The Quarter-Life.

Music: Band of Horses (shuffled)

this is me during my trip to Pagudpud. Seemingly trying to find my way.

I must admit, for weeks now I have been denying the fact that I am going through something. That I keep telling myself, this is nothing and it would go away. As M. Scott Peck would say (not in verbatim of course) problems do not really go away, they stick to you and the longer you deny the existence the bigger it would be. Indeed, I have a problem. The problem of using my time to the fullest, the problem of changing my attitude towards a lot of things, the problem that it is a struggle to accept life is difficult – because indeed it is. We just have to learn how so sail through it by embracing suffering, pain and eventually success.

At age 16, I thought I was dead set to what I need to do after I finish university. I wrote down the 5 things that I needed to accomplish at certain age. Be a lawyer, own a house, own a car, travel and maybe marry at this age. But 11 years later, at age 27, none of them accomplished. I am not a lawyer (though I am almost done with my masters), I do not own a house, I do not own a car and I am working and living pay check to pay check.

I stay wide awake at night telling myself it is the only time I have to catch up on things either online or on television. But that is really not the case, I stay up late thinking where am I going – as almost all of us at this age would ask. What am I doing with life and what have I accomplished? Truly I am one of those people who would say, “if only google has the answer to my life questions, it wouldn’t be that much difficult to sail through it.”

I try to put psychology in every thing I do just to answer those simple questions that seem to be very difficult to answer. But still nothing would suffice or even give me that small drop of satisfaction. I remember a short story by Leo Tolstoy (yes, surprisingly he has a short story if you didn’t know that since his Ana Karenina was really famous), its “Three questions” where in the King had these in mind:

“That if he always knew the right time to begin everything; if he knew who were the right people to listen to, and whom to avoid; and, above all, if he always knew what was the most important thing to do, he would never fail in anything he might undertake.”

He asked everyone who could provide the answer to him but nothing would suffice, and then came to know about a hermit who could possibly provide the answer in an instant but took him a long day’s work and an incident in getting the answer to get the right ones. The hermit answered him:

"If you had not pitied my weakness yesterday, and had not dug those beds for me, but had gone your way, that man would have attacked you, and you would have repented of not having stayed with me. So the most important time was when you were digging the beds; and I was the most important man; and to do me good was your most important business. Afterwards when that man ran to us, the most important time was when you were attending to him, for if you had not bound up his wounds he would have died without having made peace with you. So he was the most important man, and what you did for him was your most important business. Remember then: there is only one time that is important-- Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!"

We are that King, those who ask those three questions. I am that King and sometimes I forget the wisdom this short story had shared. I am but with faults I know, I am with problems and I search for answers but only to remind me at the end of the day that my answers were right in front of me. I just did not take enough time to look, to listen and to understand.

I am not really aiming of getting somewhere with this post as I am a bit lost in transition. I am still trying to remind myself that the important time is NOW. I guess what M. Scott Peck said was right – we have to delay our gratification in order to fully enjoy what life has to offer. We have to go through our struggle and pain to fully appreciate joy and happiness. Life is indeed difficult but it is never always like that, it is a process that if we are willing to endure, challenge, or pursuit – we end up being happy.

My proclamation that I must be going through a quarter life crisis must be correct. As I am really still asking why am I here and what do I need to do to make life even better? There are so many things that I want to do but I cannot do it because honestly, I am that afraid. I fear failure, I fear disappointments I actually fear sacrificing my comforts. So many clichés may be used to make me feel better, so many people may say things I want to hear but the only person who can convince me is ME.

As I end this, I still do not know whether I feel alright. Whether I can ease my mind and tell myself to stop thinking too much. I guess we all go through this. At some point in life or another.

Don’t worry. You are not alone. You are normal, normal as you can be when you experience these things. At least we are asking. I guess we can all call this a quarter life question and answer portion. Not as a crisis. Never a crisis but a check and balance of life we lead.

This is part of growing.

(Still not aiming of make a lot of sense here but if I did. Thank you for thinking that way.)


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