Monday, January 23, 2012


Sa mga Nagka-Quarter Life Crisis, It Gets Better

It’s really like when an aunt you only see during Christmas family reunions exclaim na “Ang lak-laki mo na!” and you don’t know exactly how to respond because you are always you, you think, so you never really notice that some considerable time has passed and you have indeed grown astoundingly. You never notice time passing until it is joltingly noticeable like 1999 changing to 2000 compared to the coming of this second year of the second decade of the millennium. You never notice until your usually inactive high school batch Facebook group suddenly comes to life through a flood of open-ended posts soliciting memories about the goings-on after lights out during retreats, the brawls on and off campus, the teachers you crushed on and the ones you cursed, and suddenly, the online merriment when a long-lost classmate you never really bothered with during high school is suddenly part of the fb group probably feels like the party to welcome back the prodigal son. You never notice Time until He suddenly slaps you with a photo taken in 1995. Scanned! Tagged! Shared! SHET!

Just like what Michelle tells her best friend and fellow batch outcast, Romy, “I thought high school was blast!” It didn’t matter what you did and who you hang out with, even to the people you thought must have had a difficult high school life would probably say that high school was fun! Hollywood and Viva Films got it all wrong! There really are no outcasts because in every high school guy's head, he is THAT cool guy unlike that UN-COOL guy! We also fussed over our hair, clothes, and "image" like any of the TGIS cast. In life, as in showbiz, when you're young you're the star. The year I turned 20 I was so sad with the fact that all of a sudden, those beautiful, pained characters in top-rating “youth-oriented programs” were no longer me.

By the time you're 25, this negative energy combusts and consumes you! My generation calls this the “Quarter-Life Crisis.” But just like the high school problems that was supposed to kill us, this existential angst only needs to be ridden out, an illusion of a problem brought about any teenager’s incompetence in accurately predicting what life would be like by the time he reaches the ripe-old age of 25.

Recovery comes after accepting that our pathetic excuses on why you’re stuck in your thankless job, why you’re not earning as much, AND why you’re still single actually just describe the typical quarter-lifer. “Marami pala tayong mababa ang suweldo at walang lovelife! Cheers!” That’s why turning 30 was a blast! It’s the time when you’re much closer to that 25-year old image that your teenaged self hoped for. Suddenly we’re all getting married, starting a family, migrating to greener pastures, getting promoted, finally turning in a profit! We realize that the past's red-number riddled transcript of records and wrong career moves did not kill us, and we're stronger for it. Sheeeet! We are living inspirations quotes!

My most optimistic and patriotic self can be still be skeptical about the very bright prospect recently pegged by HSBC in a CNN report (that the Philippines will leapfrog to be the world’s 16th largest community by 2050). Or maybe that's this nation's quarter-life crisis talking. In any case, I won’t allow any crisis to kill my spirit, I’ll keep on working hard, and will keep on loving even when it hurts, dahil kahit hindi ka sigurado kung may mapapala nga ba, mas mabuti na ‘yun kesa sumuko na lang. It worked in our individual lives, 'di ba? So this might be the time when we think about what we can actually do for others. Let me quote another inspiring movie: “You don’t have to believe in your government. You just have to believe in your country” – Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.

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