Rant and rage

Most people my age who can’t really be called young neither can we be called old straddle that point when nothing much is going on, but so much is at stake that quitting isn’t really the best option there is. We have children, or pets, a stable relationship, a job that can be considered all right, and a circle of friends that gets wider but paradoxically narrower. People my age are afflicted with this feeling which escapes decent description. It’s boredom, a certain degree of emptiness, being rudderless. I simply have gone too inarticulate to express it in a language that is crisp and does not rely on cliche. I have to admit that not writing for a quite a while now makes my thoughts disorganized. I also don’t want to whine and rant here because I would sound like a thankless millennial who fails to recognize how despite the comfort I am able to afford myself of I still find it almost natural to complain about how bad life is treating me. But I also don’t want to sound like life is truly good. I am not depressed, nor am I the happiest in the world. I hope this is all just hormonal imbalance. 

I can go on with this, fill the whole screen with nonsense. And tire myself writing meandering musings, complain about work, wax vitriol about this country and how one is left with no option but to be indifferent and numb because being indifferent and numb is the most visceral response one can have amid all the killings and scandals hounding this country. I find solace in watching cat videos before I go to bed every night, in petting my three cats when at least one of them decided he wants to be petted, or in watching videos of the gaffes and stupidity committed by Trump. Schadenfreude. I find consolation in the fact that I don’t have the unfortunate hairdo, the propensity to drop daft statements, and the sadness of having to face all the ire and rage of the world alone.

I still am luckier. But I don’t want to be just lucky. I want to scream and be enraged and be part of a bigger narrative. Honestly, I don’t exactly know. There are days when I’m thankful that I’m one of those nameless faces on the MRT and nights when I think I deserve more than all these. 

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3 thoughts on “Rant and rage”

  1. perhaps you need to introduce an element of risk, and even the real possibility of failure (manageable failure that would not risk your job, for example) into your present situation.

    you”ve had a brilliant ‘parcours’, honors student all the way, engaged in the top unis, couple of stints abroad, graduate studies abroad and still continuing.

    but are you really engaging all your intellectual capacities or are you keeping yourself well inside your ”comfort zone” as the Americans call it:-)?

    why not for example, knock on the doors of the Goethe Institute in Manila and say : hi, i don’t really need it but i’d like to learn German:-).

    it’s a language that i’d abandoned, failed in, and yet taken up again, am the worst in the class (never imagined that i’d find myself in such a situation though yours truly definitely doesn’t have your capacities, but French was not that bad, for ex. and from grade school to uni, have never been the worst in class) still, am holding on and finding out that it’s ok, mainly because have decided that i have only my own expectations to take into account and no other person’s. it’s torture, am not masochistic (or maybe i am:-)) but am definitely hanging on, despite making errors that probably made the prof winch and want to send me to hell or back to level -10:-).

    as far as i can see, you’ve had a perfect ‘parcours’ but it’s precisely the perfection that can bother, and in my humble opinion, a too comfortable or perfect existence is not something that produces interesting or even good writing.

    one of my favorite writers (in my absolute top 10:-)) was kicked out of high school (admittedly a top one, not that i’m recommending giving up school at all to anyone, on the contary, as not all have the financial resources to give oneself an excellent education without going to school nor the genius to pull it off), had to take on odd jobs before being published, and has brought himself to a position of professional, social and economic ease.
    he’s prolific (1 or 2 novelsa year that sell out, basically, a handful of columns, including a daily) and very much in demand because he always has interesting and intelligent stuff to say. and that’s because despite all that success, he’s always trying to put himself in positions of ”unease”, doing stuff like having himself interned in a madhouse (ok, psychiatric institution), being a guest on a stranger’s holiday or posing nude for an artist, though taking off one’s clothes in public is something he’s always hated since childhood. he doesn’t shy away from situations where he doesn’t really control everything or which could be interpreted as failure.

    it’s only normal to want to succeed in all that one does if only not to waste time, effort or money (though for the last, you’ve surpassed the stage where wasting a bit is not an issue) or to keep up with social pressure and not have to admit failure to family, friends, acquaintances or colleagues (perhaps not in that order:-)) but just like toddlers learning to walk (ok a very trite example, but do not have your literary talent) being scared of trying something due to the possibility of being ashamed of failure and not wanting to try again only leads to the sense of immobility that you describe in this post.

    i know, in the philippines, the American model of always wanting to be number 1 or the best or not failing is adhered to and probably necessary to survival, but there comes a point when you have already achieved a comfortable existence and it’s time to really dare something in which you might fail and tell yourself it’s worth the dare.

    and you have reached that point probably, the point where you are succeeding at everything rather predictably and need to re-introduce this element of the unpredictable, the unknown, even the not immediately ”useful”, according to the Anglo-Saxon world view:-).

    you owe it to yourself at some point in time and to no one else.

    just dropped by coz heard the news of the Nobel Lit prize an hour ago on the radio, somehow, my train of thoughts led to your blog, will always want to be in touch, soon again hopefully.
    wishing you all the best.

    p.s. will probably nag you about it regularly, but do check the link i’d sent you thru email last, the range of possibilities has been widely extended to include ALL fields, just have a look, won’t take up too much of your time, and maybe a spark will light up, hopefully. i really think it would do you nothing but good, hopefully sooner than later, to go down that path.

  2. Impressed& happy to hear from you once more. Re: “… I think I deserve more than all these”: was evident already 10+ yrs ago. See you when I see you!

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