Sunday, July 8, 2007
an early and lengthy introspection
last week, as usual, i woke up late for work and we are talking about four hours from my shift this time. surprisingly, there were no hastiness on my preparation to work. i wasn't even alarmed on the idea that i might get terminated for the number of occurences i already have and i even didn't mind calling office to ask for free hours or a half day to cover up my tardiness. everything seems to be in slow motion and my day's introspection arrived way earlier than the usual before bed schedule. it seemed like i am just damn exhausted with my work and needed to become an astronaut and get space (corny!). then, i suddenly wanted to go for vacation and celebrate my birthday in the province. and in an instant i have made up my mind to go there as soon as possible.
so right after my shift i have booked myself for the earliest trip to the province. i quickly picked some clothes on the laundry shop in which some of them were not yet properly dried. but who cares?! then, i hurriedly took a cab since it was already 15 minutes before the actual trip. all of these just to know that the trip was moved to 5:30.
the entire trip took me roughly around 12 boring and butt-aching hours. the sun was still about to rise when i arrived. the entire ambiance and feeling being finally home again was way different from what you usually get when you wake up every morning in manila. the cliche fresh wet grass scent, the loud chirping morning birds and even the scent of fresh carabao feces were just just simply unique. simple things i have failed to notice before.
while enjoying my over rated feeling of our home, my phone rang and an unknown metro manila landline number was calling. when i picked it up, it was my supervisor.
"here goes my attendance issues, she already knew it," i scaredly told myself. since i haven't had any good alibis yet, my heart was undescribingly pounding. for me my mother scolding is tolerable. but somebody raising his/her voice to me is beyond my league.. but in my surprise her gentle voice informed me that i'll be needing to return back to manila despite the approved leave i have for tomorrow for the departmental transfer training that i have accepted. now, i was the one who was raising my voice.
just a flashback: i agreed the departmental transfer (i could not really call it a promotion. since i am still doing the same shit) because of the following reasons: (1) salary increases by another P3,000, (2) since i am already going to be one year in the company it would mean an appraisal of 10% at most, (3) the shift is way preferable than my current schedule, (4) my attendance occurence that could be the grounds for my termination will fall back, (5) and i've decided before i would resign atleast it would be an added working credential.
at first, it was really really hard for me to decide what i am going to do. i just told my supervisor all the 'truthful' excuses i could tell her: my birthday celebration with the family after 6 years, the 12 exhausting hour trip, i just arrived, i was not priorly informed despite my leave being approved etc. but corporately speaking, i knew, these were no valid excuses or reasons (to be intentionally correct). and it was later then affirmed. as much as she really wanted to the only option she could give was a 'yes' or 'no' option. still confused what to decide, i told her that i would just sms her my decision. she agreed and hang up.
for me, it was a make-and-break situation. probably, one of the most crucial decision making events i have to make. usually, i remembered, when i was in theater, when a big problem suddenly pops up in the most critical and unexpected time and place like the night-before-show-date actors just back out, prop pests attack, still unprepared skits and scenes, mysteriously defecting technical materials etc., just in an instant as well i could think of a solution to patch up the problem and pursue the show to go on. but i realized it was extremely different if this would be applied on a rather relatively personal level like work.
i tried consulting my parents but they only replied back with silence and throwed to me back the same question i am asking myself: "would you go back and take the position together with all the benefits it has to offer for the rest of your office life or stay in the province enjoy the simple happiness the silent province could offer for you for the next 4 days?"
then i remembered a thought i was able to read somewhere before. it said," life, happiness, love and faith are as fragile as a ceramic that if your going to drop one of them it will just break into pieces. while work being as flexible as a ball when dropped will just bounce back to you." from that, a realization came that made me reply back to my supervisor for a NO.
i just realized that in life, it is inevitable that men always seek for pleasures and avoid pain in the least cost and the longest beneficial effects. nonetheless, most of the time we find pleasure by/after experiencing pain first. but i believe it is always a case-to-case scenario or in context. on this case, the essence of life lives not on matters of costs and benefits nor of happiness or pain, it is a matter of deciding where your self would lead you. deciding staying on the province with your family for four days and dropping something that could be the turning point of your career life, is like asking the question: what would you prefer? the person who you already are or the person who you want to be? and as of the moment, my answer was more concrete and more contended: i wanted simply the way i am and contended to what i currently have. maximizing and enjoying every spect of it before surrendering myself for another change.
now, as i turn myself for another year, i realized there are still lots of things to go back to and to be pick up. things that were vainlessly dropped and ignored along the way. things that i never realized could be the source of simple happiness for a contended self.