Andy, Borgy and I have a midnight routine of walking from Emerald Avenue to Shaw Boulevard. On the way, we always stop at Nutrilicious to sit down and talk about issues at work and at home. Andy buys green tea, Borgy buys his mango drink, and I always go for chocolate. We smoke, laugh and sometimes sit in silence, not because we run out of words but perhaps we just want to have our share of private thoughts.
We go over frustrations at work. We think about what would happen in the next few days. Andy talks more so most of the time, Borgy just counters his claims or gives his opinions on the issues and I just listen and respond whenever I deem appropriate. At some point in our conversation last Friday, Andy initiated a topic about the path that he passionately aims to take.
Passion, as I see it, is a term so profound yet so commonly misused these days. It may refer to an intense desire to do something, or a flaming will to have somebody. Sexually, passion begets passion by an individual who expresses with no holds barred. Intellectually, it may involve religious yearning for knowledge. Professionally, it may refer to sustaining the kind of living that an individual has without losing the interest he exerts everyday.
While Andy was talking about his thoughts about his career and his short-term plans, I stared at him with my mind filled with irrelevant thoughts about what I should do once I get home, what I would do in the next couple of hours and what my breakfast would be.
Anyway, at the back of my mind, I told myself: Would I be like them? Would I be able to sustain this kind of determination to handle responsibility? Yes, I work, but will I still want to do this in the next few years?
Relatively, some filipinos have a negative trait called ningas kugon; a habit in which an individual is driven to accomplish something and in the long run loses the will to continue. Regardless of the reasons or excuses provided for the sudden loss of interest, the trait hinders a person from being spontaneous in thoughts, goals, words and actions. By failing to realize the need to finish the task, people involved in the plans are slowly affected, thus creating a bigger flaw in the movement of goals on a bigger scale.
Passion, in this regard, may seem essential, as it pushes an individual to do more. In this society where one thinks it's hopeless to make a small thing matter, passion influences people to be more intrisically motivated, thus, making them more efficient in doing the things they really want to do. Because of this, even the smallest actions become important and even the simple thoughts are given life.
To answer my question: honestly, I have no idea.
Fast forward--He asked me a question this evening while we were having our usual Nutrilicious break.
"Are you happy?"
Then I smiled.
"You mean, with everything?"
"Yup, are you generally happy?"
"Of course. Why wouldn't I be?"
"Why are you happy?"
It depends on how you define happiness; then I stopped for a split-second to figure out if what I said was correct.
People have different definitions of happiness. If you put it that way, it's like saying that happiness is relative. Is it?
I am happy because I have money, work and food.
More significantly, I am happy because I know I am loved. I know how imperfect I am but people still decide to understand me for who who I can never be. At times I feel frustrated that I cannot make things happen as I want them but I pull strings and at the end of each string, something good still happens. I am happy because I know how to love. To express this in so blunt a statement makes it sound insincere, but yes, I know how to give love. I can look at people and tell them that I can be so emotionally attached; no more, no less. Just love. Finally, I am happy because regardless of how flawed my world could be, I can still make ends meet. At the end of the day, I can still tell myself that Hallelujah, life is good.
If there is anything more I could wish for, it is for people to realize that they are happy to have me.
Going back to the question he imposed in our conversation, I looked at him, smiled, sipped the remaining contents of my cup and finally threw my yosi.
Just like a line from a movie, I told him, "I'm happy--well, not all day everyday, but yeah, everyday."
The topic was followed by the same bastusan and green jokes that we never grew out of.
Last question, however irrelevant this may be: Can something nutricious be delicious?
Of course. Haha.