Monday, August 30, 2010

Downfall In The Midst

It began with a secret experiment early last week. The goal was to live through an entire day with just twenty pesos in my wallet - just enough for a jeepney ride to take me to work and back home again. Interference from outside sources, especially my mother was not allowed. Requesting for loan or spare change from colleagues and friends was subverted. It was a test of endurance: to instill in one's mind the value of humility. The experiment was a success, save for some days when my presence was required elsewhere. Saturdays were spared from such parsimony. Engkanto nights will always remain the same.

Now you ask why I did allow such state to happen. Truth is, I have foreseen its coming. The problem is that I didn't make preparations to cushion myself from the blow. Looking at the bigger picture, it was inevitable. I spent a fortune during my sister's wedding. I had to enroll in school to finish my masters. I also had to pay for the car's yearly registration since the responsibility falls under me. There was no way I could shift from one career to another given the circumstances at work. Talk about being cornered.

The bottom line is, I spent beyond my means.

The bills are piling up before my first paycheck shows in my bank account. Assessing the situation, I am set to lose my entire salary next month just by paying off some debts. Don't get me wrong, the expenses are still manageable. The supreme sacrifice is just a way to ensure that I have room to maneuver when the bills for October come.

Living next to the ledge has its perks too. The view is more breathtaking when you're a few steps away from the ravine. You get to appreciate life as it is - without its material comforts, its ravenous appetite to acquire more things, its natural affinity to turn a back to those who cannot afford to get more from it. You are always one step ahead knowing that your every move might lead to your downfall, and that itself is already a reward.

Unless you get tired of living a half-life.

The month is coming to a close. The future maybe bleak but these little exercises in frugality have somehow made a dent and prepared me to hold the line until overturning the situation could be possible.

Mami Athena would say its forbidden to speak "wala akong pera," for it attracts bad vibes across the cosmos. She even claims that she never felt so wala just by not telling those three accursed words when issues about money are laid down on the table. The mistress was right, my remote investments will stay intact and it will remain so even if I could not afford to leave the house. As for an entire month living off with just twenty pesos several days a week, the challenge and the promise of experience is as exciting as the hardships I could imagine.

It's not as bad as you think,

For when you go past the hurdle, nothing can bring you down anymore.