[Preamble: I’m speaking as a Filipino in a Philippine context.]
I’m supposed to think about cars. My diecast collection. Film scripts. How to write them. What NOT to write. Character development. MMA documentaries. The fan-fic bin on my PC.
But the only thing I think of is all the other shit. The shitty shit. And it’s simply wearing me down.
No, it’s not just this crisis — I’ve more or less tuned them out well enough online. But when it hits home hard to the point where I worry about the employment of those in my family, it tends to stick more, and I have nothing to quiet those thoughts down.
We’re all in survival mode, that much is apparent. But we shouldn’t have been here. Because I think the crisis had an easy solution. It was staring at us in the face, yet they slapped it off like no big deal. Look where that got us, Rodrigo.
So here I am, staring down at enrollment options and procedures. An hour ago dad blathered on about my brother having to find a job. He isn’t fired yet, and I reckon he’s valuable enough to be kept around. But what if he gets cut? Where is he looking for a job? What if no one wants to work with him? When is he coming home? Should he even come home?
All I have are nagging thoughts. Worse, it feels like I can’t even get away from here into my head. Because every thought fights for space, and only one kind is directly tied to my life. I have to feed two wolves, but I only have so much food.
Thing is, I used to be good at it. If any problem, big or small, tried consuming me, I simply imagined and constructed a whole new world in a lucid moment and tell its stories to myself. But now the shitty shit is everywhere, closer than ever before. And it’s starting to strain my head in a way that wracks even my understanding. For all I know, I’m staring down the barrel of a Howitzer cannon that’s pointed directly at my house — and there’s no one else in there. No one to turn to, no helping hand.
I could seek outside professional help but if I’m honest, I’m the last patient they need right now. Too vague, too mercurial. Easy to anger, hardly forgives. Bears too many grudges and always seeks the nuclear option. Who would bloody want to deal with such a person?
Slowly, it dawns on me that I can only face this shit head-on, by myself, because I’m partly to blame. Anything that’s out of my hands is theirs to deal with. But I should have worked inward. I should have looked at everything I could’ve done before April and what I can do beyond August. Because I know for certain that I had this under control before. That I don’t need to escape, not totally. That I can rest, but never sleep. That I can keep tabs on school and country without getting too riled up. That I can care for my family without being a burden.
First, however, I have to clear my mind. Reset. And that’s where I need your help, reader/listener. I can never be idle, but I can’t let the crisis dominate me. Please, come help me find a way to simply focus on what I truly WANT TO DO. I may be waiting for my MacBook to get fixed this week, but that’s not supposed to stop me. I have a phone and enough storage space. I still have a working (if slow) computer. I still believe that my parents and brother — the people I’m worried for the most — still root for me.
What I ask, small as it is, is assurance. That we’re coming out of this tunnel alive, intact, and better than when we were deep in it. That I can still drive my future forward and be the person I imagine myself to be. No distractions. No mucking about. As kind as you can say it.
Someone tell me something comforting.
Someone tell me I can see it all through.