One Year Later

I never thought it would come to this. I never even really thought about it. I just sort of assumed--a little pridefully, I admit, but without really giving it all that much thought--that when I finished school I'd go off and begin my life as a successful Woman of the World.

In the back of my head (you know that part of the mind where imagination and reality become difficult to separate? It's that place you don't show other people, that idealistic little spot where you truly believe all your dreams can and will come true against all odds, given time and opportunity), I saw myself with my own place, my own car, and an awesome, well-paying job. I was toned, Solenn Heussaff-style. I had a walk-in closet. I was going on a book tour for my internationally-acclaimed novel. I read Kant, Nietzsche, Marx, and other intellectual stuff. I could quote from the best literary works. I was traveling the world.

Call me a dreamer, but come on. Didn't you have those illusions, too?

Hell, don't you still?

And yet here I am, a full year after graduation, and I find that not much has changed at all. 

I'm still living in my parents' house. I still read fantasy books, and can barely get past a page or two of philosophy. I haven't written that novel, though I promise myself over and over that I'll get on with it tomorrow (until something else comes up). I sort of have my own car, and I love my job--but those two I already had even before I finished college.

No, I haven't got that walk-in closet. According to Coach Chappy Callanta at 360 Fitness Club  where I'm getting regular exercise for the first time in my twenty-two years, I have to get rid of 8% of my body fat to even get a shadow of the abs I want...and as I am incapable of keeping my hands (and my mouth) off sweets, I don't know how that's going to work.

At this point it sounds like I'm feeling sorry for myself. Let me get this through, okay? NO, I'M NOT. In fact, I'm happier with my life as it is right now than I ever was in school.

See, in the year since I graduated, I've accepted the fact that life doesn't work out exactly as planned. We dream and we work and we hope and we pray, but things will happen the way they do anyway, despite what we think we want.

So I don't have all that stuff I thought I would. So what? It's only been a year. I won't even hold it against myself after five years. Because life has presented me with other things--things I didn't know I wanted--for which I'm so completely thankful for.

How about parents who are willing to support whatever I want to do? How about friends who listen, and who give me the best times even when we're doing the stupidest things? How about getting to be one of three faces of a whole new channel? How about making the cover of a magazine? How about getting the chance to write for publications that allow me to be an influence, no matter how small, on young girls?

My point is this: I'm going to work hard to make those things I want happen. I'm going to keep myself motivated. But I'm not going to sweat it if they don't come true right away. Life's too short to mope about what I don't have.

One year later, and I'm still learning, still rising and falling, still happy to be alive. I think those are enough for now, don't you?


  1. Definitely more than enough for now.

    If you're interested in philosophy: I don't know about Nietzsche and Marx, but I can suggest two books for very easy reads of Kant, and related philosophers.

    The Elements of Moral Philosophy by James and Stuart Rachels
    Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? by Michael Sandel

    Michael Sandel also has a few videos on YouTube talking about these sorts of issues.

    Hopefully that should give you very easy access to philosophy. It feels like cheating at times (since it's so easy), but at least you'll be able to talk about Kant, Bentham and Rawls with a philosophy major without breaking a sweat.

    Also, it's funny that I'm looking to lose about 8% of my body fat too. Having absolutely no luck with that either. Heh. Good thing it's not even really summer yet (at least, where I live).

  2. Or, if you want really, really easy:

    Kant in Three Minutes



  3. this is amazing. thank you

  4. Well said as usual. Great assessment of year 1. I was kinda worried that you had given up on this blog. Hope you never do give up on your dreams as well as on this blog. I always say "Its not the destination but the journey getting there that matters."

  5. Je! I wrote something like this a few weeks ago for Inquirer! Hahaha

  6. Although that unauthorized online version has so many errors... :( I can't find it in our online archives.

  7. ♥♥♥♥♥ ->>> "...life doesn't work out exactly as planned. We dream and we work and we hope and we pray, but things will happen the way they do anyway, despite what we think we want."

  8. wala kang magawa pakamatay ka na lang gaga ungas!!!!

  9. @it is as it is: i can't open the page! :(

    @everyone else: thanks!!! :)

    @that last anonymous: ;-)

  10. thank you. i was having these exact thoughts earlier today, reading this reminded me how much i should be thankful for instead of moping around about things that didnt happen or things i dont have YET. :)

  11. buti nga ikaw, 1 yr. pa lang, ako 3 yrs! akala ko nga "madali" sa real world. lahat ng lofty expectations ko, parang bulang nagburst. hindi pala ganun kadali. kaya dapat pala, bata pa lang pera na agad ang iniisip. kasi nakakapressure eh.

  12. Very inspiring, thanks Jessica, keep up the good work :)

  13. That was an enjoyable read ..

    A year out of college :) a lot of the maturity and material stuff arrives when you're about to breach thirty (30) :) .. that was an enjoyable read

  14. Wow. Thanks. I thought I was the only one who lives a whole new life at the back of her mind. :D

  15. well said :) and i can very much relate to that. i feel like i'm swerving away from my dreams, but what if i'm only going on a detour because i'm not yet ready to achieve my dreams? maybe i still have lessons to learn and the only possible way of learning them is to make that detour. :D

  16. ..wow.. buti na lang nabsa ko ito.. 2 yrs n nkakaraan wala parin pagbabago sa profession na napili sa akin..

  17. The very first time I took notice of you (that was last year) I've been a very big fan of yours. Honest to goodness, I truly look up to you, you are my idol and my inspiration. And the more I get to know you, the more I am being inspired by you. :)

  18. I always say, you'd be weird (or inhuman) if you don't encounter these thoughts/problems right after graduation.

    You're what, 22 or 23? I'm sure these thoughts would haunt you for the next few years until you actually get a grip on who you are and what you want to be.

    Keep writing, it is entertaining.

  19. What happened after a year now?
    Having fun reading your blogs :)