By Michael Karlo Lim
I’VE stretched out forever 21 to the point of getting offended by some upstart who began a question with, “Kuya, kuya.” It is a pity that youth is wasted on the young. Here I am now lost between having already done much, doing a lot, wanting to do more, not entirely sure about what to do next and the question: to what end?
I have, without meaning to, deferred the onset of socioeconomic pressures of family and responsibility. I laid out a life timeline from college and, to date, I’ve practically been living its comic book alternate universe. Almost nothing has come about as scheduled and a series of happy accidents had all but given it a life of its own. The path of least resistance is always recommended best taken. I’m still riding that bee’s itch and will continue riding it down.
But in as much as we would all like to subscribe to Confucius, there is just no denying that work – no matter how much you love what you do – still demands a price paid in time, sweat, tears and what have you. We find ourselves wanting to take more frequent breaks but also suffer terrible off-work anxiety when we do. There’s the belief in true reward being the fulfillment of purpose then Meja’s Seven Sisters come pushing theirs. This one is for the hustle. Cue in Cage The Elephant.
The years have all started to become a blur, but most of the dust in the past five has already somehow settled. Facebook Memories dredged up a birthday greeting from a few years back wishing that I “continue to spread excitement and fun to others.” Tugged on the heartstrings, yes, and, at the same time, validated the fact that I am a freaking people pleaser. On the positive, that is a quality valuable to what is now a career in public relations. On the flipside, that killed Robin Williams. Besides throwing money into dining experiences and footwear, what have I really done for myself?
I spiraled into the dumps in the last few days of desperately hanging on to my twenties. Endless reruns of this sitcom have worn out the player, and there is that constant struggle to push back at the past. Down for the count, Rocky rears up his head to say, “There is no such thing as a long time ago. There’s only memories that mean something and memories that don’t.*
We all come at anything from the standpoint of personal experiences that are undeniable. I can only be grateful I am alive. I’m still relatively good with the general direction in which I am headed, and I like most what I see in my rearview. Even through the distorted funhouse kinds, objects in the mirror really are closer than they appear.
“None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” – Henry David Thoreau
Well, happy birthday to me and to everyone else who’s turning a year older this year, too.