Went out my some friends tonight (an eat-all-you-can place near Quezon City Hall), hoping I could shake things off a bit. Well, it worked but then again, it also didn’t.
The one treating was an officemate on a short furlough from her masteral in Kobe, Japan (on scholarship grant through JICA). I could relate to her experiences in Japan, simply because I was there for two weeks on a free study tour (sponsored by the Japan Foundation). You see, I had so much free time on my hands during college (read: I was a nerd) because I took advance summer classes (read: I did not have a social/love/any life) that I took an additional 12 units of Spanish (to prepare for law proper) and pursue a minor degree in Japanese Studies (the first batch in Ateneo de Manila). Think of that free trip to Japan as laboratory of what we have been reading.
That was in October 1991. That took me back. Back when the rest of my life was still before me. A consistent honor student in both college and law school. Enough ability to earn a free trip abroad on sheer academic merit. A possible life abroad right then and there. A deal with my mother to fund an eventual masteral pursuit in Harvard after a few years of law practice. A long standing relationship with a woman light years better than who I eventually ended up with (and ended with).
To say that I had potential for success was an understatement.
I gave all of that for a marriage that eventually disintegrated. And during the disintegration period, “that girl” even had the temerity to “compare” what she allegedly gave up with what I did.
Of course, you may say I still have potential since I’m still relatively young. You may still say, given my kids, the deal was fair. You may even say that there’s no point in dealing with the what ifs and life should not have any regrets.
Pardon me, but when I think of my potential more than ten years ago and where I am now I cannot help but regret. A stagnant practice always on the edge. A ton of credit card debt. Dwindling self-esteem when all that I have gone through so far has finally hit me.
The more I think of what was capable of then and what I am now, I could not help but ask:
What did I do to deserve this?
Is it fair that a single instance when my little head clouded my entire judgment chart the ruin of all my potential?
Is it too late now to turn things around?
Will I be just stuck with developing the potential of my progeny or can I still live up to my own?
Will my children pay if I try to do something to turn around my life?
Will I play selfish now at the expense of my children? Will I play person or parent?
Can I choose both?
Is there a way where I can have my cake and eat it too?
Is life always a choice between one over another or can we have both (or all)?
If it’s always a choice, why is that so?
I know that should not be the case. But I can’t help feeling and thinking this way now. Just bear with me, folks.
It may just be a phase.