I’m still not done pondering about last Friday night’s trip to Cubao-X. I don’t know what happened to me there, but somewhere in the middle of looking through the glass window displays of those boutiques that already closed for the day, and being in Vintage Pop as it closed its doors for good, I realized something about myself that I’ve been trying so hard to deny for a while now.
I’m a coward.
It sucks, being thought of as successful in what I’m doing, but really, I feel so far behind. I’m too attached to my comfort zone, and it’s sad, because I know that I could do so much more.
Lately, I would try to absorb as much words of wisdom and inspiration from random strangers, thinking that I need all the courage-booster I could get for when it’s time for me to take the leap. But often, instead of being inspired to be better and to do something about this wealth of knowledge I’m exposed to everyday, I feel frustrated instead. Why can’t I just do it? What am I waiting for? What am I still doing here? Why can’t I, like her, just take the leap into the unknown? Why why why?
Questions, questions. I have lots of them.
I hate that about myself — having too many questions all the time. Must be rooted to my pessimism. Yep, that’s me. Pessimistic to the very core. My natural instinct is to see imperfection in things. Show me a beautiful picture and I swear, I’d see something wrong about it. Offer me a brilliant opportunity, and I’d see complications, and problems that might arise, and unimportant reasons why it would fail. Put me under pressure, and the best solution I could think of is to back out.
I’m not sure when I started to become like this. I wasn’t like this. In the words of a former boss, ”Cynicism is not your thing. You’re sunshine, you’re guitar music. But cynic, you are not.” I remember feeling insulted by those words before, but now, tell me I’m that and I’d be, if anything, proud of myself. At this point, I’m a coward hiding behind my sunshiney, I’m doing-exactly-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-life, oh-hai-I’m-going-to-chase-my-dreams mask.
Today, I arrive at the conclusion that if I stay a coward like this, I will surely fail. But I don’t want to fail! Which perhaps makes me more of a coward. (No wait, chicken or egg? I got lost, too.)
I may be pessimistic alright, but my Dad used to tell me that I can be very passionate about some things too, if only I would put my head and my heart into it.
And so I promise to be better. (Shut up, I know you heard that already. I’m not talking to you, I’m reminding myself.)
Notes-to-self to start the week, maybe you’ll need them too:
It’s not too late to start again somewhere. Bong Salaviera, the owner of Vintage Pop whom I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting last Friday, is migrating to Canada with his family next month. Along with this comes the difficult decision of closing down his lovely store. Just when he’s already established something remarkable, he’s got to leave everything behind and start from scratch in an unknown place and culture without a clue how to do it. He’s in his late-thirties or early-forties. And here I am, at 26, frantic about my career, and my life, and what direction I should take. Stop worrying, Riz.
Stick with what you love to do. One of the things I learned in the 5-years that I was a corporate slave is, I can only excel in what I love doing. When you start to feel like you just have to endure being there, then that’s the time to go, no more prolonging the agony. There’s gotta be something in the job (more than the income) that’s worth being there for. At this point in my life, I have pretty much imagined what kind of ventures I’d like to invest my time and money in. While there are a bunch of opportunities out there — some seems more profitable than the others — you have to choose that one opportunity that makes your heart flutter. It just won’t work without passion, and love. Bank in on love, Riz.
Don’t be afraid to fail, coward. Admitting that I am one, I’m starting to feel good about myself already. Acceptance is always the first step, anyway, and now, I’ve accepted the grim reality why I’m stuck where I am. See, I’m making progress already. It’s okay to fail, Riz. That only means you tried.
*Photo credit: Creampuff.tumblr.com