Tonight, although I feel flustered and lethargic because of the great task ahead of me tomorrow, I chose to prepare my lectures and presentations instead of indulging in my usual self-defeating thoughts and routine procrastination. If this is a mark that I am crossing the fence to maturity, I am definitely not liking it.
Tomorrow, I’ll start working on another job. Currently, I hold three jobs, this one I am preparing for right now is going to be my fourth. By any standards, this is suicide. At the end of this month, I’d be more than happy to conclude my weekend classes, which will give me a two-day breather to smell the flower. Still, I have three jobs until October which is tantamount to slashing my throat with a rusty knife. If I do not die of hemorrhage, I will of tetanus or infection. If not from any or both, I’ll die of exhaustion from attempting to slit my windpipe with a dull knife. I should just hang myself then, but even finding time to hang myself is a luxury.
Is it about the money? Partly. I have to pay for food, transportation, laundry, rent (good thing this has been waived, but definitely is retroactive in nature), and stuff that give me an illusion that I am living a balanced life (movie tickets, books, play tickets, coffee, etc.).
Is it about the advancement of my career? Laughable. My resume will not leave a Makati CEO running for his cash. Besides, I have no intention of becoming a corporate slave. I can be any kind of slave, save a corporate boot licker, and never in Makati.
Is it about experience and seeing the kaleidoscopic world using the spectacle of an un-bespectacled over-worked-underpaid, cash-strapped, twenty-something worker? Melodramatically no. If I want to experience life, it’s not going to be through these means.
It’s hard to give a definitive response to the question why I am working or why I am working this hard.
We romanticize work and make it appear like a moral imperative, that it makes us more confident of ourselves and that we deserve to live because after all work is the foundation of civilizations, and because we work, ergo, it is on us that the whole concept of humanity rests, we are made to believe.
However, upon scrutiny and thorough philosophizing, we come to a grim conclusion that our reason for working is as mundane as escaping boredom or as banal as finding something ‘meaningful’ to do while we pass time. When our fleetingness finally comes to a halt and stop being fleeting, then finally we have truly freed ourselves from the thought that working ourselves to death is working to live.
We begin to live.