Quarter-life angst and the road to independence.

I really want to write about happy things because these past two months have been roller-coaster rides complete with bumps along the way but the more I write about what’s making me happy, the more I can’t seem to get my loneliness out of the way. So, in the interest of moving these things out of my chest, let me just go through it.

In October last year I started looking for apartments along Katipunan and actively asking friends who lived in the area if they knew a place where I could rent. At the time I had coursework piling up and I really desperately needed the space to write and sort out my academic life. Grad papers require some time off from life in some hermitage. The ideas have to stew but before they’re tossed into the pot they have to be produced first through a long process of reading and taking notes. I’ve been meaning to do this but as of late, I’m a bit distracted. I need to work in school which means I have to prepare lectures, check papers then take part-time jobs on the side just because admittedly, teaching doesn’t pay the bills. Then, after a long day at work, I have to come home, sit with my parents and do little things like teach mom how to upload photos of save files on a hard drive. These are things I enjoy but the reality is that, these are things that also distract me. Coming home to a house full of books makes me want to read non-required things. Walking my mother through the internet keeps me attached to it. But I love to do it because quality time with them is really quality time.

 The only problem is, I can’t seem to sort my shit out because I have obvious limitations. I can’t multitask when it comes to writing papers. I need space to think where the only possible distraction will be an empty stomach that needs feeding. Other than that, leave me with my books and my humungous list of tasks. I cannot express this to my parents because they will inevitably become sad and think that I’ve grown past their company. They’ll think moving out is about moving in with others and not them. I respect this but let’s get real.

The longer I stay teaching undergrads the more I realize that I need to branch out. Honestly, the work is easy enough and if I wanted to stay forever, I could but the problem is I don’t want to stay very long. The academe gets comfy when you’re in it and chances are, so do you when it comes to revamping your style and giving excellent lectures. How many times have I winged-it just because we keep talking about the same things in class? Then there’s also the reality that students are smart and sometimes they need more from you. An undergrad degree and a half-baked masteral class does not cut it. I need to finish my MA but I can’t because I can’t focus. I’m also a bit bored already and being bored of both the degree and the current occupation are things I’m uncomfortable with because to finish one I need to finish the other and if I don’t manage to finish at all, I’m really going to be screwed. But not really because if I decided to teach all my life, I know that my father won’t let me go hungry. He’s done it with my sisters in the past. There’s no questioning whether or not he’ll do it for me. This year, mom will turn 60 and next year dad will follow. I wish I could live with them forever. The life is comfy. I can afford to type this out in his pretty computer in the middle of the night while my airconditioning unit is running in an empty space. If I get hungry I’ll have food.

But really, when you’re approaching your mid-20s the same time your parents are hitting 60 and when you’re relying on them for everything, there’s something wrong with that.

I’ve decided to move out for many reasons. First, at the very least, moving provides some much needed urgency. I have to feel like shit’s going to hit the fan so that I don’t rest on my laurels and waste my youth. You don’t eat if you don’t work but if your parents feed you then there’s really no need to work. Second, I want to do this because half the time I feel helpless when it comes to doing things. We weren’t raised to do chores (contrary to what my mother might think). We’ve employed enough people to run a household so smoothly, lifting a finger will just cause unease. I know this by example because when I insist on fixing beds or clothes, I’m always lectured on why we must be grateful to those who do it for us. I also cannot prescribe a way for things to be done because the capacity of someone helping out is not at par with my standard and if I try to raise the bar, I simply can’t because it isn’t my house. Not my rules, in other words. But say everyone disappears, what do I do? Mom says you’ll learn independence when you have to but for me, if I don’t learn it now, I’m really going to break down when it happens. Why? My life’s too comfortable and that’s making me uneasy. How can you feel comfortable so early in your youth when you should be out there feeling the pinch and making stuff happen? Staying makes me feel old and mediocre. I feel like I’d just coast along and get comfortably stagnant. Third, I want to finish this darn MA program already. I’ve already explained why I can’t finish but what matters here is to consider the point of finishing. If I make it, I land a job elsewhere which pays better and is hopefully also tied to what I want to do for a living. Get MA, get good job, live happy life. That’s fairly basic and simplistic but it makes sense to me. I want to make it happen.

More importantly, I just want to grow up. I know it seems silly. Everyone will think it’s stupid because no one wants to do this but I’m completely determined because at 24 I can’t afford to waste time anymore and attribute these days of stupidity and idleness to youth. I want to waste my youth but not in the pursuit of mediocrity.

Tonight it was again brought up that maybe I’m moving out because I want to hang-out, get pregnant (or perhaps I’m already pregnant which is why I’m moving out)…blah blah blah, I’m tired of having to defend myself against this. It’s gotten to a point when I don’t even want kids anymore or a relationship because this is always where we end up–talking about my fictitious babies and prospects. Jesus. Something’s definitely not right.

But for the record, I want to be bad-ass and have an actual fucking garden with plants you actually care for and watch daily in anticipation of growth and blooming. I want to cook my own damn food and worry about my bills knowing fully well that if I don’t get my shit straight, I’ll die. That’s sick but that’s the necessary push! That’s how to get the machine running!

Tomorrow I have to produce bank records and pay slips to appease my mother. I have to prove to her that I can do it  and for her the only way is to show her my savings. Seriously? Why can’t just going out and doing it be enough? What’s the point of moving if I’m still required to do this and answer to someone else? ugh…how frustrating.

And you know what sucks? I don’t even hate my parents. I don’t enjoy hurting them at all nor do I relish having to put them through my drama. For what it’s worth, I’m not even moving out because I’m pregnant or getting hitched (which is probably the only way girls my age ever get out of their homes). Fuck. Maybe they were right about nice girls. It feels like we always fucking finish last.

But whatever, I’m sticking to my guns and doing this. It’s my life too you know?

[Side note: Because it’s amusing and at the same time utterly ridiculous, the related articles appearing on this blog post are all about teen angst, psycho rants and issues…hence my chosen title but really, am I nuts to do this? Does this sound stupid to you? Why am I even asking? Of course not. There’s nothing stupid about moving out to get one’s shit together. Anyone telling you otherwise is just not ready to let go. Ugh.]


One thought on “Quarter-life angst and the road to independence.

  1. Ailen says:

    I hope things work out, Nash. 🙂 No, not stupid at all! Comfort debilitates silently. Moving out is definitely a good… um, move.

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