It has been a whirlwind. I came back to Manila with the sole purpose of just getting my life started again. I am the kind of person where my work is my life. I have nothing against people whose work doesn’t define them but I’m just not that kind of person. I love it that what I do defines me. I am a writer and a filmmaker and a poet. I could’ve stayed in Bacolod with my family. They would have wanted me to stay, for sure. But my work is here. The city is the world that I understand and it’s what I know and grew up with.
And it has been a whirlwind. I came back and made new friends. I got work. People were excited to work with me. I moved to a new part of the metropolis and everything is new. I’ve come to understand a whole new different context of who I am and I’m excited in exploring who I am after everything I’ve done for the past twenty years. I dated for the first time in thirteen years, fell in love, and then it ended. That’s completely new. That hasn’t happened to me in over a decade. I’m living alone again and I haven’t been since 2010. The first time I lived alone was in 2004. This is my third try. I want it to stick.
But as whirlwinds go, some things are lost in the chaos. For the first time since I got back and started working that reality has hit me hard. I’m in-between pay checks and while I’ve enough to pay the bills and keep me fed, I am at the threshold of my earning capacity and I’m gonna have to start to tighten my belt until the regular jobs come in.
I’ve been a freelancer most of my working life so I’m used to rolling the work. Every month, I’d always have money to collect from work I’ve been doing the week before, the month before, three months before. I’ve always been consistent with work and there’s always money coming in.
But I’ve been gone for a whole year. I’m starting from scratch. Literally. I went to Manila with barely enough to start myself up and I’m doing fine. But certain jobs that were waiting for me got pushed back by some months and I didn’t find out until I got here. The work offers keep coming but payment is always late. It’s been tough balancing out everything.
Reality has kicked in and I’ve been on a high for the past two months but it’s time to get my feet on the ground and hole up until the regular work comes in. One is coming second week of July, one is in August, and the other is coming in on September. I’ve got a lot of projects but God knows how quickly they’ll pay up. I’ve got a regular gig writing movie reviews for Interaksyon but that won’t be enough to keep me secure. The most secure of my projects is on August.
I’m going to be okay. The reality of my current situation just hit me. I’m gonna adjust. It’s just that the one year I’ve been gone took me out of my groove. I was in a safe place and I wasn’t growing and I wasn’t challenged and so I got complacent. This is the kick I need to get me out of my ass again and remind me that I’m not in some fantasy world.
You kind of live in your head when your stuck in a comfort zone. I don’t want like being in my comfort zones. Because I’m an imaginative person. My fantasy worlds are so dangerous because I can stay there forever.
I needed this.
That’s the thing about leaps of faith. There are no real safety nets. If there are, you can’t see them. And the drop is far. But you leap because you have to. Because you have to grow and become the person you imagine yourself to be.
I took a leap of faith. Flew back to Manila with nothing but a suitcase, promises, and very little money and I’ve made it this far somehow. I’m finding my wings.