January 6, 2012 § 4 Comments
I’ve finally gone ahead and done it. I’ve committed – to a proper blog. I’ve never really understood blogs, not since my last one back when I was 16. I guess I never really understood the point of putting your thoughts up in cyberspace for all the world to see. I mean, what is an ordinary person meant to write about that’s so interesting that other people (who aren’t their friends) would care to read? Heck, I don’t even want to hear about my day, let alone strangers. Except maybe for the Kardashians’, I am loath to admit. But maybe that’s just me.
Now that I’ve decided to put myself on this (psychological) gap year, though, I feel like I finally have something to say. This whole trip that consists wholly of holidays and conversation upon conversation upon conversation with beloved girlfriends always falls back into the same things – talk of the future over endless cups of coffee.
I suppose it’s because we’re at that point in our lives where the dreams we were dreaming can now actually come into being. The seemingly endless years of being told “You can do what you want when you finish college” by our parents weren’t endless after all. They’ve ended, and we are here, now, and decisions have to be made. Weighty decisions that determine the course of our futures – decisions that we had been waiting to make for decades but now confound us to no end, decisions that we cannot afford NOT to make, at the risk of life just passing us by with absolutely no sense of direction. Yet still, some of us are more decided than others, some of us just a little bit more lost than the people supposedly in the same boat.
I am out of the boat, completely. I’ve decided to jump overboard and swim towards the beach where I’ve chosen to bury my head in the sand for a little while longer.
I know it’s not like me to do something like this. It’s not like a member of my family, or my (stereotypical) race, even. But it’s the lesser of two evils – to continue struggling against the jungle of choices and decisions that need to be weighed and considered, then taken, or to stay sane and healthy. Hopefully (somewhat naively) happy. Right now, at this point, I can only choose sanity. It’s all the answer I can muster at the moment, and the world will just have to content itself with, “I don’t know…yet.” as the best answer I can give right now.
There’s this concept in Filipino called pagwawala, from the verb magwala which means to run amok. It’s something akin to the concept of the show Girls Gone Wild, except possibly with less boob exposure. When I told my mother I had decided magwala this year, she looked at me with a raised eyebrow that pulsed suspicion and scepticism and asked me, “You’re not going to get pregnant ‘by accident’, are you?” No I am not. I explained that when I say pagwawala I simply mean that I’m going to take this year to figure out what I want to do with my life at leisure, steeling my heart against expectationspressuresandstress and just following my heart, which at the moment yearns excitement and the experience of youth (but more on that later). To which she replied, “Oh. So a gap year?” Ah! That sounds much more promising than running amok.
And so, I am on a gap year. The concept of a gap year is something I learned in Australia. It’s taking a year off between high school and uni to do whatever it is young people do – whether it’s spending the year on the couch, veging out or couch surfing across Europe.
While being optimistic, let’s be realistic though. For a person like me, a gap year doesn’t mean unemployment and a solid year of Robinson Crusoe-like adventures. What it means (most probably) is getting a job (instead of a career) to save up enough money to see a bit of a world before answering the (now dreadful) question – “What do you want plan to do with your life?”
Before taking on blogging again, I was given the advice that the best blogs are the ones with focus. And so, I’ve decided this one to chronicle my (psychological) gap year – (hopefully) my journey from being lost to finding myself, from being a confused little girl to a decided young woman, from having absolutely no answers to finding the best one from the set of alternatives before me.
So. Here’s to blogging, here’s to youth and life. Here’s to asking the questions and trying to find the answers.