March 3, 2007
Work Hard, Play Hard, Live Hard
I didn't plan it to be, but my 3 weeks' stay in Manila underscored a personal tagline I always stood by, one that spontaneously played itself - work hard, play hard, live hard.
I'm the only one I know of, who can honestly say I enjoy my newfound level of poverty - less is more. I only work enough to pay for my essential needs - food, shelter and internet connection (forget about clothes...old t-shirts will do). I get by, being a couple of months short of hitting skid row. I feel my edge and with that, I get my sense of bearing...another of my ka-meaning-ngan lifestyle choice.
I've gone through having 3 jobs at one time; webmaster in the morning, coffee proprietor during my breaks, and freelance web designer at night. The money was good but quality of life was down the drain. I'd start working at 8am and finish around 2am...not much of a life. I smartened up. Now, I only work when I want to or when I have to, whichever comes first...and I only work enough to push my skid-row crash a couple more months. I don't aim for a chateau in Lyon nor the Lamborghini Diablo anymore (Murcielago looks too constipated for me). Wealth comes in having the freedom to do what I want to do.
A project landed on my lap that demanded 100% perspiration. While in Manila, I worked intensely cranking out web pages while project managing the web campaign. With a programmer bailing out days before the live date, I was scampering on getting a qualified replacement to meet the deadline. The mandate was to deliver according to specs at the agreed time frame...nothing else was more imperative. I was pushing the edge to make it happen. It was a good rush. It reminded me of my heady corporate days. I had the single-minded focus to deliver...at all costs. Yeah...work hard. It's its own rush.
After immersing myself intensely in work during the day, I'd go out at night partying the nightly UP Fair. Live bands do their thing until the wee hours. I'd hook up with my UP Mountaineers friends, friends from GRIP...and just acquaintances I haven't seen in ages. Other times I just found myself high up in the scaffolding of the climbing walls and just see the fair ground from above. While things were jumping, it seemed muted from above...a kind of silence within chaos. When the week-long fair was over, I'd chill out at Mag:net Café, shooting the breeze with friends and complete strangers as well. There's always a band playing. At P150 including 1 beer, it's bang-for-the-buck. It's all good...as long as I was out. It was my reward for an honest day's work...a fix I keep looking for.
I thought that if you play hard enough and work hard enough, you essentially live hard enough...maybe. But a turn of events added dimension to that. What if you take on a terrifying life decision that uproots you out of your anchor and into a realm of the once-familiar? I just did. It felt like the bottom lid fell from underneath me, throwing me into an aimless float...naked, vulnerable, cold and frightened. But it had to be done in order to stay true.
Life is about choices. More often than not, we all know too well what the right choices are. But we don't usually decide on taking them. Many reasons come into play - complacency, fear of the unknown, dependency, security, attachment, who knows what else? It's not that easy staying real. When you bite the grit however, guided only by the faith it's a right decision, horizons open up even wider. The precious thing you left behind is not lost...it simply evolves to accomodate the new changes. In the process, it maintains its sustainability, continually adapting to the many changes that lie ahead. Personal growth to all concerned is ensured. I am confident that in time, looking back to this, I'll take comfort feeling (in addition to already knowing) the right choice was made.
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