11 August 2011
This changes things.
Of course a promotion changes things. It changes my plan, that big plan I wrote about earlier in the year: if nothing "big" happened to me career-wise or other-part-of-life-wise in Manila, this blob city, I would go home to Mindanao and see what would happen if I lived there for a while, possibly indefinitely.
Now, I find myself staring at a blank slate, erased by the two intra-office memos that got me this desk. I'm a little afraid because, while I know more or less how to keep things running smoothly here at the office, I'm no longer sure what to do once I step out of it.
If you've been reading this blog, you'll know that I went through a really long mopey phase—it had highs and lows, but even the highs were still on the mopey side of the emotional graph. I wanted permanence, and I somehow thought that it could take the form of a decent apartment (in Singapore, if possible) and an everyday life with Martin, and because I wasn't at the point where I could have either of these things, I stewed and stewed and stewed.
Then something Martin said made me ask if there wasn't something permanent, some rock I couldn't hold onto, already inside myself. It sounds really cheesy, but that's what got me out of my rut after more than a year. Since then, I've been able to enjoy work more, enjoy the present more, and generally stop worrying about whether I would get the future I wanted. Any answers to questions about the near future, at least, seemed to just magically click into place.
So once I was told I'd soon be promoted, they went on—click, click, click: I should be able to afford an apartment—a real one, not a boarder's room where I have to keep the microwave on the floor—once they adjust my salary. In another year, I'll start applying to grad school and working on a master's in development comm. or research. And once that's done—and Martin's done—I can start thinking about what happens next. But even if none of that happens, I'm fine with the way things are and will just take things as they come.
I could have gone on with this plan, and gone on not worrying, were it not for a couple of idle chats with officemates, benignly comparing stories of what led us to where we are now. And now, I find myself returning to these questions: Who did I want to be then? Am I that person now? Do I still want to be that person? If not, who do I want to be? Will things really be better with an apartment? Do I really want a master's in those fields? I feel happy; happier than I've been in months, maybe a year—What if that's an illusion? What if my books, my crafts, the Internet, and my boyfriend are just a distraction? What if "enjoying the present" is just pretending that there's no reason for me to strive?
If Martin were here now, he'd probably tell me that I'm overthinking things and being too hard on myself again (it seems to be a sickness with me), and he'd probably be right. Maybe I'm just shocked that I haven't asked questions like these in a while.
I feel like kicking myself, really. Why did I have to ask? Now that it's done, I know I'll lose sleep and happiness points looking for answers. Why couldn't I have just let myself be happy, however deluded that might have been?
I'm terrified now, though not so much by not finding answers as by finding myself back in the doldrums. I never want to go back there. Maybe I'm not sure who I want to be, but it sure as hell isn't that sad person.
Ha. Maybe that's something for me to hang onto, while I'm trying to reestablish my bearings; maybe just knowing what made things so bad for me will help me avoid that awful state again.
I guess we'll see.