On Quarter-Life Crisis

Exactly a week ago, I was invited to the 18th birthday celebration of my former choirmate who happens to be taking up Music Production at De La Salle University – St. Benilde. Contrary to an all debutante-focused night I was expecting, the party turned out to be a mini concert showcasing the gift most people in that ball share: music.

Surprisingly, the night did not focus on Janine, the celebrator’s, talent alone; but it featured acts of her parents, siblings, friends, and of course, her classmates singing, dancing, and playing their instruments. It was awe-inspiring to see each performance unfold and to have gathered such a large amount of willing entertainers in one place.

I could never put into words how good all of them sounded, but I am sure that with that kind of students getting bachelors to create harmony, the upcoming sounds our radios will emit will never be mediocre. Luckily for them, they have prowess, they are on the right course, what else could go wrong?

This brings me to my all-too abominable realization that I am not even an inch close to being like them. Because at 24 years old, I have no idea what the hell I really want to do with my life.

For people who do not know me, may I just share that I was a chorister of 11 long years. It was something I did alongside study and work; I enjoyed it knowing that not everyone can serve the Church, balance their schedule, and make use of their talents in a useful way. I know for a fact that I am not the superstar type, I am never the soloist, and I am one of the Altos: the girls with the lowest voice. I know how to blend, and I blend well with the group. I guess all choristers once thought of entering Conservatory of Music in College, and I also did thought of that once, well just once.

Then there’s this all-too familiar dream of being a journalist. That was my plan when I went out of High School, to run after stories and have my own bylines.

It did not happened exactly as planned though, but I still lived the life of a journalist when I entered the student publication in college, where I in fact, became Editor-in-Chief for two years. But after graduation, deadlines are not about facts anymore: they became medications, and nobody gives a damn whether my story, I mean my charting, has perfect grammar.

At present, I am a Registered Nurse with three years of hospital experience under my white cap. But my extreme apologies to Florence Nightingale and to the Board of Nursing whom I solemnly delivered my oath upon, I believe I could not fulfill my nurse duties up to my last breath. I have read once that “if you love what you do, then work does not feel like work at all”. But what if happiness is not felt? Then where does love fit in?

What is my purpose? I know it is bad to be questioning the Lord of His plans because only He knows them but I am really apprehensive. I mean why do some people know ahead of time what they wanted? Like Janine and her classmates? Why are parents, like mine, allowed to coerce the future of their kids?

A quick tip to parents out there: landing a job after your child’s graduation is least of your priority in his/her education, his/her happiness is utmost.

I am on this age that half of my peers are starting their lives as parents while the other half are overseas nurses; I am on neither half. I do not exactly have the money to finance myself to study Music or Journalism and quit my present job, you know. And then what, will I be the next Anderson Cooper, Lea Salonga, or something more awesome? Really, it is this age that it feels like I desperately want to move but can’t, maybe this is how having a stroke feels.

It is no secret that I plan to move out of this country; the desire heightened even more as it does not only involve financial issues, but my very own life crisis as well. I am bound to find what I really wanted, my purpose, alone.

Final Words

Above and behold, I seriously believe that one, I am very talented, and two, I was born to be something really big in this world no matter what my diploma says. So better watch out!

*Quarter-Life Crisis – a period of anxiety, uncertainty, or inner turmoil that often accompanies the transition to adulthood.


This article was published in GMA News Online’s Lifestyle Section, under ‘Firsts’ dated September 2, 2015.