Sin: An Overview

You’re given the serious task of adding a new one to the list — another trait or behavior you find particularly unacceptable, for whatever reason. What’s sin #8 for you? Why?

Source: The Eighth Sin

To give you an early warning, in the end I did not manage to come up with a specific behaviour close to the criteria suggested. But here’s a list of what may possibly deserve the title of the eighth deadly sin.

According to an unacceptably limited research I hastily did on the Internet, sin could be defined as an act of transgression or offense against the divine law. Obviously, I am no God,  nor am I one of the gods, but apparently my imaginations (and the Daily Post) allow me to decree a new, separate classification of vices, to be condemned against all humanity.

There are a few things in mind that I consider to be offensive for whatever reason, but I don’t think they necessarily deserve the new title of being the eighth sin. Even as I imagine being a higher being, I would not impose the prohibition of head-touching (or patting as many would prefer it) because apparently a lot of people enjoy it, while I find the act immensely invasive. I would be reluctant to declare the eradication of all house-lizards, cockroaches and frogs, because I know that might affect the ecosystem or whatever balance the nature needed as much as I loathe their existence.

I think I stayed too true to my character as a smaller being too much that I simply cannot ordain a mandate without thinking people would hate being obliged to abide by the most ridiculous laws I came up with that they start a rebellion to overthrow me–which is not quite how it works if I am a god, because I can actually just destroy them rather than be afraid I will be the one who perish. Nevertheless, I still abhor the idea of being forced to obey or do something I don’t like, thus I refuse to do the same to other people. What can I say? I have lived the life of the disadvantaged and powerless for too long, the idea of having too much power seems rather appalling than exciting.

Sensible ones I can think of like naming littering, stealing, racial and religious discrimination, verbal as well as sexual harassment as candidates for the eighth sin may have been included within the Seven already. Besides, even if they are considered as sins, the consequences would not come into effect as quickly as if there was a utopia where those actions are banned and that people’s lives depended on their obedience to the law. Sins apparently only concern those who opted to abide by the order of the Almighty; those who believe in the existence of the ultimate ruler of the universe who has his own way to retribute those who trespass against him. Probably not as ineffective as the current efforts on gaining states to refer to the international law, but the point is, national legal systems in the world are interestingly more universal and immediate in its penalties at present.

Finally, to give myself an idea of blasphemy so that my covert originality could be ignited, I decided to scrutinize the seven sins with the power of Wikipedia. I observed that they also share one common characteristic: all entails the keyword “uncontrolled”. Uncontrolled anger or hatred, want to deprive others from their belongings as well as insatiable desires for sex, consumption of food or material possession, apathy, adoration to oneself thus belittling others–all these are short descriptions of what wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, greed, sloth and pride, respectively. Then I thought, rather than having emotions that got out of hand, what if one is to overly control these desires? Could that be considered a sin as well?

At least the seven virtues, which are the parallel to the deadly sins, do not seem to promote excessive control over such urges out of the extent of the depletion of human needs. Come to think about it, will that not be a person denying his or her innate humanly qualities? Will that be an act of perseverance to attain godly features to the point of irreverence? Honestly, I don’t know if that is even possible.

Even if it is possible, and if that is what God wishes or commands us to do, then what’s the point of free will? What’s the point of creating beings with flaws on the first place? If human beings are set to be able to accede to all divine virtues, why make it in our nature to be prone to disobedience, and even better… or worse, let us follow through it to sin?

Albeit the part where it is possible to pull off another Lucifer in a way that is not pride, but cultivation and self-righteousness, I am still not thoroughly convinced if the process itself might make the cut to be the eighth sin. But I guess it’s the best I can come up with after both the ridiculous and reasonable ones mentioned earlier in this post.

I should have just made indecisiveness the new cardinal sin instead.

 

Advertisements

Tinted Six of One

Go to the nearest window. Look out for a full minute. Write about what you saw.

Prompt taken from the 365 days of Writing Prompts by dailypost.wordpress.com

I’m in luck because I’m currently facing one right now.

No, scratch that. I can only make out what I assume is blurry tree trunks out of the dark. Oh, and a lamp stand somewhere behind the tall slender trunks, and cars passing by occasionally. There seems to be nothing special really.

