THE GROWN UP THING

“Where do you see yourself ten years from now?”

This seems to be one of the “required” questions in every interview and up to this very moment, I know most of us would still answer the generic, “I would still be with this company, hopefully at a higher and more stable position.”

It is the answer that the recruiters would be expecting and most of the time. It is the answer that we give.

But the thing is; do we really know where we would be in ten years time?

I was on my way to the MRT one morning when I saw someone who I went to the university with. It’s been a really long time since I’ve talked to someone from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and it was a welcome change to the daily myriad of strangers I’ve faced for weeks so I asked her to join me for a cup of coffee.

We got to the usual how-have-you-been and reminiscing the times we shared in UPLB. We talked about the people we both knew and what those people are doing now, eight years after college.

Some, I knew, were already making a name in their chosen fields, the others married and happily counting the days they spend with their family. She said the same thing with little changes here and there.

“How about you?” She suddenly asked which caught me by surprise. “What have you been doing all these time?”

And that’s when it hit me.

I really wanted to be honest and tell her that I’ve been trying so hard to figure out what my life should be. I wanted to tell her that my life has been a series of beginnings that never really started well and that I am still undecided as to which path I should take.

But instead, just like in the interviews I have had, I gave the acceptable answer. I said that I was doing fine.

People say that in your twenties, you get to know what you really wanted to do with your life, to have a deeper understanding of who you really are, that moment in your life when you can finally say, “This is it! This is really is it?”

People would expect you to be more mature, to be surer of your actions, to not make any mistake, because in the eyes of the society, you are grown up.

Whatever mistakes we make, we hide it as much as we can because the society will always be there to ridicule us, to point out what a disappointment we are.

As per experience, we actually make more mistakes during our twenties. This is the time when young adults actually have the freedom to try new things, things that they were afraid to venture in before, things that they never thought they would ever do.

We mess up, make mistakes, get into trouble, and then hide it, hiding in plain sight most of the time to avoid the scrutiny of the society who acts as if they have never been through the same process of doubts and uncertainties.

May it be five or ten years after schooling, one would realize that we never really got out of the campus. We just transferred into a bigger world where the bullies are bigger and stronger, harsher than the bullies we have ever met before.

So for us who are still uncertain of what our life is supposed to be, we fake it, we fake it until we make it. We pretend to be grownups until we really do grow up.

I just hope that we all survive.

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