But…

photo obtained from bestmusicbook.com

photo obtained from bestmusicbook.com

Author’s Note: This is actually related to the poem I wrote last week – “I Want To Be” that’s why I used the same picture. Scrambling on my thoughts again…

Going to work every day gets harder and harder. The first thing that comes to mind as soon as I sit in my workstation is – “is it 4:30PM yet?”. After that, I would think about what I would do for the day so I wouldn’t notice the time and all I can think about is how I want to write!

I receive affirmations that I’m doing well at work – that I can definitely lead a team and be “the man”. Most of the time, I don’t believe it and I keep telling my colleagues and friends that I never see myself as one of the bosses. It’s just not in me but I can’t help but wonder about this opportunity – an inevitable opportunity that will present itself in the future – I could really be that person but…

I am no longer as inspired. I am no longer as driven. I am no longer as motivated. Perhaps all frustrations from the past years plus death of relatives have finally taken a toll on how I perceive work. Life is short so why spend it on something that I am not passionate about? I am not frustrated now. I am contented but…

I enjoy my job. I do. I really do but do I love it? Nah! Love is such a strong word. What I love is writing. I’m in love with it and if only I could quit my job and dedicate my entire day to writing I would but…

So why not dedicate my evenings then? I wish I could but I also need to do other stuff in the evenings and weekends like household chores and errands, working out (trying to) and PLAYING video games!!! Yes, I love playing and oddly, I love cleaning too – two more things that I love to do! I already cut my playtime to have an active lifestyle so it’s difficult to squeeze writing at night. Besides, I don’t have enough energy left after spending my entire day in the office. Then again, I remember what my friend used to say all the time back when we were high school students – “if you want it, there are lots of ways; if you don’t, there are lots of excuses*” but…

I feel that I am only half-committed to my full-time job and my writing hobby right now. Every day I see colleagues and friends who are so dedicated at work. How career-oriented they are. How they want to climb the corporate ladder and pursue more studies related to the job. So keen about professional development and continuing education. Oh how I envy them! At times, I come across articles about amateur writers who became best-seller authors. How late bloomers decided to quit work and dedicated themselves to writing despite financial woes. How artists struggle to make end meets but still choose to be artists. So determined in publishing something or creating a masterpiece. Oh how I envy them! Why did I lose that fire? Where did it go? Give me a match and I’ll light it on whatever remaining smoke in me! I want to be fully committed again, it doesn’t matter if it’s to my full-time job or to writing but…

I’m in limbo. I’m just floating in the air, going with the flow – not entirely sure where I’m headed. I don’t even know how to bring back that fire in me. I think this is just a phase while I’m trying to explore my writing skills and my new work but…

I never dream of climbing the corporate ladder nor consider a career shift. Besides, I don’t think I will ever ride a rocket ship and go to the galaxy where the writing planet exists because I need money to live. It’s the practical choice! If I don’t succeed living in that alien world, who knows what might happen to me!?! Don’t get me wrong, I’m very used to failing – failure has been my teacher and it made me realize what true passion is but a failure from something I’m in love with… uhmmm…

No guts, no glory, eh?

“Be a driver, a learner
I want to be a dreamer
Make a diff’rence, be better
I want to be a writer”

* This was said in Filipino, I’m pretty sure a lot of Filipinos know this so this is not originally-written/quoted by my friend: “Kung gusto mo, maraming paraan; kung ayaw mo, maraming dahilan”

– written on June 24, 2015

I Want To Be

photo obtained from bestmusicbook.com

photo obtained from bestmusicbook.com

Author’s Note: So this is a cliché…

I want to be a driver
To experience true passion
Explore things, be a learner
Seek for determination

I want to be a dreamer
To witness a paradise
See the Earth that is brighter
And look forward to what lies

I want to be a writer
To create meaning to words
Give them life as a starter
Then contribute to the world

Be a driver, a learner
I want to be a dreamer
Make a diff’rence, be better
I want to be a writer

– June 18, 2015

Boring Day

photo obtained from www.weirdnutdaily.com

photo obtained from http://www.weirdnutdaily.com

“What to do in a boring day with a boring teacher in a boring class teaching a boring subject in a boring classroom?” – My high school friends and I should have patented this statement! Here’s the back story: Our English teacher accidentally and unintentionally lost our informal theme writing and she asked us to do another one. Of course, being teenagers as we were, we complained A LOT! As a compromise she just told us to write whatever topic we want as long as we write and submit something to her by the end of the class. So, together with 3 others, we came up with the subject (and I’m pretty sure you guess this right) – “Boring Day”.

Almost two decades later and I can still vividly remember this first statement that we put in our informal theme. I can’t believe that I am actually asking the same question these days. Of course, I have to rephrase its parts since I am no longer a student but the main message is the same – What to do in a boring day?

