“What is this I’m feelin’
I just can’t explain
When you’re near
I’m just not the same.”
–Jamie Rivera, I’ve Fallen For You
No, Tita Jamie, this isn’t just love. At the risk of downplaying that many-splendored thing, this one’s a lot harder to explain. The most precise description you’ll get from its “victims”—usually in their late 20’s to early 30’s—is already “yung may kulang talaga, may hinahanap ka, perohindi mo alam kung ano, kung saan mahahanap, basta”, and they used to be so eloquent at that. It can strike anywhere without warning—while in your office pantry at 3 p.m. or while staring at your ceiling at 2 a.m. Yeah, it sounds a lot like love, but this one unfortunately doesn’t make the world go round. In fact, it shatters theirs. So what is this? They say: sirit.
It’s not mid-life crisis—they’re too young for that. They refuse to believe they’re already halfway through their dying age—I can’t be dying at 60 or 65, they’ll say—while their one hand is flicking a yosi. It’s not quarter-life crisis either. They’ve already gone through that disillusioned and whining stage some five or seven years ago, and they’ve never looked back since. Now they’re called sir’s and ma’am’s, and they roll their eyes at fresh grads who think they’re too smart to just be making coffee for the boss. They’ve long accepted life’s realities like losing the promotion to devious workmates who kiss ass to get on top—and that tweeting about it won’t really make much a difference. Paying the bills is still a bitch, but they’ve managed quite well, thank you very much. In fact, if what they’re feeling is the kind of restlessness that makes people go soul-searching in India for, they can very well save up for it. They used to laugh at those who actually need to travel over seas just to “find themselves”, but now they know how it feels to be the punchline themselves. Hindi nakakatawa.
It’s being neither at the start of the race nor near the finish line. It’s being somewhere in the middle but with a comfortable lead. In fact, they can already see the finish line from where they are. They don’t know exactly how far it is, but at least they know they’ve come this far—and yeah, they realize they’ve been running for quite a while. And for the first time, they feel really, really tired and they just want to stop—but they can’t. They actually can, but they won’t. Ang layo na ng tinakbo ko, ngayon pa ba ‘ko titigil? they’ll say. The finish line doesn’t look as enticing as it used to be, and they’re surprised to know they’re not thinking too much about finishing at all—not on this race, at least. They’d like to make a detour or take an off-beaten track—finally start their own business, get an MBA, or “pursue their true passion”, for lack of a less icky term—but they’re afraid. “What if I’m wrong? What if I fail? Will I ever get back on this race?” they’ll ask. Nobody knows for sure. What’s clear though: they’re afraid of it more than they want it. For now.
Maybe that’s why we don’t have a name for this. They’re aware that it sounds more like being ungrateful for being blessed than an actual crisis, so they don’t talk openly about it. They just deal with it alone or with others who are also in this crisis with no name. Make no mistake about it: they know they’re blessed and they’re grateful for it really, it’s just that they feel they want something more, there’s more to making money than this, they feel… Basta. From an outsider’s
point of view, it’s just another case of pag-iinarte—on a more mature and privileged level. “You have a great job, you don’t live paycheck to paycheck, you can go shopping anytime you want to… So ano’ng problema mo?” Basta, hindi ko alam.
Ay, patay tayo dyan.
In reality, no, they’re not dead—far from it. That feeling of still being unsettled despite winning so far? It doesn’t always mean being ungrateful. It just means that they know they can do so much better. It’s much like ranting about mediocrity and kissing ass even after seven years of working. That sounds a little juvenile, yes, but somehow it’s great to know they haven’t lost all the idealism in them after all their years in the corporate world. Hey, you want to slow down, you
want to rest, you want to breathe. Guess what? You can. Because you deserve it.
Finally, something to call this crisis with no name:
This could be the start of bigger things to come—whether in this race or in another. Of course, this could be potentially heartbreaking too, but you couldn’t have possibly gone this far without having a resilient heart and amazing talent. You have to be braver than you’ve ever been. Trust your self. He’s been the running the race with you since the starting pistol, ngayon ka pa ba niya ipapahiya? And what makes him so sure of you and so sure that you’re still not dead? Your self replies something so obscure yet oh so familiar: Basta.
You understand that, don’t you?#