So today is my birthday. An hour from now, I’ll hear the noontime mass at the cathedral with Mom and Chad, and maybe go to the salon for a haircut after lunch. My boss just has sent me an SMS this morning saying that I might be one of the office people soon to be assigned at Pasay City, Metro Manila, if I am willing. If not, I’ll probably end up jobless by the end of this year, which means I have to start packing my stuff very soon, and sending out resumes, and to relive again the entire job hunting rounds.
I have to admit that for a few minutes, I was overrun with emotions and actually started to cry. I mean, working so hard for something and then getting told that I won’t actually reap the rewards in the end is not a very easy situation to handle. If I would begin to recall those days when I had wanted so bad to leave but never got around to it, I’d be doing drama for an entire day on my birthday. But very quickly enough, while I was in the middle of my bath, I snapped out of it and began to realize that things could not be so freaking awful. I just turned twenty-five, quarter of a century old, today, and I have always told myself that when I reach this age, I have to make the decision on sticking to my current career or finding something else that really makes me deliriously happy. So now that the day is here, I should be celebrating because I’m still around to actually take control of matters finally, for the first time in my play-it-safe life.
Now, the choices face me upfront. I could go back home and apply for a banking job or maybe even a teaching stint at the university. And when I have a steady, decent, paycheck enroll myself in grad school, take up creative writing and/or masters in business, or enroll in a cooking school and finish culinary arts. Creative writing and cooking are two of my most cherished occupations and if I would get to do both every single day in the near future, then that would be my good karma.
Or hilariously, I could choose to get married and pro-create a dozen children. Not that I find a housewife kind of life generally appealing, but planting roses in my garden and cooking dinner for a big family sounds tempting enough. However, I can’t stand wailing, snot-nosed children, and a house in pathetic disarray, and a husband who comes home late reeking of alcohol. And besides, no one has gotten down on one knee and made a proposal to me just yet; it’s merely that I usually get too run away with my thoughts when I’m trying to be happy.
Even more riotously, I can choose to hibernate at home, jobless and bored, and be a burden to the rest of my family. I am very useful in walking the dog, washing the dishes, and cooking a decent dinner. Maybe I can just accept laundry services from the neighbors and be a labandera. Or look after a snot-nosed toddler and be a yaya. I can just imagine the look of horror on my mother’s face when she’d realize that the most rapacious reader in the house, the English-language loving student, the one her amigas thought to be clever and bright and most likely to succeed, has condescended to be thoroughly domesticated and apathetic, as if she no longer has any choice left.
I just wonder, when will I ever wake up from this nightmare? Because so long as I don’t wake from it, I’m just in one corner, hysterically laughing, knowing that anytime soon someone is going to ring a really loud bell to my ears and tell me, “ Wake up! The demigods have drowned in their own shit!”
Meanwhile, I greet myself a happy, happy birthday.