds like something that can be both depressing and fulfilling at the same time...