Halfway through halfway through

"Dear friends, family, and just about everyone who loves me: I want a Baby Alive for my 23rd birthday. It's on the 18th of February. Thanks."

"23 na tayo. Wah."

It should be a breakthrough for me. Somebody else is turning 23 at almost the same time as me! I was, after all, always surrounded my people a year older than me, thanks to me skipping a year of pre-school. Sure, I know people who are also the same age as me, if not much younger (looking at you, Inka, Les, Sars...) but here's where my propensity to pull myself down comes in: it still feels like they're older than me. Definitely more mature.

Hazel may want dolls for her birthday, and I may be completely aware that she was born five weeks after I am, but the feeling remains.

"Tapos two years na lang makaka-experience na tayo ng quarter-life crisis," she answered back. "Wah back at you."

"Akala ko eto na yung quarter-life crisis natin?" I answered back. "Humihingi ka na ng dolls eh..."

"Um, um, for collection purposes lang!" she countered. And then, a late realization. "Shiz, oo nga ano..."

I'm turning 23 tomorrow. It would be almost four years since I graduated from college, four years since I entered the labor force, four years since I started making a fool of myself without the concept of "I'm still finding my way through life" protecting me. (Then again, this started way back.)

I'm not exactly sure what I should be doing now. I've made the best of my circumstances. I have what you'd call a steady job, even if I know it's not going to last long and I have to go somewhere else sooner or later. Socially, nothing's really changed. I go out, mostly by myself. I talk to people, and they'd talk back only if they're interested. I make friends, only to turn my back on them. And I'm dealing with it by going on shopping binges at bookstores.

The past year saw my corner of the bookshelf in our home grow. In the past three months alone I got seven books - five in October, one in November, and one last month, my sister's first Christmas gift to me. It's her first year as part of the labor force.

Yesterday I was organizing my old magazines - a big pile of music magazines collected over the past few years, plus a couple of others, mostly men's magazines, to fill my "more substantial read" quota. I don't have use for much of them now - in between conversations with Jeany and incessant listening to 6 Music, I've become a muso, and a terrible one at that -  so I've put them all in a plastic box for storage elsewhere.

I realize that that's the sort of thing I should've been doing when I was still in college: make the most of my weekly allowance by buying everything in sight. Sure, I did that before, but not as much as I do now, when I'm earning my own money and, thus, have some financial responsibilities around the house. (I don't have much, but if I can, I do.) After that shopping spree a quarter of a year back I felt a bit guilty for spending so much money. But it felt right when I was doing it, I'd think. I deserve a break after all this, right?

In Hazel's case, it's collecting dolls, possibly staring at it from afar, remembering when she was still young. But I can't possibly speak on her behalf.

I'm writing this after reading the fourth of my seven new books - and it happens to be Andrew Collins' second autobiography, covering his college years, so my perspective is going to be a bit skewed here. He went to college and had the mix just right. He studied, he experienced things, he had fun. Me? I worried my way through college. Worried about the future, worried about the present, and maybe worried about the past even. Same pattern of things when I started working (shoot, bitches for colleagues, a very familiar thing to think, whyyyyy?) and, pretty much, every other time since.

And now I'm compensating for all that I've missed out by buying all these books and magazines and fairly hard-to-find CDs and wallowing in the experience of having an ever-expanding collection of something. Well knowing, of course, that I've still missed out on a bunch of nights out with friends, and perhaps a couple of girlfriends, by worrying about what they'd think if I did push through with these, you know, things.

And Hazel's just collecting dolls, definitely staring at it from afar, remembering when she was still young.

I'm turning 23 tomorrow. And, in case I haven't noticed it before (and I think I have, right, Y2?) I'm in the middle of my own quarter-life crisis.

And I'm worrying about it.

And your responses...

23. Not so bad. I'm turning 26. Wala lang. Anyway, regarding jobs, keep (and make) yourself available to whatever may come. I was 23 (I think) when I quit the FA thing. Like you, I graduated younger than most classmates, entering school at 3. That actually gives us one extra year to be foolish and choosy about the career we would like to be in. LOL Anywaaay, since 23 I have been into various industries: say, petroleum, errand services, call center-airline reservations, call center-chat support selling cable tv.

And now I think I'm okay with my job. :) When I was younger I thought I'd have a stable likable livable job by 25. Well, I'm just starting to be stable. It's not too bad.

I don't make sense, it's early.

Blogger Katia1/11/2012     

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