Five months have gone by. If you ask me whether I’ve learned anything related to my purpose of coming here in Vietnam, I’ll unabashedly say not much. If you ask me whether it has done something good for my career, I’m not quite sure, probably it hasn’t. If you ask me what I feel now, it’s fear. Thinking about the things I will confront in the Philippines when I go back home occupies me, and in some days, eats up the entire of me. It’s a similar feeling during the last months of my stay in college. I remember waking up at three in the morning contemplating about the job I would be in after graduation. The feeling is almost the same, but this time the pressure is more daunting because I do not anymore have reasons to fail. I have to build up my career for my family and for myself. Failure is not part of the equation, but failure here is like those mathematical problems I encountered before which I barely understood how my teachers and classmates were able to come up with the answer. It’s like, if A did this and during that time B was sleeping and C was doing something pervert with D; who ate the cake in the cupboard six years ago? And then the teacher will make some assumptions, not part of the equation, which will be an important step in solving the problem. In my case now, failure is somewhat like that. The teacher (and my classmates, except me) knew that X did it, which left me baffled and scratching my nose.
Now, scratching one’s nose is not anymore fashionable for my age.
This blog has been in existence for around five months. Some articles were well-read, some were flops, but all of them are attempts to be truthful. I tried hard to capture with words my exact thoughts and to make them as close to reality as possible. Sometimes, when I reread some of them, I discovered mistakes, grammatical flaws, faulty logic, or I thought of rewriting them in a more fluid manner to make them easier for my readers. I often change them; or like any young people, I just let most of them as they are not because I am a sentimental writer but because I’m just lazy to do it with my staple reason of not having enough time to do it. I’ve made friends because of this blog, some thanked me because of the insights I shared, and few hated me even more than they hated me in real life. And through this blog, I had the closest encounter with a death threat. Somebody threatened me to hurt my family members because of a single article I wrote. That experience made me to reconsider the limit of what I write. But more than anything else, it was plain scary. And although I had to make that post private, I am thinking of having that published someday when I have already established myself as a professional writer. For now, I am shelving that somewhere; I also get scared, I’m only human.
My intention for writing Going Against the Current is for it to be just a plain, personal blog, but this didn’t keep me from writing commentaries on Philippine politics, media, student life, activism, and other social realities in my country and around me. They are purely my opinions based on what I think is rational. In rare occasions, when the knack of being literary bugs me, I’ve also made some shaky attempts to write short stories, but I know they were of inferior value because I simply am not cut to be a literati.
Just now, while looking outside, the world seemed to be too difficult to conquer, impossible is the more suitable world, but I won’t allow this feeling of awe to make me lackadaisical. I’m too young to give up now; too young to say I cannot do it, too young to stop dreaming. You see, I do not advise you to write while it’s raining outside. Rain has the tendency to make your writings overly melodramatic.