Rather than a clear view of the hill supposedly where this cafe is located, the dark outside makes the window reflect what is inside the cafe I am in. I see duplicates of the signboard placed just conveniently at the glass window near the stairs. There is also multi-color shadows of the cushions, where a couple was just sitting on the other side of the room–I reckon it is hard to be productive as, in a glance, they seem to be just bickering in a sickly sweet kind of way. The whole room with its tiny warm lights are projected through the window. All echoes in double vision. And finally, there is this specky git, her hair worn in a hasty ponytail, earphones in tact, sipping a mug of coffee–that’s my own reflection, by the way. Also in double vision.

Do pardon my brain as it has thrown out any memories of high school physics for saying this: Nevermind the obviously prosaic scientific accuracy of this statement, it still intrigues me that the darkness of the night makes the glass windows function as a huge mirror instead as it shows what is inside the room more clearly than what is actually outside. This is my cue to philosophize, as always.

It is interesting to entertain the thought that the dark seem to assist the glass to reflect light, thus one may study a rebounded relic of oneself. Yet without it, one can see out of any form of confinement, perhaps expanding one’s horizon and being less focused on contemplating about oneself. Enter the pressing, yet frivolous metaphor of one’s identity; on whether it is shaped through the projection of one’s sense of self to the world, or the other way round, when the other is the basis of the reference. What does it entail, one may ask? Probably something about one’s egocentric tendencies, or sensitivity of the judgment of others.

Over time, is it no longer either of the two options or one’s instinctive behavior that partially defines a person, but rather how one simultaneously utilize both to create or recreate themselves?

There you go. Reflections on the fogged-glass-turned-mirror distorted to a reflective examination of human character.

Spur-of-the-moment

Our days are organized around numerous small actions we repeat over and over. What’s your favorite daily ritual?

Source: Just Another Day

Clock shows 9pm. I turn on my desk lamp and off goes the main one. Stream the radio online and read stuff while waiting for the new prompt at exactly 10pm local time. Came up with my take on it, which usually take quite a while. A moment to throw or save some thoughts out of my brains. Another before I drift off to sleep as I regret another day shying away from real responsibilities like my thesis, but felt it is well-spent with what I came up with on the blog because that is actually what I like doing. And off to blackness or land of the unconscious–I mean, dreamland.

This recently developed pseudo-productive ritual has become the highlight of my day for around six weeks, and I wish I can just keep doing this instead of the whole academic ordeal. Being on my own at night, creatively ranting–err, I mean, writing.

That is exactly the catch: I’m a bit worried that I’m enjoying this only because it is a diversion. That it’s currently and definitely the only better option available.

I have enjoyed writing ever since I can remember, but I never really thought about this more than a hobby–something that I simply like doing. It might cross my mind once that I would one day make it my job, but I realize doing that will need to be balanced with having a job that will sustain me so that I could write full-time. That still could be pursued, but in the meantime, I’m happy with this new habit I am developing. It doesn’t have to be anything big; writing daily cultivates the discipline I lack on the first place, and… with or without the prospect of publishing a book, I really just want to write out my thoughts and tell stories I have in my head.

The reasons why I fear that this is only temporarily enjoyable is twofold. One is because I get bored of things very easily, which explains the scholarly fatigue partially responsible for the non-progressing thesis writing. Another is because of this particular experience I had when I was in my final year of university and I told a few close people that I am done with the major I took, and that eventually I would like to work in the media instead, particularly the radio.

I vividly remembered it was the most hectic semester I was in, and that I basically just want to leave school quickly so that I can immediately get a job and make money. I studied about international politics then, and I did enjoy learning about it. Yet there is only so much one can do to deal with the topic without feeling so little and eventually become jaded with it. I have always liked the idea of working in the radio, and that is the first thing that came up to my mind whenever people ask me what I want to do after graduation. Obviously it does not push through because I lack the experience in many ways, and I ended up going to gradschool, majoring in the same rabbit hole again. The sad thing was, there was that one point when I thought I am fooling myself when I go around saying how I am interested in something as a career prospect, but never really get involved in anything related to it except from being a passive listener; that it might be something I say in passing, just to get people stop asking me why I want to graduate so quickly so that they sense I have another thing I would like to do.

