I’ve been back in Manila for a little over a month and needless to say, it’s been pretty alright. A regular day consists of me doing a bit of housework, maybe cook up a bit of food, but generally just veg out, watch a few episodes of the shows I like to watch, and browse the Internet; among other things. I don’t have a specific set of goals as of the moment, but a pressing issue that’s taken priority is to find a job. In fact, it’s what my older sister grills me about very often. I’m getting tired of it, really. All the pressure she’s putting on me isn’t making things better – it’s actually making things worse.
For the past couple of years, I’ve really just felt empty. I don’t feel motivated to do anything, to pursue anything. And with that, it’s hard for me to really start anything; even more so finish anything. Above else, what I want to do is find what it is that I really want, what I really like, what I really feel passionate about. I feel that if I find that niche where I fit in, it would be easier for me to follow through and maybe actually finish something.. I mean if I feel lost, what’ll that mean for the things I decide to enter or seek to do, right?
I’ve been browsing through job sites and I’m definitely struggling to find something that really piques my interest or something that I feel would suit me. (Not only is it difficult to find that fit, but there’s all those qualifications and requirements like prior job experience and the like – I’m trying to find a job for experience, but I need experience to get a job? What’s that all about???) Personally, I don’t like being boxed in when to comes to how I do my work – which is one reason I felt somewhat suffocated when I was in law school. Because you’re expected to conform to specific formats and use jargon that isn’t simple nor used in everyday conversation, it restricted me on how I viewed myself; how I could express myself. It took a toll on my creativity. It even went to the point where I was browsing through old creative work I did like short stories, essays, and fanfiction – and I barely recognized the person who wrote them. I felt like the life was sucked out of me, like I wasn’t myself at all. I missed the person I was when I wrote those creative work.
Honestly speaking, I find it so much easier to talk to friends than to my own immediate family. It’s difficult to explain something to people who’ve already got their mind set on something that you don’t even like. With friends, I’m fortunate enough to have met people who understand what it’s like to be more inclined towards more creative things. I feel happy with them, and I feel like they actually know me better than my own family. A widely used quote goes, “blood is thicker than water”; but it stems from an earlier proverb which I think makes a lot more sense: “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” This implies that a “blood covenant”, made by people who voluntarily enter into a relationship with one another, has a stronger tie than those who are bound by the “water of the womb”. In simpler, more relevant terms for this day and age – the ties that we form with people of our own choosing, such as friends, are stronger than the ties in which we are bound without our own choice, such as family. As heartless as it sounds, I feel that it is true.
Ah, I’m rambling.
I talked to some of my closest friends about my predicament. One suggested that I give myself a deadline, that I should pursue my passion but if there isn’t a job offer that suits my interest, I might as well do something to get me by. (Honestly, I have nothing against call center agents nor jobs in the BPO industry – but I know how toxic it can be, and how much it can take a toll on you and your body. If anything, I’d do it as a last resort.) I don’t think it’s a good idea to give myself a deadline, because it’ll only pressure me even more to look for jobs – and what if I don’t find anything by the deadline? Do I just sacrifice my own mental health and well-being just to get a job?
I like having money to buy things, but above everything else, I want to be content and happy with myself- why is that so hard for people to understand? What would be the point of having money if I’m going to be miserable with my job, if I’m going to end up hating myself for not sticking to my guns and doing something I like? And besides, if I actually like my job, then I would definitely perform better because it won’t feel like straight-up work for me anymore.
A close family friend and I got to talk a couple of weeks ago – she suggested that I really spend time thinking and searching for what I want to do, take some time to really learn about myself and do some soul-searching. As cliche as it sounds, it might be what I need – to find that thing where I can truly be myself and also succeed in, without having to worry about what my family thinks.
After all, it is my life – they aren’t living it for me. They’ll have a lot to say about it, but really, we live our own lives and we strive to find the path that we want to carve for ourselves. We try to find our place in the world, and it’s never easy to want to go down a road when people expect you to be going a completely different direction. But if we surround ourselves with the right people, with people who support you and know you and want the best for you, then you might just make it out okay. Maybe you’ll even do great.