Earlier this week, you received an email from your boss. She said I passed my probationary period 'with flying colors'.  Upon reading, there was pause. I closed my eyes and as if I was waiting for a whisper.  In the email, she said she looks forward for me working in the office for years. Ah ok. 'This beautiful city has been good to me. So far so good', in my reply to her email.

In my first three months in this office. Aaminin ko hindi ako masyadong excited. Yung trabaho ko to be fair, challenging pero gamay ko na. Ewan ko. Alam kong maraming bago. Siguro wala pa akong pera. Pero kahit na rin. Most of the time office-studio lang ang mga araw ko. Kaya Come What May lang ang peg muna. Walang expectations. Ganoon lang muna. Honeymoon ba ang tawag nito? Puwede. Kase ang konsept ng honeymoon, parang pakasaya ka muna. Masaya na ako sa ganoon. But after three months, I guess my Honeymoon's Over.

Ano ba ang ibig sabihin ng Honeymoon's Over?

1. Dapat siguro purposive at medyo dagdagan naman ang assertiveness sa mga bagay bagay sa paligid. Do not get me wrong. Hindi naman ako nega. Pero if you are in strange land, minsan nakakapagod din ang mag adjust. Unang una sa language. Number complain ko talaga ito. Hindi mo naman ginagamit sa trabaho. Hindi mo naman ginagamit sa pagsusulat. No pressure naman, to be fair.  But like what they say, When you're in Rome, do what the Romans do! You need to survive. Hindi ko kinakarir ang Korean class ko kahit isa lang absent ko. I attend class pero hanggang doon lang. Kahit manood ng Korean movies, parang wala ako sa mood lately. Mas gusto ko pang magenrol ulit ng Spanish. Ganoon ako ka sabaw lately. Pero sige, try ko ulit. Konting disiplina naman. Dagdagan pa ang exposure sa culture! Kung hindi madaan sa language class, daanin sa paggawa ng Korean porcelain! Mga ganoon. Let me get back to you in six month's time.

2. Medyo kailangan ko din naman yatang magpakilala ng konti. Yung Real Me (Char). (Do not get me wrong, I am not pretending, bago lang kase, bumubuwelo lang). Magpakabilat ng konti. Namiss ko ng lumandi. Parang feeling ko nagiging 'discreet' ako. Huwag naman sana! haha. Hintayin niyo lang magyaya ako sa karaoke! Kating kati na ako kumanta. At feeling ko nawawala na ang singing voice ko! Promise. Ang ibig sabihin lang naman nito is na bobore na ako dahil wala pa akong feel na feel na after office event.  Yung hindi naman mga clubbing levels. Kundi puro kainan.

3. Kailangan ko talaga ng sense of order. Promise. Nawawala yung internal discipline ko at medyo hindi ako masaya pagdatin sa aspeto na ito. What do I mean? It just means na kulang ang focus ko. Ang daming distractions. Social media, isa na yan. Yan lang ang libangan ko lang naman kase lately. Kailangan kong mag social media detox, sabi ko. Pero minsan kase after office talaga ay pagoda na ako. I told my officemate that during night time, I want to just let my mind wander, so it can recharge. But I guess there are far better ways as to how your mind can recharge.

4. Honeymoon's over kasi kailangan ko na rin atupagin ang future ko. Gusto ko naman lumevel up when it comes to my security of being. What does this mean? This job is not for long term, to be fair.  Renewable lang ang contract. But what if I do not like it here anymore. Mahirap ng umasa sa iba. Konting ipon. Konting investments. Pero huwag naman yung OA. Ayoko naman everyday iyan lang ang iisipin ko. What matters most is at the back of your mind, you have these safety nets.

5. I ask for patience. I ask for discernment. I ask for focus. Minsan exciting lang. Minsan nakakapagod din. Sabi nga ng boss ko, always act in good faith. Honeymoon's over. So, it means let's get back to werk. Yes, back to werk.

Some people can just strike a chord louder. They are not even close to you. It is strange. You do not take offense. You just feel it is Real then it hit you to your core. 

I found out that my colleague is finalizing some details on her Spain trip. She is quite excited, sharing the news to me. She had opened it up and now, she already has a ticket, filed a leave of absence. I am excited for her and we both agree she needs to take that well-deserved and fun vacation. Besides, her best friend is based in Spain. 

Then she suddenly begun to have this reflecting tone. She said something about we, being the oldest in the officers’ group, are not getting any younger. She implies yes, time is running out so we have to make the most out of it. Like travelling where your curiosity takes you. I saw her face with a tinge of sadness, for the lack of better word. So honest and fragile. That tinge, that moment, laid my soul bare.  

It struck me. I thought about it in the subway, during dinner, not really on a panic mode, but there was a blank wall in front of me. I would not ever rationalize in moments of this. It will only do me harm. The sound of the city and its lights were enough to give me comfort. 

Yes, I am adult and getting old and there is no other way to put it. But it does not end there. I have grown wiser and yes, more beautiful, more ‘cougarish’ and I like it. I have been living quite an exciting life lately. I have never been more secure than today. There is no other way to put it. But I am not that type of person who would self shower with positive gold dust just to make it comforting. 

Since relocating here, there was a never a moment I would think of what to do. As of this writing, I feel the urge to do more but my body is weak, my mind needs recharge. There is always this voice in my head that says I need to be out there. Whatever out there means, however it takes, just be out there. For the first time, earlier in the subway, I thought of having a deadline. I cannot work here for long and here we go again, imagining what is out there. 

I have never grown 'old' of doing this, always this soul wanting to be more, to do more. The heart’s discontent. This is my curse, I believe. That is why I may never accomplish any tasks - like completing my master's degree or even completing a collector's item. The moment I am resolved to do it, there is this magical pull from somewhere. Always calculating, always feeling the urge to not do it and try to be content. All this ebb and flow. It can get tiring.  

I look my post-its on the wall. The many to-do lists. I look at them with a strange eyes, trying to rethink if ever I do it, not knowing, I planned it in the first place. Such a disclaimer. Some of them are quite progressing. Then in some days, I feel like the post-its are my masterpiece. 

Somehow, in my early professional life, I used to have this strange feeling of zest. I so felt I was Carrie Bradshaw and I felt I would be for many years. I tried to hold it. But then I lost this zest somewhere. That feeling. I do not have even a name for it. Maybe happiness. Maybe Faith. Maybe Love. I am trying to find it here. Even if it means finding anywhere in this side of the world.  But I do hope it is just back home. 

The Hours is one of many good films that I am reminded everytime I face some existential drama. In this scene with Meryl Streep in her usual brilliance, confronts some questions on happiness as her daughter helps her process the situation. Claire Danes would say, "all you're saying is you were once young'. It was poignant. 



P.S. 

I know this blog is only read by three or four persons whom I care dearly. One of them just celebrated her birthday. To you Manay, happy birthday, you are one of the bravest souls I know. We have been friends for years and it would have been the same in some parallel universe because to quote in the movie, Temptation Island, 'what are bitches for but to bitch around with their fellow bitches'