The Roadblock

I was once ambitious. I had the fire. I was willing to explore the highway. I told myself I’d overcome all the obstacles, climb the top of the mountain, and make a difference. But somewhere along the road, I took a detour and never went back to the path I originally wanted for myself. Somewhere along the road, I lost myself.

What happened?

I feel like I no longer have that fiery spirit one needs to succeed. I lost my competitive streak. The sad part? I was aware but I never did anything to bring it back. Or if I ever did, it obviously wasn’t enough.

I was an adventurer willing to venture into the unknown. But somewhere along my adventures, I came across  a comfortable zone that I didn’t know I craved until I was there. Unknowingly, I settled in and the  comfort was too great I couldn’t get out.

Or maybe I could but deep inside the recesses of my consciousness, I didn’t want to resist that pull.  Maybe during one of those short intervals wherein my fiery spirit resurfaced, I didn’t cooperate. Oh I did try. Many times, in fact. But not enough. It obviously wasn’t enough.

Maybe I wasn’t the determined adventurer I thought I was. Maybe the failures and mistakes I thought I conquered left wounds I never noticed and wore me out. As the path became more challenging with all its traps and barricades, did doubt in what I’m capable of creep in making detours more tempting? Was the blazing fire I thought I had merely a flame from a candle? Easily lit, but easily extinguished. Was I not good enough for the path I’ve chosen?

I feel like I’m stranded for a very long time now. From this small haven I call my comfort zone, I observed countless others fighting their own battles. While I was willingly trapped, I watch them take a step forward towards their goals and dreams. Become a beacon of hope and a role model to those who still have a lot of challenges cut out for them. Then I’d think, “Why am I still here? Haven’t I over welcomed my leisurely stay? Shouldn’t I be out there making my mark in the world too?” Finally, reality is slowly catching up with me.

From someone who detoured and chose to be a spectator as others traveled their paths, I realized that the road I was in isn’t even worthy of comparison to the roadblocks that tried to hold others back. I let a few tumbles stop me when others had to jump off a cliff. If their fire remained, why can’t mine?  If they were able to find joy in every step, why can’t I? Why did I choose to be happy in my comfort zone instead of being happy at the sense of accomplishment I’ll get if I participated in the race as well?

I let opportunities pass by because I was too comfortable. Why am I settling for less when I can have more? Why did I lose the competitiveness I used to love about myself? Why am I not as driven to better myself anymore? Instead of being a tiny flame that can cause a forest fire, I easily let a little bit of wind put me out.

What happened? I asked.

I happened. Somewhere along the road, I turned myself into my own roadblock. I was the one holding myself back, denying me of the life I wanted. I became the detour that trapped me into a comfort zone of my own creation.  Am I the only one suffering from this affliction?

I haven’t done anything because what time I was given, I wasted on the senseless while others have made the most out of theirs. Seeking out opportunities and turning obstacles into windows of opportunity. I chose to see my scars in the form of self doubt and insecurities instead of seeing them as a reminder that I can heal from whatever mistakes or failures I’ve been through. I chose to see a glass as half empty instead of half full.  I’m less because I allowed myself to be contented with less. I chose to spend my time on triviality instead of participating in substantial and life changing opportunities. Because of this, I haven’t accomplished as much as I initially wanted to. We’re a product of our choices and their consequences. In my case, I became a roadblock that I have yet to overcome.

Will knowing that I was at fault make me a better person again? Is wishing that I can escape the lesser self I’ve become enough? Will planning my escape from this roadblock I’ve created bring me back the fire I needed to make the escape  possible?

No.

What is merely a thought will remain a thought until they are put into action. It’s just then that they will start making a difference. It’s then that I can finally find again the path I originally planned on pursuing and become the better person I wanted to be.

A roadblock should be seen as an opportunity, not an obstacle. A chance to be better. Stronger. Wiser.

And now, there’s a new roadblock a few steps ahead. A new opportunity to prove something for myself. I’ve been thinking, planning and enjoying long enough.

It’s time to make a difference.

