Personal Musings

Wanderlust, and a nostalgia for what-is-yet-to-be

Photo from Boyhood [2014]
Lately, I am in a weird state where I am craving for something to change in my life. I remember telling myself in high school that I will never leave the Philippines, and no matter how good the offer overseas or whatever kind of opportunity it is, I will not take it. I told myself that I am comfortable with the way things are, and I feel like I am content with whatever I have right now. But not until of late; somehow, I am in a surge of wanderlust—and it is not even the kind where I just want to go out and visit certain places, I want to go far and away.

Sometimes staying in one place for too long gets you lost, too. I recalled having read this passage a while back and if anything, it amplified my desire to go someplace else. It’s probably because I’m on my fourth year in college and I suddenly feel like I’m getting left behind by everyone else? Suddenly, the prospect of finishing two undergraduate courses do not seem as enticing as wrapping it up right now and finally moving forward. But then again, what’s so desirable about going out there anyway when, truth be told, it’s going to get worse? Then I tell myself it’s probably because at least out there, I can fundamentally do something that actually inspires changes? Or if not, I get to actually serve people and earn for myself? Some days it’s what makes sense to me, but on some days it’s not exactly what I want.

I don’t want to take a break from college because I am concerned with my time too. I don’t want to graduate any later than I am supposed to be, and I want to finish as soon as I can. On the other hand though, I want some time off to figure out what I really want. These days, I keep thinking about shifting to another business program. I don’t want to continue with my Accounting course anymore. I am considering Finance, but I am also not sure if I’ll want it more than the previous one. I guess it does suck having only very limited choices in life. Truth be told, I envy those who can just surge forward and has the courage to just let it be no matter their circumstances because at least, they make things happen for themselves.

As I have said, I keep having this desire to go someplace else for a while because I want to figure out what I want to do with my life. But it’s scary how much I want this change to happen. I feel like I am already trying to make something change when some previous issues in my life have not been settled yet. For instance, I am checking out scholarship exchange programs when I have not settled quite yet if I really want to switch my undergraduate program. On top of all these, I have not been writing anything for years, nor have I been compelled lately to get a move on and find that inspiration for myself to actually do something.

I’ve become stagnant. I’ve become lazy. I’ve become even more jealous of people who have it all figured out. I keep waiting and waiting by a corner until someone comes by to help me figure it out. When was I ever so desperate for help? I am alone by default, and is someone who loves being alone because it’s what I’m best at. In a sense, it is a part of my ego that I am very much capable of handling myself, and finding a solution to every problem that I encounter. And I’m still good at it. Financial problems? Family concerns? Group projects? Trying to pass my accounting quizzes? Come at me! I can do it! I can manage! I can figure it out.

But damn, I can’t understand how to deal with myself and specifically with the things that’s going on inside this head of mine. I can’t figure out what is bubbling in here. In one moment, I know that I am sad but why am I sad. Oftentimes, I find myself walking in the middle of a crowded area and everything will be in slow motion—each sound and voices I hear fading—and I’ll look beyond me but there is nothing there. On most days, the world just feels so bleak and it sometimes make me wonder what on earth I am doing in this universe. Exactly, what do I want to do with my life?

Beyond these shattered pieces of glass is a person who only sees a broken reflection of herself. A soul keeps trying to break free—to find a place to settle in. How do people make their lives so mundane and normal? They have problems, sure, and they do think about matters about themselves but they go on. How? How is it that I am just mostly here trudging along each day without so much a clue as to where I am headed?

Some people, the minute they find the love of their lives, suddenly all they find a reason to go on. They do not exist anymore as lost lambs trying to figure life out, but as a part of two souls combined as one. They are happy; they go to sleep every night with a content sigh because they have something to look forward to tomorrow. Despite all those fights and almost break-ups, they find more reasons to love that person and they find more encouragement to go on. It’s not that I think that relationship is the answer to my problems (oh, hell no), it’s just that it’s amazing how some individuals make it work for them, and in a sense, it validates their existence and their purpose.

Nor do I feel that I need to become religious again to figure life out. I do believe in a God inasmuch as I also believe that there is a possibility that there is not. Every now and then, I’d sit in a chapel for some sense and quiet, just closing my eyes and waiting for a voice to whisper to me that it will be fine. For a brief moment, I will feel that calmness flood over me and it will last for a long while. But as much as it does its wonders, it still does not completely pivot me towards anything that can help me make sense of it all.

And so, I wait—constantly looking up the sky and wondering if it somehow has the answer to my life. I will take just about anything to help me get a hang of who I am right now, or of who I want to be. It is odd feeling nostalgic over memories I don’t even own, but I do feel it. I sometimes feel that there is some version of me out there (or in a parallel world, perhaps?) made it. This temporal version of me keeps yearning for it, but has no clue how to get there. Sometimes, I feel like half of me is here but the other half is in a realm somewhere and I can never, ever gain it back. What is even more troubling is that that other half might have brought along the part where I am writer. It has been about two years since I have written anything decent. On most days, I just have a list of ideas that I want to complete as a short story or something, and then when I am faced in front of my laptop or a pen and a blank piece of paper, nothing comes out. Sometimes, several paragraphs come flowing out but then it stops again. I’ll tell myself, ah maybe I can put this off for a while then go back again. Then when I come back, it’s just gone. All those moments I tell myself I must not force it, because I shouldn’t force it, but all the more that it does not help.

When you close your eyes, what do you envision? Where do you see yourself? What are you doing in that vision? Are you alone? If you are with someone, are you happy or sad? Do you see yourself worthwhile or were you just getting by? See, the thing is, when I close my eyes and I envision myself, I keep seeing a girl standing in the midst of a dark, narrow alley. This girl isn’t moving. She just keeps looking up, trying to see if somehow the clouds will part and some light from the sun will get through. Minutes will pass and nothing will change. She’d stare back to that wall again, just looking. What is beyond there? Is there even something beyond that wall? What could be the going on the other side? It will be good if she’s doing something, actually. Like, some people will probably bleed their fists trying to punch it. Or maybe, they can kick it or try to climb it somehow even if nothing’s around to support them. But why is this girl just standing there? Why is this vision of me just looking at it, appraising it and doing nothing?

“I always feel like I am struggling to become someone else. Like I am trying to find a new place, grab hold of a new life, a new personality. I guess it’s part of growing up, yet it’s also an attempt to reinvent myself. By becoming a different me, I could free myself of everything. I seriously believed I could escape myself—as long as I made the effort. But I always hit a dead end. No matter where I go, I still end up me. What’s missing never changes. The scenery may change, but I’m still the same old incomplete person. The same missing elements torture me with a hunger that I can never satisfy. I guess that lack itself is as close as I’ll come to defining myself.”

I do hope that, for the sake of your sanity, you are doing fine today.


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