The interest to take a shot at working on the radio or anything that involves writing is now definitely still there. But I reckon this attraction needs reassessment, at least to figure whether it’s, again, merely a short-lived urge that will soon lose its charm once the leviathan called thesis-writing and scholastic spree is over. Furthermore, specifically when it comes to writing, I do not want to give up this one thing I can always do to retrieve my sanity just because, one day, it was consumed by material concerns and became an obligation–that it feels more and more like work than a creative expression–and turns out I am unable to find the “fun” I used to have while it was simply a private pastime.

You see, being able to properly recognize your choice of entertainment which also serves as a channel to collect yourself whole in a daily basis is no easy feat. Not to mention turning it into a profession.

Well, at least for me, the question “What do you like to do?” has always been a tough nut to crack nonetheless.

Dead on One’s Feet Hanging

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

Source: Quote Me

In the tranquility, which is my room with only the desk lamp and radio on almost a decade ago (insert scream face), angsty teenager me stayed up a tad late, venting up well-repressed emotions as well as jotting down inspirational quotes from both books and movies into a designated notebook, kept safely in a locked drawer. Memories triggered the second the word “quote” is shoved to my eyes; how easy it is for a deeply subdued, cringe-prone part of my past to be out in the open. Oh bother.

Naturally, I proceed to remember some of my favorites back then. One of them is from a book called A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, which was recited in the movie Akeelah and the Bee. It was about how one should not shy away from one’s own abilities and qualities, which, by that time, I am ashamed to say I was big-headed enough to be able to relate with. Another one sounded something like “Hurt people hurt people”, which I am not sure who mentioned it on the first place, nor did I remember the person or medium I encountered it from. I was not only mesmerized by what I reckon was a really good play of words, but also that by that time I had an Aha! moment about why I used to be very aggressive towards other people and how the wheels had turned. Long story.

Right now I am not even sure if I still keep the quote book somewhere in my room back home, but I am still drawn into certain phrases, conversations and one-liners in both books and movies, and I would write some of them in my handy-dandy notebook of random scribblings. One of the very many that gives me lasting impression would be the first part of a poem by Langston Hughes called “Tired”, if that could be considered as a quote. It goes:

I am so tired of waiting,
Aren’t you,
For the world to become good,
And beautiful and kind?

Hits yours truly in the right places, that one. Because, honestly, isn’t it about bloody time?

Despite the universal efforts of different actors in various scales, unfortunately it appears that such aspirations are not as appreciated in the current system of “winner takes all” or “while the rich get richer, the poor get poorer”, and the sort. Even worse, it “pays” to be good and kind, and some can’t even afford it because the world had taught us to be selfish to the point of destruction of others to survive; all while selling out–even abusing, I dare say–ideas such as individuality, equality and humanism. Of all the devastation created out of greed and overstretched competitiveness, still, people forgot. Is it our curse as human beings to always fall into the same trap of the vicious cycle all over again? What is the point of all the morality insisted by the education system, which was supposed to shape us into a uniform mode of submission to the big guys in the closeted hierarchy?

Above all, can only time tell? And who is wise enough to define that our generation now is the “necessary sacrifice” for the sake of progress? Or for the dream world full of goodness, beauty and kindness? That we deserve to be “tired of waiting” and waiting only? How does one know that “it will get better” just because?

See, this is why I should not be provoked to think at night on my own, because I will end up only keeping myself even more awake, coming up with questions which will make me feel even more helpless and so done with the world, while this is supposedly some kind of a therapy helping me sleep, or find some much-needed faith in humanity or whatever.

I’m tired, too, Mr. Hughes. Unfortunately, I suppose not all of us are. Not at the same time, at least.

Taste of Ease

Your life without a computer: what does it look like?

Source: Life After Blogs

I can imagine life without a computer and/or internet connection. I am just going to be very miserable and under-qualified for pretty much anything.

I can still read books, but I reckon without the computer or the internet, I will be almost always short of money because I will not be able to access the free e-books available online. MTV would probably still be the coolest channel ever, but I most likely would just refer to the radio as well, but there won’t be as much option as I would only be able to access local channels. I’d definitely fall to the category of being basic as fringe, listening to mainstream pop in an overly enthusiastic manner, saying “Dis mah jam!” Oh dear.