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A Thief in the Night

Yesterday night, I heard that a local celebrity got into a road accident (I think the bus skidded off the road and fell over a cliff) and was one of the passengers who died instantly. It was all over the news and my News Feed was full of posts saying how sad they were that he was gone. That he may have died young but he lived a meaningful life. I never knew him personally, just another celebrity who made me laugh when I was younger. Still, it caught me off guard. I didn’t expect that and I still can’t believe it happened to him. And it also made me realize how unpredictable life–and death– can be. I once said in a blog entry that,

“Death is like a thief in the night. You can never be sure when it’s going to come and rob you of something precious–your life.”

At some point, each one of us is going to die. Millions die everyday. It can be because of a disease, old age, or an accident.  I’m not afraid over the likelihood that I may die any time. However, thinking about the possible death of someone I love or someone very important to me? That I’m really afraid of. I understand old age or disease, at least I’d be able to prepare myself when the time comes. But accidents? They’re another matter. I’ll never be prepared for that. I already get teary eyed just thinking about the possibility that what if later on today, tomorrow or a few months from now, my parents, younger brother, relative or a very close friend gets into an accident and doesn’t make it out alive…

Especially my family. I don’t know how I’ll cope up with that. Hell, it took me a year to get over a silly college heartbreak. What more for the death of my… Ugh, I don’t know if I can handle that kind of pain. I’d probably cry for months. Even writing this down makes me teary eyed already. As if a part of me is ripped out. I think death can do that to a person. Even watching a TV show or a movie with someone dying in it makes me cry really hard, as if I’m the one who lost somebody. And it’s just a show for God’s sake! How much more if it’s real?What if something happens to my family? How will I ever be able to deal with that? I think I’ll never be ready for that possibility. And that’s the problem, it’s very possible. It’s there, lurking in the shadows. Looking… Waiting…

They say that death ends a life, not a relationship. You can say whatever you want to ease the pain. That they’re in a happy place or that as long as you think of them, they will still be there. That their memories will stay with you for as long as you live. Still, you can’t change the fact that it’s a period at the end of a sentence, the last chapter of the book for that someone so dear  to you. It will never ever be the same. They will never be there anymore for anything that happens in your life. 😦

These are sad and scary thoughts. I don’t want to think about all these things but I can’t bring myself to not think about it.

Ah, shit. *sigh*

Musings of the mind at midnight

11:51PM

I can’t sleep. I’m supposed to because I have to wake up early to jog but I can’t because my mind won’t shut up. It keeps on thinking and thinking and thinking… So I’m writing this away, hoping that it’ll sort of appease my mind (and let me sleep!).

It’s really frustating. I’m tired but I keep on thinking about so many things. One moment I’m thinking about this street vendor I saw while inside our car and remembered how I admired him for choosing an honest living when he being out in the streets obviously meant dealing with a lot of temptation to just go to the dark side, if you know what I mean lol. Then from the dark side I’d think about the dark force and start thinking about Star Wars and how amazing the movies were. Then it made me remember how I got addicted to Star Trek after watching the 2009 movie and downloaded all the earlier/original Star Trek movies. Imagine travelling in outer space at an incredible speed with antimatter as your fuel? Or transporting yourself from one place to another? Or discovering the mysteries of the universe and realize that aliens really do exist?

Then I’d think about NASA and CERN and their research programs. I first heard about CERN after reading Angels and Demons when I was in 2nd yr high school. I researched about it just to check if Dan Brown wasn’t bluffing, haha. He wasn’t. I’d suddenly remember my childhood dream of working at NASA. I wanted to become an astronomer or astrophysicist after reading about black holes from the encyclopedias my mom bought when I was still in 5th grade. Speaking of black holes… Stephen Hawking claims that black holes don’t exist! Well, Stephen Hawking is Einstein level, so you really can’t just brush him off as another lunatic sprouting nonsense. Well, he didn’t exactly mean that black holes don’t exist. They do. It’s just that according to him, they don’t have event horizons (the point wherein not even light can escape or the point of no return). Instead, he claims that they only have apparent horizons that temporarily traps energy and matter but can eventually be released. The event horizon is what makes black holes… black holes. Like their trademark or identity. Imagine a black hole with no event horizon. It’s no longer a black hole if that’s the case, which was what Hawking was trying to say. Imagine the uproar his idea is making in the Science community, haha!

