I who have nothing | Inquirer Opinion

I who have nothing

/ 05:14 AM January 04, 2018

I’m not the type to remember every point in my life, but I do remember shiny glimpses of it. I remember my professor in Retorika telling me that the young are right about worrying, about asking questions, about being unsure. He made the remark after I read my seven-page narrative in front of the class, the subject of which I don’t remember.

At that time, what he said did not make much impact on me; all I cared about was leaving a good impression on my professor, who looked pleased that I was asking a lot of questions and was “acting my age.” My brain decided to keep that memory because somehow, it knew that I would need it someday.


Fast forward to today, or tonight at 10:50, while I am having my hamburger dinner. Alone in my dorm’s living room, I realize I am still that sophomore standing in front of the class asking questions bigger than myself. I still harbor unanswered questions, and if anything, I am much more confused.

As a graduating student, the word “plans” has been haunting me as much as the religious-minded are haunted by the word “sin.” I have nothing. Nada. Zero.


When I confessed to my friend about it, he broke it down for me. He asserted that I should have plans and that I should put my head in them — and that would be the end of worries. He said there was no use worrying about something on which I could easily decide. And I believed him.

I believed him because he made it sound so easy. He said: If you want to be a writer, then go be a writer. And because it sounded so sweet, I swallowed it whole.

So I don’t understand why I still find myself frowning whenever I get asked about my plans. I guess it worries me that if I decide on a definite plan, then I will make my whole life revolve around that plan, and when I reach it, what else am I going to do with my life?

It worries me to dedicate my whole life to one single dream. It worries me to set my eyes on the target and neglect all the glitter around. And to be honest, even not having plans worries me, so I decided to do it afraid.

Some people enter college and know exactly what they’re going to be: I will be an accountant, I will be an engineer, I will teach. But that doesn’t work for me. I’m a phytoplankton — I drift around aimlessly and try to live and learn as much as I can. I don’t know if that’s the right attitude, but it’s what I have now.

I’m in my last year of college and I think it’s right that people worry about my not having a plan after graduation. I worry about it, too, of course. But worrying will not magically give me answers to my existential questions. Others have made it. I will make it.

* * *

Angelica D. Mitra, 20, of Sapang Palay, Bulacan, is in her fourth year as a broadcast communication student in PUP Manila.

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TAGS: Angelica D. Mitra, choosing a career, life plans, youngblood
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