It is cute and funny how people still expect resolutions every time the year moves forward to another number. Some research says that 80-90% of New Year’s resolutions fail, yet millions of us still make them every single year. I am not sure about you, but I am pretty sure that what happened between the last 365 times the sun and moon appeared above me, I certainly did not commit to even half of the resolutions I did. But at least I tried.
Now I won’t begin to talk about what my resolutions were for this year, neither talk about the promises I would probably break as well in the coming year (because we just love breaking promises, right?), but when people try to dig deep in the conversation and gives you the plan or goal card question, I begin to wonder and question so many things.
I am not sure if it is just me, but when thrown a question like that, it seems that you are obliged to impress somebody. It worries me. Not that I have no plans at all, but majority of people seem to be just preoccupied of the surface of one’s purpose. You probably give them a nice answer, and they give you a rehearsed response of “that’s great”. And you are unsure if it really does sound great to them. Regardless, you continue with the conversation, and probably throw the same question, and the best part is that most of the responses you get may sound better than yours – leaving you dwarfed by someone else’s progress on their ultimate goal.
Entering the “young professional” life, I begin to notice how huge of a jungle it really is outside the confines of university. You can play a wide spectrum of roles to begin with bugs or insects, small birds, fishes, or cutesy mammals which is easily preyed and hunted in the cold and swampy jungle. You are blessed if given the role of a monkey in which you can clown around and outsmart the bullies, or an antelope, looking weak yet gifted with long stride so you can run fast enough to save your life. But definitely impossible to be crowned as a lion, tiger, or an eagle, when you are very new in the jungle. The jungle just seems to have its’ own bible, and you have to follow the ecosystem.
I am honestly caught off guard how competitive it is here. In a 2016 millennial dictionary reference, I am shookt.
In the evening of Rizal Day, I was catching up with my dear friend, Kar, over an iced Vietnamese coffee in the nearby mall. Kar has always been one of those good friends who will look you into the eye, and completely understands you, without even making any sounds or gestures. I don’t understand what science or magic is behind in such connection, but you get me. It is gem to find people like that in this world. Kar and I has always been so ambitious with our life goals, and being seatmates in our freshman year (although we actually have a person sitting in between us – but he was figuratively non existent to us), I learned while conversing with her that we share common sentiments on how the #goals we perceived before were very skin-deep. Get a nice job, buy expensive things, go here, go there, have a family, and be stable.
This is when it hit me that why do we always go around asking ourselves or people what their goals are, and always wait or anticipate responses citing things like must have, or must experience? I begin to wonder why we are not asking ourselves or others “what can I offer to the immediate world” instead?
I enjoy reflecting a lot in times like this, and days before the year ends, and think about all the challenges, and the fun times. It gives me peace – as I am reminded how transformational were some moments however seemingly difficult they were. I think there is actually nothing wrong with having resolutions or goals, especially when it is a new year since it freshly promises a clean slate again. And having goals absolutely keeps us grounded with what we ultimately want in life. But I would like to have myself to be constantly reminded that to this another page to fill, to focus more on the things we need, and what others immediately need from us, to stop comparing self to others, and to even positively celebrate more tiny victories.
Photo by Alexis Lim