Sunday, September 18, 2011

The World Runs Best With A Generous Serving of Conflict (Part 1)

 Life seems to be an endless series of conflicting  interests. To a certain degree it is. At least, it has always seemed so, if you fully believe the news and movies. But unlike the news, where fact is merely provided without any (usually) inclination to bias, and the movies, where you simply watch the protagonist choose his path and get on with it, our lives are not so simple. We are after all, the protagonists to our own stories, and we get to direct and produce as well. But rarely do we get to re-shoot. And the cutting room floor is a near-infinite medley of clips that hold both highly interesting and downright mundane moments. Oh, and no, we cannot re-cast anyone else in the lead. So yeah, good luck getting *insert hot celebrity crush's name here* to be your partner. It just doesn't work that way.

 As almost any human being can attest to, one of the most common yet perplexing instances in our lives is our conflict with ourselves. Be it minor, or major (or major, major if you still believe it's cool to use that term. ) conflicts, plenty of us feel trapped by the ensuing consequences of our choices. "Should I have taken that opportunity?" "Did I say that out wrong?" "Should I have ordered the chicken instead?!" These and countless other choices have made modern living increasingly complicated, which is ironic, because it was supposed to be simpler.

 We have so many choices on our plate these days, that the act of choosing turns into conflict. Take for example our college education system. At 17, (or younger) we are somehow supposed to know which path would best suit us, despite the astronomical lack of real world knowledge and experience that most people in that age have. It seems almost laughable back then, because everyone knew that there were only 2 careers for the all-singing, all-dancing crap called the middle-income Filipino youth. Its was either study your ass off to eventually wipe someone else's ass off as a foreign-currency-earning nurse, or just go into any course for 2 years, brush up on your English (bonus points for an American twang!) and boom! Earn a bucket-load of cash at your friendly neighborhood call center. (Frappes sold separately.)

 And then, there were the "naive." Us who didn't want either of the two. Us, who for one reason or another believed sincerely, with all our hearts, that we were better than that. Us that said, "we need not go abroad, nor speak like someone who has migrated does." And life, being the ever-smug bastard that it is, could not resist shattering our hymens of idealist living with it's long, hard shaft of truth and economics. Before you protest that I'm being way too bleak and unrealistic, let me remind you that I am talking about "us" as a whole. Ergo, I mean the laid-back, un-special, unmotivated but not untalented and certainly not unintelligent individuals. Us, who have more pride than money. More knowledge than honeys. Culture-buff but scrawny. And the list goes on. But so too, must life.

Which is why every passing day that I spend doing nothing adds more to the inner conflict within me. I have been rudely awakened to the reality I turned a blind eye on, and it seems determined to slap me silly until I fully acknowledge the facts and situations I'm dealing with. A re-assessment is in order; a re-changing of opinion, a re-establishment of priorities. Enter more conflicts. Do I, a) say screw all this, chuck away my pride, bite the bullet and ride the gravy train towards the gleaming light at the end of all night-shifts, b) hold fast and keep waiting for an opportunity that I'm beginning to think was only one I made up, c) do what my neighbor does, with all of his rackets, to provide a band-aid solution to my fiscal shortcomings or d) continue stewing in my own filth at home, blogging to vent and pass time.

 I know I am not alone. Even those lucky enough to be working where they want to are subtlety manifesting signs of quarter-life crisis, if there's such a thing. It's a small consolation. After all, it's better to be paid as a tired, happy horse than a broke, bitter, bum..

 Tired of my blabbing yet? Yes, I know there are way too many important issues to deal with that I should be taking about. But then again, there's WAY too many people talking about those things too, so yeah, I'll keep to my own troubles, eh? All the better to lessen the conflicts I deal with directly. To give space for a free mind. So I could write a better, more focused essay next time. So this is it for now, because it's unreasonably early for a bum to be awake at this time.

P.S. Part 2 will come out soon, but probably won't be my next post. I feel this topic deserves more breadth, hence the cutting into two parts, to give it the proper insight it deserves. 

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