Another Monotony

routine

photo credit to dreamstime.com

Author’s Note: I wrote a poem with the title “Monotony” last year, hence, I’m calling this “Another Monotony”.

It’s 4:45, it’s time to wake up
I need to rush and catch my train
Or I will be grumpy and late
But I always see things in gray
Set in a film that’s black and white
It’s another ordinary day
It’s not amusing, it’s just routine

I spend the hours at the office
I waste my precious time drifting –
Going along or zoning out
As if I am really working hard
I’m still in a film set in black and white
So I try to paint colours and hue
But I fail and I’m left without a clue

Finally, it’s time to go home
This is what I am waiting for
Now I see a rainbow, my paradise
My only escape from melancholy
It’s marking the end of insanity
Wishing for tonight to never end
For when I wake up, all is the same

– May 12, 2016

The Story Of 2015 (Kwentong 2015)

2015

photo credit to topcentral.top

Author’s Note: I started my yearly wrap-up at the end of 2013. I wrote 2013 and 2014 in Filipino. This is a wrap up of my 2015, first time to write this in English… scroll down to the last part for a short poem I wrote about the new year.

If my last 2 years were roller coaster rides, 2015 was the exact opposite! It actually started with full of excitement, looking forward to the change, to my new work, to a new chapter. I wished I could sum up my 2015 with this word – excitement – but this word is overrated. Instead, my 2015 is best described by this word – boredom.

Positive boredom, as I’ve said in one of my writings in 2015. I was probably just convincing myself that there is such a thing. Fortunately, this boredom led to explorations.

Story of Boredom (or Story of Stress)

If I were to graph and compare my stress level in 2014 and 2015, it would look like this:

kwentong 2015

Definitely less stress this year! It’s good, right? Well, my stress mainly come from work and since I started my new job in Dec 2014, my stress significantly decreased. I was filled with excitement when I changed job then somehow, it diminished and suddenly evaporated. I lost my fire when I didn’t get enough adrenaline rush from work then I felt bored.

It was a “positive boredom” since everything was okay. There was less stress, no issues at work, new work wasn’t that difficult, I don’t have complains about my bosses, my colleagues or the company. But that was the problem, it was just okay! Nothing special, everything’s normal, just fine, just okay! Then before I knew it, I was already trapped in a quicksand and I was gradually sinking into a vacuum where I would drown. I had to recover fast or else it’s going to be the end…

Story of Life and Death

Then, a relative who just got married, suddenly passed away at a young age of 33. The cause of death was MRSA, a bacteria that caused his organs to shut down. He was survived by a pregnant wife. Very tragic but it’s not the end of the world. We have to carry on. We have to cope with death no matter how painful it is.

He was also a doctor and was in the process of completing his specialization. His demise served as a reminder and a reaffirmation on how short life is. One day, I may be practicing my chosen day job or writing or worse – just spending my days being bored then next day, I might be gone. Why waste my life to boredom and/or to something that doesn’t make me better, like being stuck? I must recover from these blues now! Whatever it takes, I need to pull myself from this quicksand. And so…

Story of Exploration

First exploration – I need to lose weight! Not only that I gained several pounds because of stress eating in my roller coaster years, I also need to prove to myself once again that I am disciplined and determined. Since I have more time now because of better work-life, why not devote some of my hours to working out? Hurray! After 1 yr, I lost 20lbs! (I worked hard to earn this bragging right so let me brag now while I still can.) Though now, I’m feeling the pressure of maintaining this weight and lifestyle. Hmmm, let’s see how this goes. Maybe by end of 2016, I will gain 50lbs! Uh oh, I wish not!

Second exploration – I need to network and build relationships! Network has an important role in my day job and since I also want to improve myself, why not meet new people? For an introvert like me, this was very difficult. I am socially awkward and I have social anxiety whenever I meet people from finance or even going out with my officemates. I just can’t handle small talks but I have to be out of my comfort zone. I’m still working on this but I’m getting by very slowly! I met a couple of new people this year. I’m happy that I am maintaining contacts with my previous co-workers too. I’m hoping this will continue in 2016 so this is another let’s-see. Finally, my third exploration…

Story of Passion (a.k.a. “Kwentong Heto na Kaya” or in English Story of Is this It)

It’s been my tradition to have an update to this story. This is my third exploration – my passion, my writing! Stop asking questions, stop being confused, THIS IS IT! Pursuing passion will always be an ongoing journey, always an exploration, a learning process that will never end unless I quit.

Thankfully, before the year ended, I finally managed (and hopefully succeeded) to write something different, something that is not about my rant and less personal. But I want more! I want to be more inspired, I want to see all the possibilities and explore what I am capable of. Who knows, I might finish my short story this year.

A new year, a new beginning
A hope to continue living
A start to mend the broken heart
A plan to finally play the part
To dream while pursuing passion
To find any inspiration
To smile and laugh in bad days
In this new year, this new chapter
I’m committed to be better

I’m looking forward to what 2016 will bring despite not knowing about the future. As is the ending of my yearly wrap-ups, here I am still singing and dancing, Bollywood style*:

All izz well
Woot woot woot
Hey bro, all izz well…

*This is a song from my favorite movie, an Indian film about passion and excellence, 3 Idiots.

