Every person has his set of favorite words. Yes, everybody â€” for all we know, your simpleton of a neighbor adores the word obfuscate, while that refined, glib-tongued politician gets a kick out of croc. Of the dozens of words I revere, only several come to mind right now â€” corsair, amaranth, coruscant, quintessence, sex. (You read that right.)
Oh and yes, double whammy. Recently it’s become a favorite not because of its elegance (sex is elegant â€” speak it out loud in a public place and you’ll get awed reactions, trust me), but because it applies to my life right here, right now.
In less than a month, I’ve received a double whammy of sorts. Last April 23, I finished the first half of the Race â€” my life as a student. It was a glorious twenty years. True, there were countless heartbreaks, lachrymose moments, and bouts of depression, but the triumphs and lessons learned along the way more than offset the failures. After three years of infancy, two years at St. James Child Care Center, seven at Lourdes School of Quezon City, four at Philippine Science High School, and four at the University of the Philippines Diliman, I can say I’m happy â€” nay, exultant â€” over how things turned out. (There goes the depressed facade!)
Modesty aside, the roll of years has awarded me a few choice descriptions â€” achiever, visionary, performer â€” along with a handful of titles, such as actor, game reviewer, programmer, journalist, scholar, editor, and tenuously, a writer. (You can also add in crybaby, delinquent, sinner, young troubled man, and sana cum laude, but cut me some slack just for this day.) It was a hectic and exciting twenty years, no doubt, and I’m proud to have lived through it.
But suddenly, there’s a void.
There lies the first whammy. I have left school, and I am in limbo*.
Unemployment? No, that’s not the problem. There have been offers from big companies, all of which I rejected. I’ve a weak spot for small companies that I can ‘guide’ to prominence (parallel to my experience with school organizations). It’s either them or I do freelance work. My real problem is Where do I go? What path do I take? Will I entirely discard my strong background in computer science and write my way to fame? Will I abandon all sense of family responsibility and pursue my dreams in archaeology and history, dreams that I found within grasp in the University?
To these questions, I can offer no answer. And for someone who’s used to finding answers with mechanical, scientific methods, that is so frustrating.
The second whammy’s quite terse. It doesn’t need much explaining. It’s May 10 today â€” my 21st birthday (now you know why I asked you to cut me some slack). Today I am officially, semantically, undoubtedly adult.
It’s quite a shock to wake up one day and realize that you need to
minimize stop the baby talk. Adios to the freewheeling days of perpetual computer gaming and Net surfing. No free lunches from your parents anymore, just free pieces of advice.
Oh, why do these whammies come in pairs? Happy birthday to me. I never thought hitting twenty-one was cause for much disorientation.
*Credit goes to Ia. We’re stuck in the same situation, and she coined the term.
**What did I write when Corsarius hit XX last year? Read.