Other considerations aside, the one thing that is oddly going to stay almost the same for me is writing. Even though I don’t put them to be seen in public, I still can keep a journal which basically works the same way. At least when it comes to content, this blog holds the record of my rants and thoughts about stuff, as well as the fiction writing bit. Actually, that I have done before in my teen years because I have no internet connection then and our family only has one properly functional computer which we put in my parents’ room for the lack of space. Of course, it is very gratifying that through blogging you may know people who enjoy reading what you write, and comments that may also motivate you to develop your writing skills. My point is that, even without the computer, people can still write, just without the convenience of the delete or backspace button, also the networking bit enabled through the internet and blogging sites.

The most painstaking task to do will be working on papers and other academic shenanigans I have no choice but to partake in to enter the society and be considered as an employable, system-compliant adult (yikes); to survive, in essence. I am not entirely sure that the setting will influence my nocturnal disposition, but it certainly would affect my upper back condition, the quality of my assignments and my performance in class. Not in a good way, as anyone would expect.

If I am yet to realize how the invention and dispersion of computers and internet connection have been taken for granted, this has definitely done it for me. I had a moment when I feel a bit overwhelmed when jotting the thoughts down, especially on the education part. My recently developed fear of being an eternally incapable, ungrateful man-child almost appeared more rational than ever.

I am not going to deny it anymore; all of my efforts to educate as well as entertain myself is mostly technology-bound. Yet it is interesting to also consider the fact that most of people, including me, have now understood the convenience of computers and the Internet, and that it is probably the reason why to some, the thought of having to live without both would be, to exaggerate, unbearable. Had it not been invented or perhaps not accessible to many, would life not just go on? Only that it would progress differently–well, not in any way people would know what “global, virtual connectivity” means.

Supposedly this response comes from someone who has no idea what computers are or can do, I think the question will initially be responded by another question. After the much needed explanation, opinions will vary because… one can only assume if it’s troublesome or handy, possible to exist or not. Much like any introduction to ideas– democracy, freedom, human rights, equality–old or new, depends on which perspective you’re on; but all seems evenly as abstract as the other. Kierkegaard might be correct when pointing out that “life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards”–this is the catch when discussing hypothetical questions that came out of estimated reverse experiences or ones derived from pure pensive.

Well, making something out of nothing has never been easy business, has it?

The Last Goodbye

Imagining death and life reflection for the prompt: Write your own eulogy.

Source: 365 Days of Writing Prompt by the dailypost.wordpress.com

Dear family and friends,

I trust this sort-of self-eulogy in the care of my best of friends, Lexie and Karan, to be read in the time of my death, shall they not depart the world before I do. Had they pass away, this would be conferred to my brothers, Ralph and Ray, as I reckon only both of them might find the idea less depressing than the rest of the family members.

Having been rather cynical towards the idea of being remembered or leaving a legacy and the sort, weirdly enough, I decided I would like to have a final word after having drawn my last breath as I picture I might not be coherent enough in my death bed. I assume it was either because of my anxiety issue which has never left me even in old age, or probably because I was found lifeless in my sleep after asking if there is enough warm water for bath, which of course does not mean anything no matter how hard one tries to decipher it as a certain metaphor about life, or superstitious musings.

So to clear up possible misunderstandings, allow me to share you an old woman’s take on roaming the earth for what I presume would be approximately 74 years of life.

Being born a millennial, I did not realize how I fit the stereotype until the time I finished university and realized how I much I care about achieving ultimate happiness and how everyone is entitled to it, up until the fallout in the pre-proper employment phase called graduate school. I started to embrace pragmatism in the workplace without looking back to those naive late adolescent days, because, really, beggars aren’t choosers. Not to that extreme though, because I still demand a decent pay, ability to be detached personally and maintain professionalism, and most importantly, weekends-off from work in my criteria of what constitute an okay job. Point is, your job should not, and does not define you or your happiness as a whole. There are other things you can dwell in and have fun with regardless it becoming your profession.

Another thing that is equally important is to choose your friends. I know, most people will tell you that you shouldn’t, but I tell you this for once, yes, you should. Make acquaintances, but do not let the toxic ones get the best of you just because you feel like you need to still be close to them no matter what. Being nice does not mean letting them corrode your sanity; sometimes you need to let go of them so that you can have better quality friendships with those who matter to you as much as you matter to them. Same goes with distant family members, or those who only approach you as though you’re the nearest bank to their household.

