a few days back, i attended my best friend's thesis defense in diliman. she defended her master's thesis which was a compilation of lesbian short stories entitled naratibô. while i was attentively watching her as she try to outwin her panelists, i remembered the times when we we would meet after our work shifts and rant our frustrations with our careers and lovelife over either cups of coffee or bottles of beer.
three years after, there she was, standing infront of us talking to a number of people, whose eyes and ears nailed to every details that comes out from her lips and presentation. along with her is a palanca grand prize award, two published books, an instructorship in one of the university's campuses and a large amount of personal savings.at my side was her partner for two years. infront of me are five famous and respected filipino writers as her panelists, who are considering to file her compilation for best MA thesis. while the rest were her friends who also have their own names on their respected fields. and me, simply ewik, still has the same rants and frustrations as before.
after her defense, we had the chance to talk to each other regarding the status of our lives. i could see into her eyes the clarity of what is ahead of her and in it, was the reflection of mine who up to the present is still blurry and vague.
i told her how i hate comparing my life to others. but i couldn't help myself from comparing mine to hers. she replied to me with a blank but calm face and a pat on my shoulder. she reminded me about the story she once told me. on how she had set an age of when she will kill herself. i remembered it was 24. but she is turning 26 this year but she is still alive and kicking.
then she continued. in a way, i realized that what she meant was not planning to kill herself rather than the frustrations that she kept within. the day after the last conversation we had regarding the said topic, she opened up a savings account. then widen her network, continued doing what she loves, which is writing despite the pressure of her former job and then when she felt she is already secured she quit her job and applied as an instructor in manila then managed to close a number of sidelines.
from there, when she finally felt everything was ready, she quit her job despite the promotion that was given to her and never look back. from there everything just followed.
i was silent all throughout that conversation and wrapped the day with a smile as we parted ways. now as i look back to that conversation, i can see that the path ahead of me is quite clearer than before. thanks to a friend who managed to pass that dark and confusing jungle with the same blank and calm face.