I have a strong affinity with lists. It appeals to the mostly dormant OC in me. Case in point are to-do lists. I wouldn’t have survived without the written items that I force myself to finish before an arbitrary deadline. I write down even the most trivial things like “finish season 1 of Awkward” or “wash the dishes” or “text this friend when your prepaid load arrives”. I don’t know, maybe it somehow lessens and categorizes the complexity that is life.
Without to-dos for a certain period of time, I would just spend the day procrastinating and then wonder where the 24 hours went. Well, if I have a list, I would still procrastinate more than half of the time but as long as they’re written down, I have a sense of direction. Lists comfort me because every time I scratch a certain item, even if it’s nonsense, I feel like the day has been productive, real or not real.
When people say they can or can’t live without, what do they mean? Can a person who have no money for an iPhone brag that unlike the majority who are slaves to technology, he can live without cellular phones? Can someone who has not experienced the luxuries life has to offer say that those who live in excess are evil? Can we reject the things that we haven’t even experienced yet just because the elders or society say so? I don’t really know where I am going with this one, I just need to type the words down so they’d stop popping in my head.
I guess ‘living with’ is okay as long as you don’t make that thing or person lord over you, as long as you don’t let them be the reason, the end. Let us just hinge ourselves on something worth attaching to.
The first book I read this 2013 is The Best of Youngblood, a compilation of editorials submitted by the so-called Generation X to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The topics are diverse, there’s the stokwa (tow away), the aktibista, the teenage mom, the soon-to-be-divorced teenage mom, the idealists, and etc. There are stories about life, death, changes, changing address and taking a vacation. These were written mostly by people my age, early 20s, but from a different generation. They were the children of the 80s and college graduates of the 90s.
I specially love the articles written by fresh and not-so-fresh grads. When they narrate and dissect their everyday lives as a bum, I can only smile. These are sentiments I myself could have written (though their command of the English language is superior). They just spend their time back then watching the television, writing to penpals and talking to phonepals while I have the omnipotent internet (where I have been buffering and watching til 5 AM every day this week).
I share their questions. I can relate to their moments of stagnation, sudden but short-lived moment of clarity, and indecision. Waiting for something. No. I’ll do this. Maybe tomorrow. I’m left behind. There’s still lots of time.
The book made me appreciate instead of curse this state and feeling of being ‘unsure’. In the words of one of the authors, “our lives were stalled, but not stuck“. Savor the temporary stagnancy, you’ll never know when it becomes handy.
Come to think of it, most of the writers are currently in their mid 30s to 40s, raising teenagers or feeding jobless professionals like moi. I wonder how they’re doing.