You have to be passionate at what you do. You reach for your dream or you don’t; never do anything halfheartedly, but you also have to know when to stop. If after everything, you know you are no longer happy, that's a sign for you to take stock of where you are and change directions. Your unhappiness will show. It will reflect on your work, so steer yourself out before your unhappiness with what you are doing consumes you.
I wrote that three years ago, but it is only now that I’ve mustered enough courage to follow my own advice. Life is funny. Some people think I’m foolish, deciding to walk out of law school with barely three months left before graduation. For weeks I was neck-deep in doubt, I thought maybe they are right and maybe I’m being immature and I should perhaps just plod along. One of my closest friends used the family card on me -– “Think of your parents, your family. They’re counting on you.” “I sent myself to school,” I angrily snapped. Non sequitur, but I was a bit offended. I know I’m not the most diligent student and I’ve been sleepwalking through most of law school but it’s not like I’m letting anyone, most of all my parents, down by taking a break.** I know they would prefer my well-being over graduating on time. I was on the verge of insanity. Drag me to hell ang drama ko every single class. I fucked up the midterm exams because of my chronic inability to focus. I wasn’t able to study although I had more time. The textbooks became random hodgepodge of words and phrases, the provisions of law made no sense. Forcing myself to concentrate was futile. One morning I went to a coffee shop to study, only to end up doing a mental treatise on cloud formation after observing the skies for most part of the day. While taking the Poli exam I knew I had to stop. There wasn’t even an attempt to do creative writing like I used to (haha). I left two items blank (20 points. Boo.) and the rest of my answers were cringe-worthy. It was LOA or bust.
“You seem lighter these days.”
Indeed. There is something extremely liberating about learning that your life is your own, that you can decide for yourself, that you can take control of your circumstances.*** I hope to keep it that way when I return to school next sem. Or maybe it’s just the haircut. Hahaha.
*pasintabi sa Goo Goo Dolls
**Conversation between me and my mom when I showed up unannounced at her doorstep last Saturday because I needed a hug:
Me: Hindi muna ako ga-graduate this April.
Mumi: Okay lang, at least nandito si Papa pag nag-march ka next year.
And with my dad:
Me: Pa, hindi muna ako ga-graduate ha.
Papa: E bakit ka ba nagmamadali? Relax ka lang.
***I’ve had a copy of the Holstee Manifesto in my work station for months and yey, I’m finally paying attention.