Little things can be meaningful, especially if you’re born a middle-class peasant like me. Social mobility, to some extent, is still, or at least appears as a myth when I was younger. So, write, read, play a musical instrument, video games or sports of your interest, without having the pressure it should be something big. There are no promises that it will be, either. Just have fun with it as long as the fates allow. Mine is preserved online in a blog. It was one of those days when I have neither regrets making one, nor worries about people coming to read it. I just like to write, and that is all that matters. Mind you, likes and nice comments are extras.

Lastly, I’d like to thank everyone who has managed to bear with having me around for the past years of my life. I honestly thought I will die a loner, which I don’t think is something that should be frowned or pitied upon. Nevertheless, it is the fact that having every one of you, who had developed, supported, criticized and loved me along the way which has edified life for me, which I still have problems to determine what it is up until the end. But I guess so does everyone else. Yet your existence in mine has made it less a bleak world to live in. Thank you. My prayers are with you.

Thus concluded my ramblings, which I am fully aware will be dismissed in no time. By no means I tried to implore you to do the otherwise, so please do not be terrified of the utterly preposterous nonsense, like a wrathful phantom haunting you should I not be remembered.

For those who happen to reminisce for old time’s sake, I wish you fond memories of an egalitarian pragmatic who is proud to have called you a loved one. In case of afterlife, until next time.

OTL

What’s the 11th item on your bucket list? – Source: Kick It

Warning: OOT

When I was sixteen, I did remember writing down things I want to do up until I was around seventy-four, which was the time I assume I will die, but I had forgotten what I specifically wrote then. Then, the first time I made a list I actually called a “Bucket List” was around four years ago, and I did not even reach more than a total of ten things. Around a year later, I arrived at what is claimed as the Land of Morning Calm, and the list got reduced to contain only five things. Even so, me in the present cannot quite relate to these things that made the list back then.

I thought I might as well just came up with a new one. Apparently it’s not working out well because I cannot really came up with any more than three items which doubtfully yet earns their place there. I also came to suspect whether there is possibly a reason why the prompt specifically asked for the eleventh, but from my little expedition using the all-beloved Google, nothing has indicated that the eleventh item is a “thing” as opposed to it most likely being a random pick.

So, for the umpteenth time, I decided to go out of context and talk about Bucket Lists in general, mostly about why I have become indifferent to the idea through the years. I apologize in advance if this puny rebellious streak has started to bother anyone reading my pointless ramblings.

First of all, I suppose credits are still in order to whoever generated the idea of it referring to the things one wants to do before one dies, even though its origins and undertone, I assume, is still undetermined and debatable (although it was popularized by the 2007 movie of the same name). After the phrase spreads and eventually became a thing, I guess having the list may help people to find excitement in life as they have things they look forward to doing. But there are also some, like me, who found the list more as a chore rather than a impetus for a satisfying, joyful life in the long run.

I started to feel like making these lists thrill me less and less. At the same time it feels as if just looking at yet the reduced list reminds me of how I am in no way going to check even just two items off the list any soon. Other than the fact that people’s priorities and interests may change over time, I guess the reason why my list got gradually smaller in number because I may include too many things I will not be able to achieve. I have not the slightest idea why I put some of them in the first place, as much as I am unable to pinpoint what is the indicator of tangibility that, at one point back then, I actually believe I will cross them off the list someday in my life. I mean, I wrote down in number four out of the previously listed ten that I would like to “work undercover”. With my love for burgers and french fries, as well as the fact that I am aware I am unfit as fudge has not changed my horrible eating and exercise habits even for one bit, how is it even possible for me to be taken as a freaking field agent working for the intelligence?

Pray excuse myself for the paradoxical desire for high-risk quests while I embody the very definition of a slothful homebody.

