Do you ever feel like you’re too young to know what you really want in life yet old enough not to? That’s how I feel at twenty-two.
Detours and Stops
“Gagawin ko ang lahat pati ang thesis mo / ‘wag mo lang ipagkait ang hinahanap ko.”
I was reading back my blog posts–as I always do, even when I was still in Tumblr not too long ago–and I realized how my recent posts are leaning towards becoming a personal travelogue of some sort (I don’t wanna call it a travel blog. Kapal naman ng mukha ko. Hahaha!) even though I wasn’t really planning for it to be like this. I was staring at my blog and thinking, what exactly am I trying to achieve with this? I don’t exactly know. Not yet.
The thing is, I was on Tumblr for more than five years. I started in 2011, during the time when I was still starting to adjust being in college, away from my family and high school friends. I’ve always loved writing so I figured, since some of my friends were doing it, maybe I should try, too.
I only had one personal rule, though: You can write about everything, but nothing ‘too personal’–and by too personal, I meant the tough times; in short, to keep everything positive, which shouldn’t be too hard for me to do because I’m naturally a positive person and I easily see the positive side of things, even the most negative ones.
That was until my last term in college (2nd semester, 2014-2015) when I found out that I wouldn’t be able to graduate on time because of my Special Problem (aka Thesis). Tinawag ko na ang lahat ng santo, pati ang kataas-taasang si Ely Buendia na nangakong ‘gagawin ko ang lahat pati ang thesis mo’. Pero wala pa rin.
For almost a year, I was a UDD song, personified: luhaan, sugatan, di mapakinabangan. I was depressed, anxious, fat (due to stress-eating), and I had extreme insomnia. That’s when I broke my own rule; I used writing as my emotional outlet and Tumblr served me very well during those times. But after that, I found myself having a hard time getting back to my positive Tumblr-self. Needless to say, I left. (You’re probably thinking: pagkatapos kang tulungan. ikaw pa ang may ganang mang-iwan. But, I think, I also left because it already served its purpose in my life.
New beginnings and Crossroads
“Everything will be alright if / we just keep dancing like we’re / twenty-two. (ooh-oooh) / twenty-two. (ooh-oooh)”
Taylor Swift, 22
Last semester, I finally had the courage to go back to the university and finish my Special Problem. And, with the help of my new adviser and friends, I made it. With that also came my decision to finally use my WordPress, which I had made few months prior.
I don’t know what Taylor Swift meant when she sang, ‘I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling twenty-two’, but for me, leaving college at twenty-two only meant one thing: lost with too many possibilities. Suddenly, you’re at this place called ‘Real World’, which apparently is someplace with too many paths and too many road signs, but nothing you can understand. I suddenly understood how Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson felt being in Japan in Lost in Translation (2003).
That’s the thing about starting new chapters in life: you just don’t know where it’s supposed to lead you and what you’re supposed to expect, and that alone can make it terrifying. But, you know what they say about change: if you never try, you’ll never learn. With unfamiliar things come great surprises in life. I bet Ely Buendia didn’t know the song was going to be a hit when he wrote that lyrics for Ligaya, nor did UDD with Oo, nor Taylor Swift with 22. Even Scarlett Johansson’s character didn’t know she was going to meet Bill Murray’s character in Lost in Translation. I guess, they just went with the flow .
And now that I left Tumblr and the university, that is exactly what I am trying to do. I don’t exactly know where I am going, but I am ready for the ride!
April 6, 2017//9:51 AM
I was listening to random songs in my playlist last night when Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free (To Wear Suncreen) played. It’s an essay/commencement speech written by Mary Schmich, and turned into a spoken word song by Luhrmann (which, I personally believe, is still one of the best, timeless spoken-word songs ever made). Here’s an excerpt:
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22
what they wanted to do with their lives.
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.