I remember when I got back to Manila in 2012 to start working again, I was juggling five projects at a time. I was just so happy to be back at work that I took everything that was available and I was actually managing them quite fine at the beginning.
I had been sent back to Bacolod to get better and it took me two and a half years to recuperate from a bout with meningitis that almost killed me. But in 2012, I was ready to return to Manila and start writing again.
And I was, and I was doing great at the start. I was juggling five scripts and I had also just started writing for Juice at the time.
But one by one, things started to get bad. The film projects went sour and while some paid me for the work that I did, others didn’t; and the worst part? Only one of those movies made it to production, which eventually turned into Sonata. I am very happy about that. I love Sonata so much but it was one of five films that could have been made. All that work. More than the money, it was getting my name out there and getting people to see these films that I had written.
When things started to go sour and I had picked up more work from magazines and the newspaper (I was contributing semi-regularly to YoungStar at the time), I started to feel the need to simplify. So, I chopped off my hair. I had it shaved off and it was really, really short that it sort of pissed off my Dad who likes me with long hair.
But I needed to simplify. I needed something that was easy to maintain and dealing with my hair was a distraction to the work that I was doing at the time.
And now, I’m sort of in that same situation. I am working on a project that was too good to be true and it would have lead to the possibility of two more projects right after; big ones, that was going to set the tone for the rest of my life, really. I was so excited to do it but then, just the other day, the proverbial other shoe dropped and things started to get sketchy.
I’ve given up some stuff for this and, worse, I’ve given up looking for a regular source of income because this project was going to keep me afloat for a long while and now, I don’t even know if it is pushing through. And I’ve worked hard for this already and I’ve nothing to show for it.
So what did I do? I cut it all off. Went to the salon near my place and I told my stylist I wanted it short. “Beast mode” I called it.
Now, I have to think of what to do next. Re-strategize my 2015 plans. Because I am still going to make it work and I refuse to be pushed to the ground. And for that to happen, I need to simplify again. Remove the distractions.
And it starts with the hair.