Point is, the list seem to be more pressuring than stimulating. I think it is fair to say that most people’s lives are basically checklists, comprised of series of items like this: birth, full-time play time, school, university, work, work, work, retirement, imminent death. You cross of one after you finish it and move to another one on the record. With the whole work you need to do in the middle in which most of the time it is rather difficult to take breaks, especially if you are a peasant like me, how is it that someone in their right mind will voluntarily be bothered to put up with another list? As “fun” as it may seem, in some cases, time constraint and the lack of other means will just make accommodating an extra or a side list too demanding.

Provided the post may create possible impressions that I am probably just another bloody millennial, afraid of commitment and discipline, I still opted not to bother myself with a new bucket list. Not only for the reasons implying I have issues in the said department, but also that I think it will ultimately change as I switch interests in the short run, or that in different stages of my life, I may have different priorities I would find fulfilling enough if done properly; all in good time, without having the formal set ready ahead, which could be spurious.

So, to avoid eleventh-hour regrets, I have not the eleventh item–not even any–in my bucket list. Ayyy.

Existing Nonetheless

What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.

A late work of fiction submitted to the prompt: My Favorite

It has indeed been a while since I saw her.

Curiosity may kill the cat, but never her. She watches and inquires. She roams around and discovers. She contemplates and inquires some more when she finds features unanswered. She explores both the tangible and the imaginary because from them she learns, no matter how small. There is always something.

Her desire to be acquainted with a myriad of those unfamiliar made her the jack of all trades, but the master of none. She manages to initially impress, but does not stand among the proficient. But that does not matter much too her because she needs to hop from one thing to another at her own pace, and that’s just what she wants in life: stories. To collect in the meantime of the short lifespan of every beings, she believes. To be passed on after clinging dearly to them so she could let go of life willingly.

Her inquisitiveness has not in the least harm her body, at least not in any way she minded. But it almost did her soul. Over time, she realizes she is easily estranged because it was her, not him, who possess such energy part of her identity should not, as arranged by the collective. Her constant need to move broke customs as well as acquaintances mid-blossoming to friendships. It starts to irk her, the “abrupt settlements” (the way she prefers it to be called). She cherishes the select few she is privileged enough to call friends and family, who greeted her the same way. Over time, she is aware of when to stop and when to pursue. She still struggles with every farewell.

She dreads the time it all becomes dark because she feels what constitutes her began taking a toll on herself as she ages. The pitiful looks unable to appreciate solitude as much as she does gets on her nerves at times she can only shake her head and sigh. Thoughts change, and that is fine by her, up until those she held dear to, either unintentionally or intentionally, try to drag her to unnecessary changes, which everyone actually had the power to reconstruct. But too few shares her opinion. She begins to ask herself whether it has ever mattered, the ideas and learning as well as the stories she collected. She concluded she doesn’t. So did everything else ended with her as she halted.

She became new, and not even traces of her old skin was left after it was shed clean. She stayed put and that was the last time I saw her.

It has indeed been a while since I saw her, and I ask myself, “Was she ever there?”

 

Charmed to Catch Flies

What bores you?

Source: ( YAWN )

Despite being relatively dull myself, ironically I got bored quite easily with things when I have been doing it for a while. It possibly is the law of diminishing marginal return applied in real life, but it might be a curse I was born with. Destined to only be able to enjoy the first bits of everything, but never the last bite. To delight oneself in the sowing, but never the reaping. I had no idea what my ancestors did that I need to suffer from this.

Of all the things that could jade me, which is a whole lot, the very first one that pops out of my mind is romantic-comedies. Rom-com bores me to death because the plots are just too bloody repetitive. Not to mention the main characters tend to give me secondhand embarrassment as they seem to, without fail, manage to be caught in situations that are just ridiculously dim-witted. Little old me! Giving meself a facepalm or cringing to oblivion because someone manage to humiliate themselves instead of empathizing with them; that certainly does not happen often. I guess this is also why I am never invited to any sleepovers or the sort when I was younger. Likewise, I am glad to be relieved from the searing agony of drowning in layers of shame and sappiness, because I ain’t pretending to enjoy that.

