We will always be in pursuit of our own version of happiness.
Life, they say, is a never-ending road for something greater.
Set goals! Reset goals! Reset further! --It's a never-ending adaptation of goals.
Some people are born with an automatic vision. Some, by the age of 3, conceive that he'll become a pilot, a waiter or a doctor. But for some people, their vision is shaped by time. One day he wants to be a doctor, the next minute he settles to become a nurse.
Most of us, however, live their lives without knowing our calling...and we struggle each day just to find the sole thing that will make us happy. For the antique collector, it's the joy of putting his hands on a 7th century porcelain. A macho man who wants to come out of his closet, has a different version of happiness. A son who devoted all his life looking for his father is another story. A janitor may envisage to become a CEO or run his own carinderia someday. A teenager might equate her ecstasy with the moment her neighbor finally asks her out. A young widower might spend a million years to regain a proxy for her dead husband's place. A gamer equates his joy by playing a winning streak 10 hours straight. A bag lady draws her source of life from a new LV bag.
It's a hard life-long process for the not-so-talented and the unsatisfied. Some end up getting old without knowing where that friggin happiness dwells in. Some made themselves to believe that they already got it in their pockets but in fact, they just accepted the world as it is. Some meet their source of happiness by accident-- a lady bumping next to a busy man on the way to the train station, a construction worker winning the lottery, a bum accidentally discovered by a talent scout, etc. Some are even destined to believe that there is fate. But for the unsatisfied, they do not settle with what they can achieve, no matter how big they've accomplished. For them, there's a whole lot more out there and you must continue the quest.
What if your source of happiness keeps on changing? Suddenly the marketing manager wants to be a mountaineer…Or the priest suddenly becomes an atheist? What if a son turns out to be a deviant, will his mother draw the same happiness from the child she used to rear? What if you want to try out all the things out there but there is too little time to do everything? Will you consider your past happiness void of meaning? Or does it only mean that you’re just fickle-minded, ending up as the jack of trades-master of none?
What makes us happy? Will there be something/someone that would make us happy for the rest of our lives? Or do we only know happiness as something that would eventually fade away? Will we always feel empty or will we figure it out as we get older? Is happiness simply a trap for us to have something to look forward to live another day? When will we stop looking for this vague thing that keeps us revved up with passion?
Maybe that’s what’s wonderful and depressing about life—there are too many possibilities out there. Lucky for those who’ve found what they perceive as happiness… unfortunate for those who’ve got drowned by time.
But the great thing about happiness is that nobody forces you to find it but your own self. You make it…you perceive it according to your terms. It’s in your hands and time. We have the power to find it, to struggle for it, to live for it..or even to acknowledge that we’ve failed to realize it.
I fear getting old. Who doesn’t?
Aging, aging, aging! If you want to scare anybody, just give him or her a sarcastic compliment that he/she looks quite old! It’s life’s best form of horror. White hair, wrinkles, handicap, blemished skin, painful knees, memory loss, poor eyesight, illness here and there – the list goes on – everybody dreads an added number! Aging, a stark contrast from the angelic aura of a newborn child, is like birth in reverse.
Scrap the health implications of old age and still, getting old is scary! The responsibilities, helplessness, complexities and limitations partnered with it – are more than enough to get you older than old.
In this week’s episode of my fave comedy TV series How I Met Your Mother, Ted lists the things he feels that he’s too old to do. He calls the list as “Murtaugh’s List,” (From Lethal Weapon’s Detective Murtaugh’s short line in the movie- “I’m too old for this”) From getting ears pierced to getting a hair dye, Barney tries to complete every task in Ted’s list within 24 hours. On the other hand, Ted attempts to accomplish Barney’s list of things only old people would do.
I fear those times—when I feel that I’m too old to do things…and do things only old people would do. To tell you frankly, I am in a pre-midlife crisis. I am scared to let go of my youth and embrace adulthood. I’m in a pseudo-crossroad between my childhood and adulthood. I always wish to be stuck with the here and now –if only there is a way. I sometimes feel like I’m still a teenager and a forever bunsoy in the family. But oh hell yeah, at a prime age of 24, I feel that tantamount pressure of aging.
Quite surprisingly, I imagined myself, a decade ago, that I’d be happily married at this age, wearing a corporate coat in an elegant high-rise building, owning a sleek car and a condominium somewhere in Makati. But now, here I am, still feeling like a teenager, dependent and wanting to be younger and younger as days go by.
If there’s such a thing as getting hooked on “youth,” I’m guilty as charged. I want to be forever young because I want to forever wear funky clothes and accessories (without anyone telling me that I’m a matronang nagdadalaga). I want to eat as much as sisig, bopis, callos, tokwa’t baboy, crispy pata, lechon, utak sa bulalo, chicharon or whatever fatal meal there is in this world. I want to be wacky and play childish tricks without anyone telling me to act my age. I want to forever feel the joy of sleeping 12 hours straight with zero disturbances from any signs of rheumatism or an early 4am cuckoo old age mode. I’m addicted to traveling places because I fear that one day I’d get old and never get the chance to see wonderful places (with achy knees, rheumatism, etc.). I fear forgetting (and being forgotten) and losing people whom I love.
The irony of life is time. Time makes life painful, meaningful, systematic and mysterious all at the same time. Like the changing of day and night, there are also seasons of life we must accept and embrace—I know that. The funny thing is, when you’re living the moment and enjoying too much of “this season,” it’s sometimes harder to let go and embrace the future.
Someday, somehow, I’ll be old enough.
Meanwhile I’m having bouts of insomnia because of this mad loving of my youth. My inner self is sort of always whispering to me, "Go be young!" I always feel that 24 hours is too short. Too plenty of lovely things to do, so little time. Ahhh the agony.
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