“The story of one person is the story of all humanity.”
That is what Paulo Coelho says in his book The Devil and Miss Prym, and I couldn’t help but nod in agreement.
We can’t deny the fact that we all reach a point in our lives where, despite all of the positivity and willpower we hold, we attenuate ourselves into just three words: lost and confused.
And I’m afraid to say that for me, now is that point in my life.
What makes the thought even worse is when we begin to self-inflict ourselves with questions such as ‘Should I go here or there?’, or ‘What should I do now?’, or better yet, ‘Is this the right path for me?’ .
You wake up the next day with a lot of questions, and boil down to the same questions right before sleeping.
Post-Graduation Syndrome. Luckily, such word exists on the net.
Well, graduation day is certainly to blame for this.
Just a month ago, I finally got my college degree in Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. What makes my life even more interesting and complicated at the same time (and I’ll tell you why in a bit) is how in the world I graduated with latin honors. I somehow feel uncomfortable talking about it though.
Perhaps, because looking back at those 5 longs academic years, I ought to do more than what I had done to deserve such thing.
Perhaps, it is, in my opinion, because of the tendency of people to project the awardee as someone who is ‘a natural genius’ or ‘born smart’, which I think isn’t supposed to be. I truly believe anyone could be an honor student because it is more of ‘work hard & work smart’ than being ‘a natural genius’.
Or perhaps, it is simply because I don’t believe I was born for engineering.
…Which leads me to my next point.
Poetry. Music. The Arts! That’s what I believe I was born for.
Engineering…hmmm? I am not quite sure.
And that’s what makes all of these into one big confusing thing. How in the world did I ever achieve something great when I didn’t put so much heart and passion as I should’ve?
Speaking of art, I’ve always wanted to make an impact especially in music. I had said this years ago and I’ll say it again: Music is my ultimate passion. I want to write music. I want to play music. I want to meet people through music. I have always dreamed of being in a cruise, playing music around the world.
And ever since, I always felt like the fulcrum of a seesaw, trying to raise and lower both aspects of my life. I tried so hard balancing the heck out of these two, that it had become such a burden. It was a like a clash between David and Goliath, only that it wasn’t a lopsided match. It was anyone’s game. It was science versus art, and I was the battlefield.
As I had done so much hard work just to graduate and finish my college degree, a stream of opportunities for music went along the way, unexpectedly. And I didn’t even try so hard looking out for these! These opportunities were only small cafe and bar gigs, yet I am feeling the big positive change it has brought upon me, especially in terms of confidence and social growth.
Unfortunately, in the end (which is apparently now), I could only agree to what the Bible has to say: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.
One summer day, I locked myself in my room in deep introspection and soliloquy (I do this quite often) and recalled two of the recent milestones I achieved: graduated Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering as Cum Laude ; and being able to play gigs in the city, getting paid for loving to do it, and being a part of a musical community.
*To add a dramatic storyline that is Paulo Coelho inspired* — Somehow, it felt like the universe was talking to me in a certain way, but I couldn’t explain it. I couldn’t quite grasp what it was, and I felt the words coming out of my mouth.
If you hadn’t, even for a single moment, loved engineering, then why did you even try?
Duh, because I was sure I’d be able to graduate somehow since I am quite good with math and analysis; Duh, so I could make my family proud of me; Duh, so I could have a stable job; Duh, so I could get rich and travel the world. Duh, so I could do something noble for the world.
I could only portray in my own limited imagination how the universe looks exactly at that very moment. Praise the Lord for funny memes and meme generators, it looks almost like Spongebob below:
I guess I deserve this mockery.
Translating these words of mockery in my own understanding, it seems like the universe was trying to tell me that it was my natural drive to do something noble that had led me to pursue engineering.
As for the latin honors, I would want to believe that it was the universe’s way of saying “go on and do not stop”.
Why though? Can I not do something as noble with music?
Well, the universe can’t keep on answering questions from the same guy, apparently.
And though the universe had given me an answer(?) of some sort, still, it is a hard thought to swallow. I mean, I know what noble means, but in a wider and deeper sense, what does noble really mean? More so, what does noble mean with respect to my earthly existence?
The story of one person is the story of all humanity. Right now, there’s nothing I could do to make myself feel better but feed upon the superficial consolation I get from knowing that millions of people are experiencing the same dark hole as I am.
But I guess this life is a game of choices. A game of chance. A game wherein everyone is too late to realize whether it was the right choice or not.
But for the universe, Maktub. (Paulo Coelho reference again *wink*)
I’m planning to pass the Civil Engineering board examination this coming November, probably gain a few years of work experience, then pursue a master’s degree abroad. Afterwhich, I’m not yet sure what to do next.
As to where and when the whole ‘noble’ thing comes in, I certainly do not know. It might come naturally or unexpectedly along the way. Better yet, it might reveal itself as another Mocking Spongebob meme, or even better.
So, what happens to my music life now?
I never want to tell myself that I’m giving up music, although in reality, I have to at some degree in order to focus on engineering. On the bright side, I’d like to revel on the fact that it was never I that searched for music. It was music that searched for me. There’s nothing that I could do more but be hopeful that it stays that way.
And whether I can do something noble with music, perhaps yes, and most probably even without knowing it. I want to believe that noble acts come naturally by doing things with passion and love.
Then, I guess I have to give the same passion and love for engineering.
And because it gives me little joy, I decided to name this WordPress entry as such.
“Same Road, Rough Boy.” (SRRB)
Who knows, it might just be the perfect title for my very first Extended Play (EP) or Album.
P.S. If you are a civil engineer or a civil engineering student, you might have immediately realized what I did there from the start, lel. 🙂