There are people that long for the past: for the energy of their youth, their hopes, their dreams. Thankfully enough, at my age, I can say that I don’t want for energy, I never lose hope, and… I don’t have a clear-cut dream for myself (or maybe I do; but I just have it buried too deep) so I help people achieve theirs instead in the meantime.
But if there’s anything I’ve wanted as the past ten years, is that distinct feeling I get whenever I walk around the UP Diliman campus in shoes half a size too big; I walk because I’d rather save the coins in my pocket for fishballs instead of taking the UP Ikot jeep to get me to the next class; that I have in my ears a pair of P20 earphones and a cheap FM radio in my bag; I only have enough change in my pocket to ride the jeep home, and enough credit in my 3310 just to tell my Dad that yes, I’ll be at our meeting place so we can go jogging at my brother’s university as we wait for him to finish his midday lab work. When I get home, I have my little brother to look forward to so that we’ll play computer games. And then I’ll write in my journal and draw.
Now… I’m no millionaire, but I can say that I’m comfortable. I don’t find myself wanting whenever the need arises in terms of provision and health. I can take a cab whenever I want or I have my lovely Roomie who has volunteered to drive me around (at reasonable times). If a friend’s in need, I have enough money to spare to lend them cash (or just give it to them, really). I can get nice earphones, and I’m in a position where I can (wisely) buy what I fancy without breaking my finances, and still save for rainy days and bigger things.
But I’m afraid I have become complacent. I’m too comfortable. At some point, I actually became afraid of challenges, no longer seeing the potential that lies behind the success and I only saw failure — excuses for me not to budge from my place of comfort. Sure, I can aspire for bigger and better things: more money, shinier things; more, bigger, better, Hollywood-level things —
But those aren’t the things I want.
What I want are —
and a thirst to learn.
In a wordly sense, there’s thrill in the chase. Those things were never lost per se, but just buried underneath the comfy cushions of luxury I have grown so used to. These things, I found again, thanks to a discussion with a colleague about discipline.
In the same vein as the colleague who simply told me that he doesn’t drink coffee, it was my office crush (Mr. Bass, I call him) that triggered something in my mind. We were talking about our workout routines, and he was surprised at the amount of money I spend on a monthly gym membership. He told me that he doesn’t spend as much and said:
“All it takes is discipline.”
I remembered that back in 2007 (back when I was in the aforementioned university), I was able to devise a fitness program that basically consisted of following instructional DVDs and sticking to a healthy eating pattern. I was actually successful in losing weight without spending three years’ worth of gym membership. And I realized that I have more than enough instructional DVDs and I’ve learned enough in the three years to be able to do them safely — not to mention, I have more space in my room now, than in my Dad’s house seven years ago.
So, starting next month, goodbye gym! Hello swimming pool, living room and HDTV!
I have also taken to taking the bus and jeep to go to work which saves me a lot of money in the long run (and only take the cab when I have to bring more than two bags). This goes hand-in-hand with my “coffee fast” as I’m able to wake up early enough to not be late despite a couple of minutes delay in the transportation.
This investment, of course, applies to many aspects of my life; examples being that I am trying to regain my capacity to communicate with people over the phone and face to face (seven years in a BPO can dull your social skills), actually making time for people I care about online and offline, making time for volunteer work, and being a damn good employee who’s passionate not just about her job, but about the things that would make the office the best place to work for my colleagues and myself.
I truly have no real need for lavish, material things (though I will allow myself to indulge); but I think I should get back to actively and consciously investing in my character — and it doesn’t even have to cost a fortune. I can certainly want for bigger, shinier, more expensive things — but investing in becoming a the best person I can be, crafting that part of myself with my own hands (and in a spiritual sense, with God’s grace) is a priceless investment.