This is the story of a girl, who cried a river and drowned the whole world, and while she looked so sad in photographs, I absolutely love her, when she smiles... -Nine Days

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Heavy-eyed today, probably from troubled sleep last night. I find myself in a dilemma which to me felt more like a déjà vu. Been there before…Been there so many times actually. I may have asked myself over a hundred times already. What do I really want? Of course it would have to be something that would make me happy and that’s the bigger question.

My dad worries about my perpetual discontent. He thinks eyeing too many stars would only leave me empty-handed at the end of the race. Too much ambition can drive you insane, he says, at which I’d often raise an eyebrow. I wouldn’t normally argue, if not there’s no telling when the debate would end with him. But mentally I’ll tell myself what Robert Browning once said "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"

I don’t consider myself ambitious. I don’t really aim to be president or famous or have a fridge stuffed with a lifetime supply of chocolates. I only hope to be able to achieve as much as I can handle, and what I can handle would be something that would make my life a little comfortable. I just think that when opportunities knock at our doors, then we should let them in. I don’t want to go to bed at night and blame myself for things that I should have done but was just too scared to try.

Contentment is defined as a state of mind in which one’s desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be—my dad’s definition too. To be satisfied with what I have and take comfort in the knowledge that I’m actually more fortunate than others. He did not favor my decision to leave my previous company in my chase for bigger opportunities in a multi-national firm. He thought my old company was okay, it pays well, takes care of my health, we have beer every Christmas (actually everything na pang-Noche Buena) and if I have to think long-term, then it would be the perfect company where I could lose my hair and teeth eventually.

Comfort zone, yes. I guess that was what scared me really. Being in that company has been very convenient to me and I’ve gotten so immune to pressure to the point that nothing challenges me anymore. I was happy; it felt like my second home, but I knew somewhere outside my zone, was a sky of opportunities waiting for me. I didn’t want to deprive myself of that.

Six months after having relished a totally new culture and here I am, with a void somewhere in me. When I told my dad I wanted to quit my job for an even higher-paying job, he gave me that I-told-you-so look as though I was hearing him say it again. Perpetual discontent.

When do you start getting contented? When do you stop wanting more? Are contentment and happiness two different words?

The thing is, I couldn’t be certain about how I feel with my present job. I’m neither happy nor sad, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. I just feel a little blank. I need some fresh air. Is this bad?

I’m torn between staying where I am right now and living bigger dreams, probably abroad. This is my dilemma. Somehow I’m being cynical about the current state of our country, with politicking and all. My vision of a better future in this job, or in this country is getting blurred each day. But what assurance do I have that working in a foreign country would put an end to my discontent? The thing I fear most is that once I start earning in dollars and amassing enough money to buy my own pleasures, I’d be unstoppable. The time I’ll stop I’ll probably have lost the time to be happy. It maybe too late for me to realize that happiness can’t be bought.

I’m being so wary about all these. I know it’s called taking risks. And I know ultimately everything would depend on me. I guess that’s what’s really disturbing me. I’ve a feeling my dad knows me too well.


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