Over California maki and angel hair pasta,
friend kept on telling me how badly he wanted to be on top of every game. He
wanted to achieve what other people are achieving—living their dream jobs and
earning money they can freely spend on whatever they want. He said he’s happier
doing extra-curricular jobs like blogging and organizing social movement events
instead of his usual nine-to-five job. But given the instability of his “side
jobs”, he cannot quit for now. He said studying was much better than working.
We get up, go to school, get good grades, eat, chat and then go home. The next
year, we’re going the higher levels of learning but all the more the same. He said
we know where we’re going—not really predictable but relatively easy compared
to working our asses off for a company or a bigger name. The “real world’s”
just so big and a total black hole—we never what’s next or we’ll have an
inkling but we’re not really sure so we end up not knowing at all. He lit up
his third stick and waited for my reply.
I thought I cannot tell him that much. I don’t
usually talk because I’d rather listen and have you rant things up and discover
the lessons and gems along the litanies and grand ole speeches you make. But
alas, I have to.
I told him plainly that things don’t usually
work the way we want. Paulo Coelho may have said that the universe conspires to
make things happen (or whatever close to that) but more often than not, before
the conspiracy, there’s the whole poking and mockery that happens. Universe=
bajillion points, You= nil. So yeah, don’t think that it’s only your problem—that
you don’t get what you want right now. Awesome work assignment, five or six
digit salaries or even your dream job. Others have it worse, I told him.
He lit up another stick and asked me in
between huffs and puffs to help him decide what to pursue. He added that his
boss was just too much to handle plus friends inside the office are leaving one
I told him the boss might be one helluva pain
in the ass but she’s still the boss, so you can’t really cross her. The only
thing that you can do is to keep away from her ire as much as possible, do the
best work that you can so she’ll stop yelling and cursing you and well, let her
do the talking. She’ll get tired one of these days. Hehe. Kidding aside,
choosing to let the boss be the boss is much better than telling them that they’re
wrong and that they should stop being a bull. We should learn to choose our
fights, and these are the ones we should sit down and allow the bullets to go
past us. Plus the bosses hold our recommendations and the wider network
connections, so burning bridges will not get us a good way out.
And then of course, friendships with former colleagues can still be pursued even outside office premises. We just have to make time.
He said he’s tired of being told, “you’re
still young,” or “you’re too young, come back after you’ve gained enough
experience.” It doesn’t just make a good excuse, according to him.
I’ve struggled with that for some time
before. It’s either I’m young; they expect so much energy from me. Or that I’m too young to be included in some
grown- up discussions on grown- up topics that straddle the lines of politics,
economics, social services or environment. I could have told them that my
collegiate debate experience gave me a relatively firm grasp on things and
topics usually discussed by grown-ups. But ignorance dawns and there’s more to
our idealism and enthusiasm that meets the eye. Over the course of my short
work experience, I told him I learned to be patient because as said previously
we don’t hold things within our small hands. We can only do so much, so we do
our best on whatever task that’s laid before us. It may be menial for now but
the principle is proven: if we can be trusted to deliver on small things, we
deserve to be trusted on much bigger responsibilities.
I told him we have to earn these things we’re
asking for—trust, respect or even the bigger salaries we dream of. The real
world doesn’t only work on merit, experience and maturity also counts. There
may be a blessed few who made it to the top on a relatively short time, but of
course, it still wasn’t and would not be easy. They have to prove they deserve
that. The main thing is to be patient and contented for what we have right now.
The rewards begin to unfold once we’ve learned to take things on its due
I gathered he finished six sticks that night.
My lungs would have given up except that it might have gotten used to the soot
by now. The occasional speaking made it quite bearable to breathe cleaner air.
I subsisted on tweets that night for updates
on the Gilas-Korea semi-finals game. The surge of virtual nationalism was just
overwhelming especially when the final seconds of the game sealed our ticket to
the finals berth.
Tonight, our team showed true Filipino spirit
when they never gave up against the bigger Iranians. The loss might be a bit
heartbreaking, but the pour of support just made it a better fight. I just hope
that the headlines tomorrow will not highlight the defeat we had but more so,
on the records we’ve broken and the achievements we’ve gained on tonight’s
game. Sabe nga ni Nikko Ramos on his recent Slam Online article, “The odds may not be in our favor, but
sometimes a 5’9″ solution to a 7-foot problem is even sweeter.”
So, congrats Gilas! We’ll make it bigger in
Labels: 2013, asia, basketball, gilas pilipinas, silver, sports