Aug 28, 2016

Dreams and little corners

We all have a share of moments in our younger years when someone would ask us, what do you want to be when you grow up? 

1. My father suggested to me that I could take up journalism so I could end up like those people rendering the nightly news. That was how I first heard about the word 'journalism'. Well, 'journalism' sounded cute and classy. So, I began to be curious about what these people do. Then I marveled the idea maybe I could also appear in television and followed what they had been doing. There was somehow prestige to it.  But as you grew older, I realized I did not want to appear in television and perhaps they were just reading. I had the idea maybe I would like to know more who were writing what these people in front of television were reading? 

My attention was diverted to newspapers, magazines, books. I began loving the letters and the written word and how they can evoke emotions. And then the most complex part was how they can be part of a broader concept called communication. Since then, I have always been curious about writing, about communicating, about describing the exact picture, about getting the narrative and capturing the real emotions (but I would know eventually I can only come close to them) and telling the 'truth'.

Journalism was my first degree, hoping it would give me the tools. I still use them now. I try to update and relearn the techniques as much as there is an opportunity. I miss Writing. I miss immersing myself with words and hoping they can transform others. I also miss Editing. The way you play with words and come up with the right ones and trying to keep a simple but elegant composition.  

2. Fast forward to college, I got to learn of other people- those who have less. I wanted to get to know them better - their issues, the things they struggle, the things they celebrate. It became clear to me that these people - much as they need to improve their conditions - they need to have a voice so they can be heard. I was willing. And so development work had become a promise and I could use 'sociology' as my frame to help make their voice louder and stronger.  

3. Everytime I visited University of the Philippines Los Banos, there was such a sense of myself wanting to work and settle in the place. I learned about the campus during my college years when I habitually visited a friend every time there was a long weekend. The simplicity of the place, the greens. It made me feel secure. I promised to myself someday I would work in this kind of environment. I could become a professor in the university or I can apply for any offices near the area. I remember a job prospect that was almost perfect and I still recall the excitement I felt only to fail me at the end. Hmm, I did my best. 

I still dream of myself in a room with a big window with a nice view of trees and greens with the sound of chirping birds (char!) and me, writing and learning the ways of the world. I dreamt of becoming a scientist in my own little way, in my own little corner in that place. 

Back to present. Did all those dreams get at least a dose of reality? I do not know how to answer, to be fair. At the very least, I can 'rationalize' everything - and I still do write and I am in a development work and yes, I still have a window with a view, but this time it is all cold towering concrete and God knows what other people are doing across my room. 

So what do I do?  In times when you get mature, and you think about your first loves and have not really gotten much of it, you begin thinking maybe it is worth to have the second try. 

1. I miss writing. I miss communications. I miss the writing that matters. I miss the kind of writing that pierces the hearts. I miss the writing and images that it conjures. I miss writing drafts. I miss the works, the research, the conversations before the writing. The legwork to it. The analysis to it. The plagiarism that you should avoid. Your values and biases that you should recognize before you write. Both the essay and the hard facts. I miss to be read.  I miss the immersion. I miss the STRUGGLE. 

2. I miss talking to 'real people'. I miss writing about them. I miss writing about them and their aspirations. I miss observing them and engaging them. I miss 'fighting' for them. I miss hearing their stories. I cannot work in the desk and writing about 'real people'. I just cannot. 

3. And then I miss the idea of little corner and its endless possibilities. I still believe I can still do it, with a huge amount of preparation and a silver dust of luck. I already have a little corner here and I have never been more grateful. But the heart yearns of the first loves. Yes, first loves never die.


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