10/21/2010
This supposedly tumultuous decade

Fifteen minutes past five in the morning. My phone starts playing the first few bars of Maxïmo Park's "Going Missing". I rush to get my phone and tap it a few times to keep it quiet. No, I'm not angry; it's just what my phone is built to do.

Thirty minutes past five in the morning. Someone will wake me up. I, apparently, overslept again. Then again, you can't really call it oversleeping, because I don't go, "shit, I'm late for work!" when I wake up. But, being the incurably nice guy that I am, I drag myself out of bed, trying to convince myself that I've slept enough for the night. Sleeping seven hours is no biggie, I tell myself, because some adults only need six hours of sleep. Now, eat your breakfast, take a shower, and go to work.

I feel sleepy on the way to work. I can take a nap, really, but you have to remain alert when you're in one of those shuttles. Most of the time I go with my dad, though. It doesn't feel good, sleeping on the passenger seat, leaving the person driving to keep his eyes open.

Depending on how slow the morning's preparation has become, I either arrive minutes before eight, or minutes before nine.

I don't have a reason to go to work early anymore.

I sit on my desk, open my PC, check my email, check the press sites, and grapple with a browser that kills itself every five minutes - and, when you do pull the trigger, lingers around and suffocates the other browser. This sequence of events happen for the next eight hours.

When I was diagnosed with ADHD - by someone perfectly qualified, thank you very much - I was told not to use my condition as an excuse for my actions. If I come from out of the blue and hit the back of your head, I can't blame it on my exaggerated impulses; I have to state my real reasons. If I start wandering off towards something other than what I'm supposed to do, I can't blame it on my short attention span; I have to state my real reasons. You get the idea.

The upside is, you know your limitations and you can be as effective as you can. They say we cope better when we schedule our day-to-day activities, so that's pretty much what I've done. I do the uploads first, then the cleaning. I eat lunch at one in the afternoon, unless someone invites me, or my gut tells me to take off early. (That goes both ways.) Everything culminates towards six in the evening, when I can finally take off. It's the one thing I've really looked forward to. I mean, you can only spend so many hours a day looking at a monitor and keeping to yourself. Involuntarily, I must note.

The downside is, that routine will wear you out eventually. And since it's been the same old for, I don't know, perhaps four months, it gets harder to wake up in the morning. I noticed it myself. I no longer wake up to my alarm. I guess I need something interesting to keep me going.

Three in the afternoon. I'm starting to wander. This doesn't usually happen, but it does now, and more often than ever before.

Five before five in the afternoon. I stare at the clock in my computer.

Six in the evening. I leave the office, vowing to get into the shuttles early, so I can get home early, so I can eat dinner early, so I can sleep early, so I can wake up to my alarm and stop having to drag myself out of bed. Yes, I'm actually aware of the situation, because this never happens to me before. Yet, despite that awareness, I end up browsing magazines inside bookstores on the way to the terminal, and I end up using the computer after dinner, which means I sleep at ten instead of half past nine. What's the use? I tell myself. I'll wake up and do the same things anyway. It's hard to wake up knowing that you'll go through this again. It's harder to sleep knowing that you'll wake up to this again.

A feng shui master told my dad that I'll have ups and downs for the next ten years, before I achieve some relative success, possibly abroad. Some guy also told my parents - this was many years ago, back when I was seven and we went on our first Ilocos vacation - that I'm a special kid and I have to be watched over. I told my parents that I could commit suicide within those ten years. Of course, they brushed me off. I have, they figured, exaggerated impulses.

And your responses...

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