Work, play, live
I don’t have the luxury of indulging in daydreams in the shower, because I’m always running late. Whether I forgot to set an alarm the previous night, pressed the snooze button too many times than I should have, or got stuck on social media doing my morning routine on other people’s feeds is, of course, a different story.
In place of shower thoughts, I have jeepney thoughts. Cebu has evolved into a vastly developing urban landscape. What used to be reachable within 30 minutes has become a one-hour commute, in some cases even more, because of the traffic.
But I don’t dwell too much on what my boss will say if I arrive beyond 9 (okay, maybe a little), my seatmate’s sweaty elbows or the exhaust from the buzzing vehicles filling the six-lane road—all of which are beyond my control anyway. Instead, I think of life, like most people my age do, sometimes more often than we probably should.
This year, I graduated from university. Like everyone who finished with Latin Honors, I am very optimistic. I struggled with managing a balanced life given school, part-time jobs here and there, family, church and other responsibilities. I never really did achieve total equilibrium, but by grace, I survived. Overcoming all of those, I thought I could do anything.
A couple of months back, I was watching a Netflix show featuring Christina Tosi, an American pastry chef, where she said that on our first job all we can really do is become someone else’s soldier. That’s currently what I am — a soldier, a frontliner, carrying out orders to win someone else’s battle. But am I not fighting my own battles myself? Am I not also a general? And if I am fighting, who am I up against?
When we go to that first full-time job — tucked-in shirt, combed hair, tinted cheeks — fresh out of college, launching ourselves into the “real world,” we believe that what we learned from 14, 15 or more years of school have filled our cups to the brim. Only for us to find out on our first day that what we have is but a drop in our cups, and still a long, long way to go
before we could take a sip and be satisfied.
But the thing is, I’m not entirely sure if I even want to be completely satisfied. Nor am I certain if complete satisfaction is even possible for human beings. Right now, I’m thirsty and I’d like to be here for a while, or even forever.
I want to remain thirsty, not for material things, but for new ideas, for wisdom, for adventure, for memories, for faith. Satisfaction, for me, brings a kind of stagnation that would encourage one to stay inside a comfort bubble. To live satisfied is to live by default. It’s not a very good way to reside in this ever-changing world.
I think it’s safe to say that we newly employed, or employees in general, are not just soldiers after all. We’re far more than that with our thoughts, our passions, our dreams. We have healed bruises and cuts without military medics. We have steered our ships to the direction of our choosing, some with maps, some with compasses, others following intuition.
Nonetheless, we all need thoughts regardless of where we are, to keep ourselves occupied, and perhaps to achieve much more than just to pass time.
* * *
Niza Mae Cañedo, 22, is a full-time graphic designer, writer here and there.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.