On the contrary

I have to write this down, because the opposite tends to happen after I’ve said or written it.  Everything else had come true, except for the last one.

There were many things she said about me, how I am not of the journalistic kind.  I’m not the one to write down facts, but make up stories.  That I could spend hours lost in space, because my imagination always runs amuck.

You seem to be in the middle of a big decision in your career.  You’re one foot in, one foot out.  I see travels within six months, out of the country.  Any relationship you have now or will have within the next two years will be trial relationships.  It will never last.  When you’re 30 or 31, you will meet someone and that will be the one.  The in-laws will not be welcoming to you, but you won’t care and it won’t matter to you.

That was the end of October last year.  The seasons have ended by January.  I did quit work and did go out of the country last December and on the sixth month, this April.  The last one is two or three years away.  And I wonder.

I have a good track record for contradictions.  It was made apparent to me that I don’t exactly go with the majority, the flow, and the way of the world when I was in college.  When our midterm results were released, our instructor was sad to the point of despondency over the dismal results.  Only two passed in the exams, she said.  The first one got 5 mistakes, the other got 7.  The rest failed, spectacularly.  The next one, who got the highest of those who failed, got less than half of the total.  There were some who had single digit scores.  I was the one with the 7 mistakes.  My classmates clamored for a retest, especially since majority failed.  The teacher relented and she set it the week after that.  When the results came out, everyone got very high scores.  Only two failed; I got the second lowest score.

It would go on all throughout college.  I failed the only programming subject we ever had.  The funny thing is, the teacher boasted that he never failed any of his students in his more than ten years of teaching.  Until he met me.

Most of my classmates struggled with the series of Engineering Mathematics, our two Electromagnetics, and our Digital Signal Processing subjects.  Some were kicked out of the university because of them.  Those were the six A’s in my transcript.  Where majority of my classmates excelled, I floundered.  What came naturally easy for me, were impossibly hard for others.

It’s not for lack of trying to fit in.  I guess I’m just wired a little differently.  How do you make conversation when everyone failed and you got the perfect score?  Or when everyone passed, happy and jubilant and you failed?  You sort of feel left out, an outsider looking in to a world that, while it fascinates you, will contradict and prove you wrong.  No matter what you say or what you do, the contrary will happen.  No matter what is expected from you, you're probably bound not to live up to them.  When everyone's running away from the hurricane, I'm traipsing right into the eye of the storm.

Everyone warned me that staying in the US will super size me, because that's what happen to everyone.  They leave the Philippines thin or average-built and return bloated with a matching oversize ego and a ridiculous twang.  I guess I'm not everyone.  I staved off a few pounds, trimmed my waistline to 28, made skinny jeans look loose, got mistaken for a serious runner because my legs look sculpted, and hey! I can grate cheese with those bread of salt in the stomach.  And while I can do the twang easy, there's no point speaking that way.

I never made it known to anyone that I was resigning for work or that I had planned on taking a vacation out of the country last December.  Because if I did, those things may not have had happened.  Like what happened the December before that.  When my officemates asked me before where I’d be spending my holidays, I told them where because everything was supposed to be set already.  Until things started unraveling and the best laid plans got waylaid.

I know I cannot say or write anything in stone, because life with its twisted humor will throw that stone at me and make me eat my words.  It has happened so many times there’s no sense tempting fate.  Except this.

Maybe if I write this down, it won’t be two or three years from now.  It won’t be when I’m 30 or 31.  Instead, it will be on my own time.


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