Clenuar: Of needs and wants

Alyssa C. Clenuar

I WAKE up every day to revving engines and honking cars. They make me defy the bed’s gravity and force myself to clean up before I whip my ass to work. I put on decent clothes and wind up in a jeepney full of sweat and stench from swinging armpits. And before I even reach my destination, I am as well contaminated with the reek from the hellish armpits. What happens after that involves a lot of work which I clock-out almost 12 hours a day. Then I drag my “zombified” body home and fall on my bed [occasionally with my working clothes on]. This is the story of my life and probably yours, too.

As a corporate slave, I also get rewarded with things the world can offer albeit in the least way possible. I work in a customer service industry helping people create a legacy of their own by publishing their books.

Everything here is in the fast lane to hit steep numbers which include the littlest yet essential thing – the food I eat. Best Lunch Buddies award goes to Jollibee and McDonald’s. If these buddies fail due to long queues, I resort to Marlboro in the meantime. Puffing smoke, I am forced to question if a high paying salary is worth the daily anxieties of a corporate slave. Then airplane seat sales and discounted gadgets happen.

Having the money to purchase, without hesitation, I buy. There is the answer to my question. Even on impulse, I can still afford to lose a bill or two without starving myself the next couple of days.

However, I again wake up to the sound of engines and honking cars, reminding me that everything is now a routine: I work, I get paid and I squander. I again question if I really want this to go on and on for the rest of my life. “I could either quit or find a job that I will enjoy,” I tell myself. “If I quit, I can no longer eat; if I stay, I would be depressed,” is the constant refrain in my head. A light bulb flashes; I pick my camera, go out looking for good subjects and better angles. If the Universe sprinkles luck today, I get a good photo to post in my personal blog. If not, I will try tomorrow and write instead.

For a person like me who was not born into this world with wealth or political pedigree, putting food on my table and having a roof above my head are priorities. Being connected to the corporate world is a need.

While I try my best to kick hard advancing at least a notch higher from the poverty belt every day, I also do not forget my wants to keep me sane so I tick that shutter release every time I remember to follow my dreams. It is like living in a loop each day, every day.