Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Tick-tock Life

Visionarys are the overnight successes. The ones who make it big after years of struggle, failure, rejection and disillusionment. They tend to start out pretty good. They do well in school, are athletic, often attractive, seem well-liked by peers and, on average, quite congenial people. They tend to be reflective thinkers and drop-of-a-hat dreamers and enjoy passing time doing both. Able and conscientious in most all they attempt, they tend to inspire confidence in others; enough so to be included on likely-to-succeed lists. When Visionarys graduate youth, they tend to meet early success in adulthood. Not long after that, things tend to go rather wrong, rather quickly for them. An internal rebellion arises and they begin questioning long before middle-age, "Is that all there is?"

From birth to death, their tick-tock, tick-tock is a cellular-insistent and pulse-driving reminder that cannot be ignored in quiet or drowned out by noise. Through thick and thin of triumph and tears, their tick-tock persists and reminds. For Visionarys, time is always running and always winding down. Its measured passing underlines and underscores their drive's need, as much to achieve worldy success as earn personal peace. Why they alone have and hear this tick-tock is unknown but that their success and happiness are tied to it is certain.

Nothing could be further from the truth. (Though the ‘success’ part is questionable. To me, at least.)

The above is an excerpt of a very lengthy personality profile issued by Ansir when I took the online test some two years ago. The test is equally lengthy. When I took the test again recently, the results were in summary form. I had to pay a fee if I wanted to get the whole thing (which I couldn’t). Luckily, I had the foresight of saving the results from before, which you see now.

I post this as a sidebar to my previous semi-passionate post about learning how to write. The frustration I feel is genuine. (But I’m calmer now.) Ironically, after re-reading the Ansir results, the need to slow down becomes more obvious to me. Yes, I do have that tick-tock urgency going, but alongside it sits that part of me that reminds me that I can still afford to take things a day at a time.

I’m 26 years old, the ultimate denial of the truth. (I’m really 32.) When I deal with people in their early 20s, seeing how much they strive to make it big, the tick-tocking pounds loudest. There’s that bit of envy, yes, seeing the young’uns working so hard and being given so many opportunities that I had never even dreamed of having. But I had ceased to question what my life’s purpose is, what I’ve done and accomplished and so forth. I’m past that. I’m presently more concerned about what more I can do, how much more I can develop, and finding what really is the ‘best I can possibly be.’

After graduating from university at 19, I dove into the employment pool, but I’ve always said that my life began at 24 when a new job placed me in the heart of the Makati Business District. It was in that job that I experienced dealing with all sorts of people from all walks of life. It was at 24 when I first stepped into Faces, Mars and Euphoria (thanks to my ridiculously wealthy Atenean co-workers). It was at 24 when I hosted a major corporate event for the first time, which lead to a string of events from conferences to contract signings to large-scale Christmas parties. It was at 24 when I decided to take an extra leap by auditioning for a major theatrical production. And it was at 24 when I had my first relationship, and my first… um… experience.

My friend Chong told me a few months back that, according to some Chinese thing, what happens at the age of 24 is crucial, a determinant of how well the rest of one’s life pans out, and that I’m sort of fortunate to consider that year to be the best in my life thus far. It was good to hear that, despite its somehow superstitious leanings. (Which means to say that if you had a shitty year at 24, it’s not the end of the world.) It’s like hearing a fortune teller give one good reading after another. The revealed ‘fortunes’ may not necessarily come true, but they pick you up and tweak your mental programming for the better, albeit temporarily.

So I’m lucky and have been blessed to a great extent, and I’m not ungrateful. I know that not a lot of people get to have the opportunities and privileges I have been given over the past 26… er, 32 years, and I owe it to God and the Fates for leading me here and for not regretting what I’ve done. For being able to learn and to put what I’ve learned to good productive use. But even if I physically rest on my laurels at some cafĂ© by my lonesome, the tick-tock continues. I know it’s there because I can feel it.

All I need to do is prevent myself from drowning in it.

Tick tock tick tock…

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