Chasing Dreams *

As a kid, I used to fear not being able to make it to the honors class, not being able to win the Spelling Bee, not having the latest Skechers and being uncool for not being allowed to wear spaghetti strapped tops because I was ‘too young.’

It was recently when I laughed out loud on how ‘cute’ my fears were, when we hung out a bunch of kids on Halloween. As a kid, I hated grown ups pinching my cheeks and not seeing my mother within my peripheral vision. It was a moment wherein I realized I was no longer a girl fresh out of college and that I was now dealing with choices, options and unknowns.

The other day, I sat with an friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. The first sentence out of his mouth was, “You look like you could use a break.” True enough, as I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the glass wall, I saw dull and sallow skin, eye bags and messy hair. When we were finally seated at M Café, he asked me how I was doing. I said I was fine and that I was busy with work. “You look like you’re in a slump,” he said.

I couldn’t say “No, I’m not, you have no business telling me what I feel and where I am.” It was probably true in every sense ---- I haven’t felt alive in so many months. For a while, I was a zombie, walking without purpose, in a robotic routine, doing what I was programmed to do every hour. It was insane.

“I’m moving to Spain,” he blurted out.

All at once, I felt sad and nauseated. Not because a friend was going to be geographically challenged, add to that a colleague who’s resigned but because around me, people are changing. He’s moving to Spain, she’s quitting work, another friend got married, and another one is starting a life of being domesticated and spoiled rotten but dedicated to starting a family. The world was spinning, everyone was doing something and I was left in my comfort zone --- too comforted for words that I was beginning to resemble the word ‘boring.’ I was afraid of being alone, of having no one to talk to when I get lonely, of being somewhere far, of not having anyone to have beer with at 2 am, of dying a single, old maid, of being penniless ---- that I stuck with all the comforts of life, but forgetting to live.

I forgot to copy where I got this so do let me know if you
know the owner and I'll credit.

I realized that I was not the only one who had found a comfort zone: My friend had a good life here, he was earning lots, traveling more than my fingers could count and going to the best parties. Miss Colleague was the best in her field, respected by all departments, winning awards left and right and gets to travel all the way to the other side of the world because of work. They, despite these, made the decisions to let go --- to change, and to get out of their comfort zones. Why can't I?

So since then I vowed to live --- to do what scares me, to be a brave girl and not be afraid of little things. As a wise person responded when I asked how was she feeling after she made her decision, “I'm on the highest point on a roller coaster, about to be released. And all I can do is hold my breath.”

I’d like to be in that place, too.

*Title is borrowed from Riz’s blog.