I know, this is not a big deal to most people because who cares if there are black holes? But I like astronomy and this is my blog and it’s my mind that’s talking and I can’t completely control it so bare with it.  Anyway, the moral of the story is, learn to accept changes and adjust to them. Be open minded. Truth is relative. What is true today may no longer be true tomorrow or what is acceptable/unacceptable today can be considered unacceptable/acceptable tomorrow.  Norms change.

About norms, I’d think about how there are so many rules and restrictions set by society on women. And how women are so easily judged. We live in a patriarchal society, after all. I know it’s not as profound as it was years ago but it’s still there. Like how society dictates women to not wear revealing clothes because it makes them look cheap or a neon sign that says, “Rape me!” It’s already a common warning. “Don’t wear skimpy clothes or you’re just asking for rape” etc. As if it’s the woman’s fault that she’s raped because of how she acts and what she wears. So following that twisted logic, I can stab someone to death just because he looks like he’s asking to be stabbed and get away with it. I can say, “You can’t blame me, blame him. He looks like he’s asking to be stabbed!”  And when a woman sleeps around, she’s considered a slut but if a guy sleeps around or cheats, people would say, “He’s a guy. ‘Nuff said.” As if it’s okay to accept that or it isn’t as scandalous just because he’s a guy and it’s their nature to be like that. WHAT THE HELL.

What an unfair world we are in.

Then I’d think about how unfair it is that many illiterate children are out there who probably have so much potential but can’t nurture that potential because they can’t afford an education that could hone whatever intelligence or skill they already have. They’re undiscovered gems, lacking in luster because they weren’t discovered. Remained hidden somewhere where no miner has access to them. While there are those who have everything at their feet but choose to take things for granted simply because they didn’t know how it feels to lack in anything or to not have what they had. It’s just so unfair how wealth is unevenly distributed.

At this point, I’d feel guilty because I have this nagging notion that I’m not doing anything worthy of all the blessings I’ve got. I’m just lucky that I have hardworking parents who knew how it felt to not have much and thus worked hard to provide us with enough to get by, we’re not rich but we’re definitely not poor. I feel that I’ve not been studying enough or caring enough or worthy enough to warrant such a good life. I’m picky with food. I don’t like vegetables, cheese, etc while there are those who have to find food in the dumpster because they don’t have the luxury of choosing which food to eat. Hell, they often don’t eat! I’d see street children or old people looking for things and food in dumpsters, hoping that some discarded material could be of use to them. Another man’s trash is another man’s treasure. While here I am, looking at all my clothes (and I have lots of them) and whine, “I don’t have anything to wear!” Someone out there literally has nothing to wear, they don’t even have a home. Unless you consider sleeping under the bridge or beside highways as your idea of a home.

I can’t count how many times I feel so distraught when I see these people and think about how there’s such a gap between those who are privileged and those who aren’t. When I go to malls and see all these people wearing expensive clothes or eating at restaurants/fast foods, I remember that there are those outside of these giant walls that are not as lucky. I know that people work hard to get the kind of luxury they have, I mean, that’s why people work. Aside from career satisfaction or ego or whatnot, it always boils down to money. So I know that these people who can afford what they already have deserved it because they worked for it. For those who were born rich, you really can’t blame them. It’s not their fault anyway that they have what they have. Their parents and the people before them worked hard for it so they can provide for their families.

And then I’d make a promise to myself that I’ll work hard so that my future family would be able to enjoy a little luxury because I don’t want them to experience the hardships other people go through. Then I’d start planning my life again and plot ways on how to achieve my goals and dreams in life. Then I’d feel scared because what if I fail in the licensure exam which is what would help jumpstart my career?! Then I’d panic and have this urge to study in the middle of the night.

Yada yada yada. My mind can still go on and on, talking and thinking about my life, poverty, society, History, Science and countless other topics. It can get pretty exhausting talking to myself. Even while I’m writing this, my mind is still talking ugh. It’s amazing how the mind can jump from one thought to another when it’s supposed to rest and stop thinking so hard for a few hours.

Now you know why this blog is called The Rambling Philosopher.

Dammit, it’s almost 2AM! (And I’m hungry)