– January 6, 2016

Zombie Worker (Just Rambling)

Author’s Note: This is still related to my previous posts, “I Want To Be” and “But…”; I was thinking of using the same photo in those posts for continuity but I thought it’s funnier to use these zombie workers instead.

My fire is slowly dying. Once it’s gone, I’m afraid I’ll become a zombie worker who just wakes up each day, goes to work, does the job, waits until the day is over, goes home, enjoys the night with the family then repeats the same routine next day. You see them in the office everyday disguising themselves as hardworkers. They could be anyone from the slackers to the top performers. Only one way to distinguish them is through their eyes – there are no sparks in them. They’re in auto-pilot mode and just have a mindset of “let’s just do the job!”. For zombie workers, the main motivation for work is money – it’s all about paying the bills. There’s nothing wrong with that since they earn money and they accomplish the job but it’s wasted talent, and definitely wasted time, if money is the main driving force.

I’m dragging myself each day to work and all I can think about is how I badly want to retire and/or write. I want to pursue writing but I don’t know the next steps. For now, I just want to continue writing and rambling on my thoughts but I want to write more – I want to explore all the possibilities, I want to write about all the ideas in my head but somehow, they don’t come out smoothly. I hit a wall; I’m stuck and I’m uninspired. I don’t know why, may be this zombie virus is impacting my creative juices. How do I turn this around? I don’t know… I hope this is just a phase.

Why is it that I’m enjoying my job and yet I’m not excited about it? Why is it that I like it and yet I’m so bored with it? Why is it that I still find it challenging and yet I’m not looking forward to learn more about it? Why is it that despite the busy schedule and tight deadlines I still don’t feel the adrenaline rush? Why is it that in spite of being recognized I still don’t feel proud? It’s dull! Oh, why?

There’s only one word to explain – PASSION.

I am gradually turning into a zombie worker because of passion – the absence of it. I just had an epiphany that this job is not for me but even if I change job or go back to my previous one, I will encounter this same problem because of the lack of that word. If I would take that route, I would probably have more responsibilities, more stress and less time. Then, I would have an instant escape from what I am truly feeling and not deal with this. Here in my current job, I have some idle time and I can’t help but think about this. So, do I divert and take a detour or do I drive right into it and face it now?

I don’t really have any problem, do I? I’m just so bored and I don’t know how to bring back the fire in me. I guess, I just have to learn how to embrace this and figure out a way to create smoke in my day-to-day work life and prevent the fire from dying. Embracing it doesn’t mean that I will fully turn into a zombie worker but it’s for me to find a cure to this virus asap. I need to search for something to look forward to in each waking workday, whatever that is. May be writing while idle is the start then hopefully this will evolve to more than just rambling.

Reminder to self:

Don’t you want to be a driver, a learner, a dreamer?
Or did you forget about your goal to make things better?
Isn’t it that it’s about becoming a great writer?
Then why are you turning into a zombie worker?

– August 11, 2015

Each Day

photo credit to www.123rf.com

photo credit to http://www.123rf.com

Author’s Note: This is how I feel about work in the past months or so… If only I could stop working and just retire. Oh well!

Each day I struggle
Lost my drive, don’t know why
I’m facing a hurdle
Don’t bother. Oh, I try!

Dragging myself each day
Keep counting all the hours
I wish I could just stay
Don’t want to go else where

Each day I am more bored
Errr… how do I get by?
‎Battling this to the core
I’m not winning this! Hai (sigh)…

– August 6, 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

Trying to Write

photo obtained from www.seoclerk.com

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

Author’s Note: I wrote this sometime 2008 when I was sleepy and bored at work. Here goes… p.s. the last stanza isn’t the original, I find the original stanza too wordy so I edited it, but I posted the original version too just because.

I can’t think of anything that rhymes
But I still want to try to write
Let’s see if this is going to be fine
Even if I can’t seem to get it right

So what’s gonna be my topic this time?
Think! Think! To make this sublime!
Is it about love, friendship, happiness?
Or is it about nothing or just plain madness?

I’m still at a lost, where is this heading?
Been trying so hard to put some meaning
What to do to make this interesting?
Or should I just leave this and start working?

Original last stanza:

I’m still at a lost to where this is heading
But I’ve been trying too hard just to put some meaning
What should I do to make this still interesting?
Or should I just leave this as is and go do other things?

– written on October 8, 2008

Pissed

Author’s Note: Patience… I’m just waiting for one more thing before I officially start looking for new opportunities. But while I’m enduring (and prolonging) this agony, all I have to do is to write more poems with this theme to help me get by.

Demotivated, discouraged, dissatisfied
I am really pissed and I can no longer hide
What the hell am I doing? It’s time to go!
I don’t see any light and there’s no room to grow

Pessimistic, hopeless, frustrated, and angry
I plan to leave as soon as I can, let’s hurry!
This is going nowhere, this is so terrible
Tried changing paradigm but still miserable

Underrated, unappreciated, unengaged
I’m about to burst, I need to control my rage
This is not doing me good, I’m truly annoyed
This is my trigger. This time, I cannot ignore

Bored and impatient, upset and discontented
It’s the last straw, I am no longer committed
A new environment, I badly want to flee
Just wait a little more before I soon break free

– written on September 18, 2014