Talking about more serious issues, I find what I am currently studying in gradschool severely tedious, and this is probably related to the jinx I suspect I am under. I decided to pursue another degree in something that initially I can still tolerate out of practicality, thinking that I still can compensate it with how I like learning generally. I reckon there is always this satisfying feeling of acquiring little snippets of knowledge from pretty much anything. Also, I thought it is wise to study something one is familiar with for another degree, so it will be easier to narrow down job preferences and all. Instead, I feel like I have been wasting my time because, not only that I found myself increasingly indifferent of the academic experience up to the point of apathy, I have not managed to figure any profession related to what I am studying that I can imagine doing in the near future. A great leap backwards, I should say. Not only that I may only be able to call the things I like to do as merely hobbies, but also that people, especially job interviewers, don’t like quitters. Needless to say, I am stuck.

Thus begins the vortex of the early quarter-life crisis. I swear, I am exhausted of complaining about this again and again I am desperate to escape this spiral of sleepless nights pondering about questions larger than life, and the nonsensical torture of procrastination and temporary distraction. I don’t want to be 30 and jobless, weeping to Mum, asking her to tell off the world for being a meanie to me, me, me.

I need a curse breaker. Immediately.

Anonymous Supremacy

When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?

Source: Witness Protection

Another “Would You Rather” question. I see what you did there, Daily Post. Yet I am glad to participate as always.

Assuming I was reincarnated from a sea cucumber, the lifestyle I developed then must have influenced my current conduct as a human being as I have never done anything that is near to the definition of extreme; extreme sports would be a good example of the things I may not be too keen on. The extent of scary or stressful activities I did mostly revolved around socializing and speaking in public; basically confronting my anxiety in a daily basis, because apparently men are social animals… well, not exactly by nature, hopefully.

This brings me to my junior high and high school days when I used to join local speech contests or news reading competitions, which is quite unimaginable why now that I look back, questioning why I consented in the idea of entering a competition of other things. How time has flown, how pre-adulthood has ruined my self-esteem.

I sound mawkish too numerous a time despite my age. Right, coming back to the bloody point.

In such minuscule scope of experience in public speaking, which still can be intimidating regardless of one’s level of confidence, there was one incident when my Dad came to see me in a speech contest in which I failed miserably. By then I was in between preparation for two competitions which was only one or two weeks apart from each other, which I knew was a bit too much, but I was too naive a kid to see that my teachers were just in midst of wishful thinking when they cheer me up saying I can nail it that I ended up agreeing to do both. That aside, I was doing pretty well on the introduction, but when I realize my Dad was part of the audience, I weirdly freak out, forgot what I have to say and did not handle it well as I just blabber incoherent words and exit the stage in shame. Afterwards, I made sure that, whenever I enter into such settings, there are lesser people personally close to me in real life within the crowd watching.

I came to be aware of how I get even more uneasy when I need to perform in front of people whom I assume knew me quite well. I guess fetus me unconsciously considered judgment and opinions from close ones more seriously than mere strangers or those known in a professional setting. I mean, I did not mind my teachers, classmates, juniors or seniors watching because in my head, they were in a box labeled “Tier (insert less important number): Follow the general rules, and you’ll be off the radar”. Submit the homework, pass the tests, wear the uniform without stupid stylings; anything for no nonsense high school drama. Only catch was that part when somehow my teachers decide I should join these contests, but, business as usual, if that is what it takes for me to skip math classes and be considered compliant enough so I could be left on my own without much spotlight, I would do it. And I did. Them watching me in the competitions is just part of the deal.

There is also this unlikely feeling of control one can have over strangers, which helps boost enough confidence to do something out of the daily routine, especially for those helpless jittery people like me. That idea of doing a “one-time thing” in front of people who would eventually shrug it off in passing seems to give one a sense of power over whatever actions they are about to do, like they couldn’t give a damn whatever the consequences may be. For people who needs think too excessively about whichever actions they usually do because they are clumsy or anxious as fuck, that numbs the nerves just as well as freaking Orajel in case of toothache. Temporary, but just as effective, because that’s exactly how long until I can be done with it, go home and lock myself in my room to call the day off.

I would like to be clear though; I am not advocating for people to do preposterous things to strangers for no reason. Rather, the moral of the story is: as a teenager, don’t immediately take the words of adults to heart, even in an educational setting. They can be misleading to think it’s time for you to stretch your capabilities or bear more responsibilities. To be fair, despite particular truths by the advantage that they roam the earth before you do, adults make mistakes too.

Oh, and don’t try to multitask if you’re not wired to do so. Results could be disastrous, mostly to yourself.