"You got accepted for something?" I asked Ariane.

"Well," she somehow hesitated. "Yeah. Pero kanina, I found out na now I'm accepted for two somethings. Togoink!"

So she starts talking about her dilemma. I wanted to congratulate her because she already has a job; the only question is, which one she will take. But she definitely is going to have one by the end of the week. On the other hand, I start acting like the life coach, spewing out the usual advice about one considering based on what priorities have been set. And, perhaps, the insecure bystander who's not really sure about what to prefer.

"Good for you, talagang media ang target mo," she later said.

I just laughed alone. "Ang taas kong mangarap, eh."

"Mangangarap ka na lang, lakihan mo na. Pangarap ko din naman yan, pero hindi muna sa ngayon."

I haven't really gotten tired of those words - dream, and dream big. It seems like a very easy thing to do. And besides, they say it's free. I've been spending the last three years insisting on something that I actually have no chance of working on, and I look ridiculous thinking I've made friends in the process. Well, I managed anyway.

"I'm just gonna go looking for a job," I told Kelly more than two months ago.

"Good," she answered. "So that you can stop mooching off your parents!" Then she let out a laugh.

That laughter may be insignificant now, but we're just counting down the days to, well, the big day. Yesterday, the family paid a visit to the grandparents, and somehow word got around that I'm graduating with a cum laude under my belt. An extra accolade, I guess, but nothing that will really get you anywhere, unless you decide to take it where it can be recognized more clearly.

The big day's this Saturday, and now I'm getting congratulatory remarks from friends, and after-graduation party invites from other friends. I figured I'm perhaps not really ready for the transition, or perhaps things are just happening so fast, like the way the floodwaters rise where the road in front of our house used to be. I've turned down an invitation from Kat because of a previous commitment, and perhaps that kind's safer to work on than commitments that I make myself. That's why it's a scary world out there.

"Pero grabe, if their offer [comes] close to [the eighteenth,] I might be in a pickle," Ariane said. I could only agree. She then complains about her typographical errors, before finally logging off.

And then it comes. A phone call. A job offer. A start date.

I'm not exactly fond of the thing I somehow committed myself into. Only a few know that. I left the job interview with the belief in how advanced spin fools people like me. I was more than apprehensive, but my mom has insisted that it is just a test. My dad thinks I should continue, just in case, while I send a handful more job applicants and deal with government forms. But it's here, and something tells me I should get it, if only for the experience - my father's convictions, too - and to finally get out of the rut I'm in for the past two months.

But everybody has said it. Dream, and dream big. Perhaps it's something from our childhood, the way we're taught about having an ambition. My childhood saw me flipping through dream careers. "When I grow up, I want to be a veterinarian" became "when I grow up, I want to be an architect" in a short span of time. Now, that dream's more refined, and the resumé says so: "to join an organization where I can utilize my skills and expertise in communication and attain a high performance in relaying information to other people." That has to start somewhere, definitely.

Well, I've been given a golden ticket of sorts. Do I still have the right to complain?

My dad's sending me irregular text messages about the phone call. Perhaps it's promising, he said, and he thinks I should take it. I, on the other hand, am hitting myself in the head for actually opening the door, rather than closing it shut. I can only text Ariane short ditties. "Di ba nga, ayoko? Ewan."

"Wow," she replied. "Now you're in a tougher pickle." And it feels like I don't have much time left.

This world is built on people achieving self-actualization, and perhaps there are more ways of doing so now. Our parents might say that we're lucky - to be able to send job applications online rather than walk through the rain taking chances, to be able to discern among many things rather than be forced upon it, and so much more. And perhaps that's what they meant when they wanted us to dream big. Nobody objected when we made our decisions, and now that we're at it, perhaps that's how it's supposed to go about, right? I mean, why take a job with the intention of leaving six months later?

Work your way up the ladder. They've also said that far more times than the previous one. Just when you're starting to do things by yourself, you become more scared of the possibilities. Finally, you're the one who's going to lay down the road and walk on it. Things are bound to happen, sure, but perhaps we've dreamed too much.

Then again, are we really ready for the future? Oh, and by the way, that future begins when the cameras stop flashing and you've stepped out the building, proof of finishing in hand.

And your responses...

this got me really nervous. i don't know if i'm ready. i've avoided that thought far too long. but it's time to face it. saturday's coming fast :(

Anonymous Anonymous6/19/2008     

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