6/30/2019
Keep it to yourself

To be frank, I never thought I'd still have to write one of these entries, the sort where I just write because I have to hit that self-imposed four-entries-a-month quota. Certainly since I closed the other blog writing here just felt a bit more natural, so that's one goal achieved, at least. But, well, things have a funny way of turning up, or, perhaps, a non-funny (but not the complete opposite) way of reminding you that, hey, the world isn't going back to the way it used to be when you had all the time in the world.

But of course I've had a lot of thoughts I've been trying to pull together into a coherent essay. There's one about the weather, which is typical; there's another about Mandarin in restaurant menus, which is tricky, considering the climate these days. Sometimes it feels like I'm just trying to live up to my former reputation as a guy who writes really long things online - and I emphasize on online because it can be much longer in print. I've done that too, so I'd know. And, again, I mention all of this because lately it just doesn't come together. It still doesn't come together.

I don't know. Perhaps it's because I am also getting weary of the culture of hot takes that I have certainly taken part in when I still wrote frequently over here. As the supposedly wise ones say, you shouldn't waste all your time on overthinking these things. That, and the society I am apparently part of frowns upon analysis, even casual analysis. Just accept what you're given and don't question anything. Do otherwise and you're either paranoid or a paid agent of the enemy.

I realized this when, last weekend, people started poking fun at the idea of a water dipper that costs PHP 350. Okay, sure, it's Muji. That, and I've seen the object in question months before and I've secretly wanted to have one. But then someone had to come in with a hot (more of warm) take about how the whole kerfuffle essentially shows who prefer the fine things in life and who is content with "shitty" items, and, well... the context, for me at least, is that this person is happy to show off how successful she's become. But she's always been like that. But it's annoying. But you shouldn't think about it too much. Do otherwise and you're either paranoid or a paid agent of the enemy.

Okay, fine. In an ideal world, I would've bought it; in reality, it'll take me years to even get to the point when I can justify it to myself. But the price, I still think, is justified. And besides, I bought two pairs of chopsticks from the same store, and in total they're roughly PHP 500. That much for four wooden sticks? But I don't regret the purchase.

But nobody really cares about what I think. That's what I've been operating on the past year or so. I realize this because other people can have less articulated opinions (or is it my phantom superiority complex at work here?) and be celebrated for it. Maybe it's because they have struck the balance considering their audience don't really want to think. Maybe it's because they have a platform. I err towards that last explanation. Platforms mean everything. Speak with a megaphone, on a stage, and somehow what you say is more valid than what I, for example, say - and it's the exact same thing. (Phantom entitlement complex at work?)

It would be nice to say I'm still writing in this blog for myself, but - and this is what nobody wants to acknowledge - we do everything we do to get approval from other people. Someone mocked me for admitting as much, because, hey, it's nice to be able to say that you do what you do because you want it, not because they want you to. But gain enough friends who will follow your every word, and say you're doing well, and you can afford the luxury of saying that. I don't. I'm thirty years old and I still look for approval from some people. It's natural. It's human. And, yes, you can say I do get it, but ultimately I still feel like I don't.

So, yeah, many factors, but lately I just feel like I should keep it to myself. Besides, if what I write is of no value, according to some supposedly good friends of mine... it's a wonder I haven't clicked on "unfriend". Well, it's easy if you barely know the person, but not if you go back decades. It's also easier to hold a grudge rather than move on. It's natural. It's human. And anybody who says otherwise has to acknowledge her privilege first.

And your responses...

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