I hit the ground running at work when 2015 kicked in. Already, two agencies have permanently booked our Kapihan (I host a radio/TV forum) for the first two Wednesdays of the month for the entire year. Requests for activities are coming in from all sides, I have two more trips booked to Tagaytay for a mentorship program, and a possible business trip abroad from one of our clients (When someone asks you if would you like to go to ******, you don’t just say yes, you freaking scream YES! Fingers so, so tightly crossed on this one).
When this year started, I asked God for an open heart and for road signs because the last two years of my career have been life-changing and mostly fraught with challenges and angst. I told myself that I’m going to work my arse off this year like it’s my last year on the job, and to get at least two more stamps on my passport. Then December 2015 will be my proverbial fork in the road. It’s the month I’ve set to ask myself some questions I’ve put off answering for quite a while now: Do I continue on this career path which I haven’t strayed from for the past 16 years? Or do I take that turn in the road rife with uncertainty but also ripe with the potential for adventures and fulfilled dreams?
I have stuck to my comfort zone for more than 10 years. I know some people who have never moved away from their comfort zones for all their lives. They chose to live in that bubble, never stepping a foot outside it. I wonder if this was by choice? Or was this because there was never an opportunity for them to lose sight of the horizon? Should one even have to wait for this opportunity to come, like waiting for the wind to blow in the right direction in order to change sails? Or should you go and create those opportunities yourself, steering your own ship, carpe diem and all that?
I think wanderlust has bitten me lately. With the increasing popularity of travel blogs and me getting to know some accomplished travellers, I have suddenly been beset with the restless urge to go somewhere, anywhere, as long as it’s far away from my comfort zone. I have until now only been to 2 countries : India (Bangalore and New Delhi) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur). Both trips, which took place in the last 4 years, were paid for by someone else (India was courtesy of ASEAN, while Malaysia was a birthday gift from a very, very good friend). Both trips were epic for me. It changed how I see life, culture, race, people. It got me thinking and asking. It got me craving for more.
It’s hard to go off on personal travels with my work, especially after my promotion 2 years ago. Faced with more responsibilities and higher expectations, the workaholic and (over-achiever) in me couldn’t bear being away from the office for long. I have trust issues that I need not go into here right now, but basically, I allowed my work to tie me down.
Aside from work, more personal issues have also been bugging me lately. Issues that are common among single women my age. I’m talking about my state of singleness. I’ll be turning 38 years old this year. Over the years since I hit my 30s, well-meaning relatives and friends have been setting me up with men whom they think would suit me. At first, I admit, I went with their “schemes” and there was a time that I actually thought I would find The One for me this way. After several attempts that ended either disastrously or funnily enough depending on who’s relating it, I’ve grown tired of it and decided to focus on me, myself, my work. Because I couldn’t tell them outright, I tried to drop hints to friends and family to stop with the meddling and let me find love on my own time, on my own terms. My life doesn’t revolve around my civil status, after all. I am way more than just being a single woman in her 30’s. My age and my civil status do not even figure in the equation.
Someone said to me recently that at my age, I must be desperate to get married. Here’s the thing – I honestly am not. Sure, I’d like to fall in love one day and even probably have kids, but I’m not focusing all my energy on achieving that. Desperation entails employing “rash or extreme behaviour” in order to achieve desired results. But that’s not the state I am in right now. After having been single for a while, I’m not about to say yes to the first one that comes along, even if sparks don’t fly. Doing that is desperation. What I’m desirous most of is to find meaning in my life, to find the marrow of my own life and suck the hell out of it. I want to face my fears and punch it in the face. I want to break out of my work cubicle, go places where I’ll get dirt on my shoes and earn them, learn an extreme sport, fight for someone who matters. And at the end of each day, I want to write about it all.
There are 11 more months to go before my self-imposed ultimatum. A lot can happen in a day, in a month. Who knows, something might crop up before December 2015 that would force me to answer these questions and make a decision. But until that happens, the road is long and wide until December 2015.