I'm turning 25 in a couple of months, which should get me thinking: what exactly have I done with my life?

Well... lemme see. I have a job. That's a start.

I think I have saved enough for my future, or, technically, I am saving enough for my future. I'm not sure how much money I have stowed in the banks, but I'm pretty sure it's not a large amount. In any case, I am not in a rush to withdraw all of that money so I can spend it all on some trip to Europe or something.

I, unsurprisingly, haven't struck out on my own yet. Yes, I am 24 and I still live with my parents, although I am not mooching off them. I do the errands, I spend some money when I have to, I help out whenever I can. I'm of the age when my parents can kick back and, well, go on some trip to Europe - this happened twice - trusting that the three children they raised can make sure not to burn the house down.

Or maybe it's because I never really had an independent streak. I'm not the guy who likes change, or at least a lot of it. My sister now lives in our condo unit - the argument is, it's closer to her work, and her work has schedules as fickle as a woman on the verge of her cycle, to use a potentially sexist metaphor - and she didn't hesitate about it, because she's the one with the independent streak; she's the one who's gone on solo vacations, and gone out more, and is generally more confident about who she wants to be and what she wants to do now that she's of legal age. Or something like that.

So, yes, I am almost 25 and, apart from being a guy whose paycheck is, supposedly, the envy of (some of) my peers, I haven't really done anything. At least not anything monumental. Maybe it's my low self-esteem. Maybe it's me remembering how my mother would admonish me every time we argue - "wala ka pang nagagawa, wala ka pang maipagyayabang!" she'd scream, and instantly I think of everybody else I know, and instantly I feel worthless.

No, I haven't quite succeeded in my dream of cracking the media industry, of being the guy who writes the articles you read on paper. I have long squashed that dream as impossible at this age.

No, I haven't gone around the world by myself. Granted, I've been to Singapore, alone, once, for a week, but that was for work, which means the company paid for most expenses. And a third of that time was spent with my sister, who went there for two months to try her luck.

No, I haven't conquered Mount Everest. I haven't walked EDSA from Monumento to Mall of Asia. I haven't bought a house. I haven't even bought a bookshelf. I have bought a laptop, but everybody has done that. I have surprised my girlfriend on her birthday. I have treated my family to dinner. I have held my own towards strangers. And yet, I am the guy who hasn't done anything.

I feel that whenever I see my friends post photo after photo of their travels abroad. Travels. And to exotic locations, too. Well, Seoul is relatively exotic, I think.

I feel that whenever I see my friends talk about their cool jobs, how glamorous their lives are, how they get to do all these awesome things.

I feel that whenever I see my peers talk about conquering these insurmountable obstacles like it's no big deal.

I don't know. Maybe it's because I am averse to most change, or a lot of change at once. Maybe it's because I'm not a risk-taker by nature. Maybe it's because I'm the guy who doesn't jump into things just because they sound awesome and they make you look, well, awesome. Although I don't begrudge those people.

Obviously I feel terrible for myself when I see these people boast about something that, frankly, they really were supposed to do. I mean, I changed career paths, ditching daily writing for a corporate job, and I think I'm doing well. It's not a cause for celebration; it's not a bragging right. It's something you are supposed to do. You see people hype the same thing up, though, and you feel terrible, very terrible, and you declare that you're having a quarter life crisis and there's no end in sight for your despair.

Occasionally, though - in those moments when I'm not emotionally riled up and am thinking clearly - I realize that, well, there is nothing to despair about. I got to where I am today because I chose to do so, because I felt it's right for me, because I know this will do me well in the future. I didn't rush into these things because I'm not ready, because I don't think I should do it now... that sort of thing. Call me as boastful as the guys I'm ranting about, but there you go. I am almost 25, and I have actually done something. Too bad nobody will pay attention to those, because they're not, you know, legendary enough.

And your responses...

I know how you feel although I don't really dwell on it that much. Nakakainggit yung mga monthly travels ng friends but when I think about it, I don't really enjoy travelling that much anyway so why spend hard-earned money doing that...then I don't feel that bad anymore.

I feel I haven't done anything legendary, too, YET but I know I'll do something na magmmake ng mark kahit para sa anak ko lang or sa magiging asawa ko lang. It's just a matter of believing in yourself and being proud na kahit gano kaliit yung bagay na yun, you've made it happen. What other people say won't matter anymore lalo pag alam mong you've given it your all.

Ang cliche ng lahat ng sinabi ko pero sabi nga ni Marshall sa HIMYM, they're not cliches, they're classics. :)

Blogger Aleigna Lin11/08/2013     

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