Okay, hold on… I already wrote 5 poems in a span of 7 days last August about my boredom at work. The titles are actually funny so allow me to share: (1) Batugan (this is a Filipino term, which means slacker), (2) Boredom (so obvious!), (3) Struggling with Boredom, (4) And My Boredom Continues…, and (5) Psyching Myself From Boredom. Is it still not obvious enough that I was so bored? One might think that I was in the exact position as last year but it’s actually very different. Last year, I was employed by a different company and at that time the work progress was slower than a snail. I was stuck in a task that wasn’t even part of my job description and responsibilities. Also taking into account my frustrations, all of it became monotonous resulting to boredom. A negative boredom, if there is even such a thing.

Once again, I’m facing a battle against boredom – what should I do to win this? Write a poem? Nah! I feel like I already used most of my boredom-related vocabularies when I wrote those poems. So instead of a poem, here I am scrambling with my thoughts. Actually, I think this is a positive boredom (again, if there is even such a thing). The good thing about it is I don’t feel frustrated. I’m not upset too, I just don’t have anything to do! That’s the problem if one doesn’t have daily reports to produce, there’s so much down time. Of course I want to be productive so I try to figure out improvement on my processes but more often than not, I end up slacking and losing focus on not-really-urgent and not-really-required tasks.

But, I don’t know… I guess I just miss the adrenaline rush from my very stressful previous work. Oddly, I miss complaining about it. I miss the days when I have to catch up and respond to  tons of emails and attend meetings and conference calls in almost the entire day plus putting out fire here and there. So see? This is indeed a positive boredom. I’m not that stressed, I don’t spend too much time at work and I am now able to compartmentalize, i.e. not worry about work when I’m at home. I am also now sleeping soundly and without dreaming about (or staying awake all night thinking about) models and systems. So what really is my problem? Nothing really, I’m enjoying my new work-life but I’m just afraid that my brain will start to rust.

Anyway, time flies really fast and before I knew it, it’s the busy season again. And when it rains, it pours. Besides, be careful on what you wish for.

And… as long as I still have my creative juice to write then I will always be in a better place. All I have to do is just enjoy this positive boredom! Hoooray!!! 😀

– June 9, 2015

Luha / Tears

Author’s Note: Yesterday was my mom’s third death anniversary and I want to pay tribute by posting this poem that I wrote in Filipino, 7 weeks after she passed away. I wrote the English version last week but I really had a hard time translating and still making it sound like a nice poem; may be because I don’t have the same emotion back then. Anyway, I’m still in the process of trying to write a better version and I’ll post in if I am able to sort it. Oh yeah, about the pic, this is her final resting place, it’s a columnbary.

Filipino and Original Version:

Patuloy ang pagpatak ng mga luha
Nangungulila sa iyong pagkawala
Alam kong masaya ka na sa piling Nya
Ngunit kay hirap pala ngayong wala ka na

Lumipas na ang pitong linggong parang panaginip
Hindi iniinda at pinipilit hindi isaisip
Ngunit heto ako ngayon, nagmumukmok sa isang tabi
Hindi na maiwasan pang magkubli

Sana’y nadarama ko ang iyong yakap na kay higpit
Sana’y naririnig ko ang iyong tinig na kay liit
Sana’y maaari kitang muling mahagkan
Ngunit lahat ng ito’y hindi na muling magagampanan

Ngayon ang buhay ko’y patuloy sa pagtakbo
Ang bawat araw ay ginugugol sa trabaho’t laro
Ngunit pakiramdam ko’y hindi na ako buo
Dahil nagkaroon ng malaking puwang ang aking puso

Dadaloy ang mga oras, buwan, at taon
Mga luha’y unti-unti ring maanod kasabay ng panahon
Ngunit aking pagmamahal ay nakaukit na sa bato
At habang buhay akong mangungulila sa paglisan mo

English Version:

Can’t keep my tears from flowing
Since that day, I’ve been longing
Up there, I know you’re smiling
But it’s hard to go on living

‎Seven weeks! Am I still dreaming?
Pain and aches, I’m not minding
Now here I am, grim and sulking
Can’t escape, no more hiding

‎Your tight embrace, I’m hoping
To hear your voice, I’m wishing
Your sweet kisses, I’m missing
But these are just wishful thinking

‎Now life must keep on going
Go back to working and playing
But I’m not whole, something’s lacking
My heart is wounded and bleeding

Hours will continue running
With time, my tears will be drifting
But my love will be staying
‘Till eternity, I’ll be longing

– the Filipino and original version was written on July 24, 2012 while the English version was written on May 29, 2015