Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Posthaste Reverie

Previously: Chasing Hours

Twice, there was an attempt to walk away from the project. The first was during the on-boarding process. I was the last among my batch to review the training materials for reasons of incompetence. The second was on the last leg of the training. The exercise required doing actual work, which I stalled for a day and a half thanks to laziness. If not for my superior, who kept track of my very slow progress, I would have slinked away and ditched the home-based job.

There was no commitment at the beginning. I was preoccupied with the new assignment at the office. I no longer know how to set some time for freelance work. Besides, there was already a sense of contentment when I made the cut. That it was enough. And when I learned that it takes some time to actually learn the job, and that writing summaries would take much of my time, I was in for a quick retreat. 

I was willing to start over and bid for easier jobs on Elance.

For some reasons, I was able to pull myself together and actually write for my freelance work. Blame that overwhelming pressure as the culprit. As thoughts of extra income stirred me to spend, I became determined to make money through the only choice I have. I would write for the raket at work - sometimes even when the boss was around; at home - when not in slumber; I even squeezed doing freelancing instead of working out at the gym.

It was hard work.

And I paid the price.

It became a source of malaise. I was down with a flu for a week and yet I went on writing between the self-imposed breaks. It sowed discord between my manager and a staffing agency at Odesk, when I learned that my earnings were coursed through a third party without my knowledge. As a result, my work was unpaid for weeks because of the delay in refunds. And when I asked the company - the provider of the sideline I do today - if they accept subcontractor arrangements, I was confronted by the same manager to demand explanation.

Because all I wanted really is to bring some of my colleagues at the office aboard.

All of these happened in the course of a single month: A midsummer, when I let the days roll by without having a recollection of how the hours were spent; a moment, when my very identity was consumed by my single-minded desperation to earn. There were times it felt I was selling my soul for material comforts, but then, given the need to spur my cash reserves, I had to force myself to believe that therein lies my sweet spot.   

That no matter the sacrifices, the chance to a better future is laid upon me.

It's been a month since I halfheartedly decided to rely on Raket Science to keep my finances afloat, and despite the setbacks and the heartaches - the guilt of giving up so much just for this one shot to a bountiful life, I would have to say my choice has paid off.

I've already recovered the savings I had lost.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Previously on Diaspora

The other day, I had an informal chat with an old client. They are engaged in B2B marketing of green products and services. The client was asking if I could install the mobile app they created, and rate it on Google Play. Since I had nothing to do, I was more than happy to set aside some time to explore the app and write a review about it. The comment I wrote - both in public and private - seemed to have won the client's approval, and what started as a small talk had turned into exploratory discussion about working for them once more.

The exchange packs a lot of promise. After all, anything that is eco-friendly will find its appeal to the market. This belief, has long endeared me to the client. I have nothing but admiration to the vision they are trying to sell. The app is still in its Beta stage, and the client disclosed that should they win the bidding, they will have to move to a country in the Middle East. Their project aims to create a directory of green products and services in a city in Saudi Arabia.

And they were asking me to join them and work there.

The invitation took me by surprise. I was flattered, and for a moment the words rung, like it would cause the collapse of my long held principles. To be clear, I was merely asking if they have data entry jobs we could work on. For the client, however, the suggestion was a loud musing. Had I said "yes" to their invitation, nothing still would come out of the negotiation.

Except heartaches.

In a time when every person I know plans to work in Singapore or some other country where the pay is significantly higher, the idea of joining the bandwagon has yet to cross my mind. So strong is my aversion to becoming a foreign worker - or immigrant - that I'm willing to take extra jobs just to support my lifestyle. The reason, I believe, already goes beyond the need for someone to stay behind: halfway through my lifetime, I am more afraid to be uprooted and start elsewhere, than live a life with meager resources. 

It makes me sad thinking nothing would change my mind.

There are times I wonder if I'm letting some good opportunities pass by. There are clear indications that I'm more than qualified to work abroad than those who struggle to get there. And yet, I cling to my comfort zone believing this is the only world I've got. Like those who elected themselves to remain in Manila, I get a tinge of envy when someone I know succeeds in another country. They come back and move around like royalties, and rather than feel the pitch, and the pressure to catch up, the absence at reunions speak of my resignation. 

That I still have to prove the merits of my chosen direction.

Looking back and recalling the conversation with the old client, the invitation to work in the Kingdom revealed my stubbornness to open myself to the possibilities. For instead of responding to his suggestion, I skipped the question entirely and opted to stick to the app subject. 

Not even a hint of interest to work in the desert city was shown, when it's obvious that life offered a new direction. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What You Can Never Take Away


A Lesson In Freelancing
Chasing Hours

I wake up at past nine to send my morning greetings to my partner. And then off I go to the toilet, to fill the bucket I use to water the already wilting plants. I would then return to bed to talk to the beau. An hour before lunchtime, the laptop would be switched on. It is the start of my workday, which often, wraps up at daybreak the next day.

It has been my cycle since I turned to raket science to beef up my wealth. With the kids at home getting sick, and the matriarch having panic spells when daily needs find its way into the conversation, the only resolution I have is to make extra money. It means logging on to the website of the company that hired me last month.

And do work.

For all intents and purposes, I signed up to a full-time job. I thought the work is easy, but it is not. I could have walked out - like so many others in my batch. But at the end of the day, the extra work promises to increase my earnings. I see a long-term partnership in this venture, with my workplace getting a piece of the pie if I cook the ingredients well. 

But the personal cost is staggering. No longer I could sleep at night without thinking of the quota for next day. I could even say that sometimes, respite comes only when I think of my boyfriend. That he is with me, and his presence affords me to undertake such life-altering projects like this.

For the first time in recent memory, I am no longer dreaming. I am pursuing a dream.

And so, even when I indulge in written rants, or let myself get immersed in the social media banters I shun lately, there is no reason to step back and turn around to the dicey life I had. What matters is I remember the essence: the activities that define who I am now - to the day of my last breath.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Lesson In Freelancing

It has come to a point where clawing into my pockets had reached its limits, and, without other sources of income to serve as my buffer, it would take months before I can truly say that my funds have been replenished. I spend beyond my earnings and for that, I turn to freelancing so I may not sink beneath my payment obligations. 

Elance has been my saving grace for the longest time. The problem, however, lies, with bidding. One has to draft a pitch - a letter to sell your skills. These days, it is hard to get noticed. Despite my attempts to be creative, I tend to lose to other sellwords.

For this reason, I was fortunate to enter into a contract with a local client last month. It is a project that modestly pays, but with a job that is taxing - if you work full-time in another company. Nonetheless, I tried my luck and was hired. I may have lost a great deal of time spending it with loved ones, but at least, my needs will be met.

It was a trade-off I begrudgingly accepted.   

Three weeks into the project and I was getting worried because they have yet to send my earnings on Paypal. I raised this issue with my team leader twice. He assured me that the funds were still intact. There was no reason to get anxious.

To my horror, I learned that my earnings were coursed through a staffing service. Its representative sent me a notice asking for my bank account. I replied immediately asking how I got associated. There was no clear answer. Only that, they had sent an invitation and I accepted it.

I have no memory of such invitation.

Recalling how I got into this mess was already a stressful affair. First, I signed in with Odesk only because it was required by the client. Second, my account was a derelict. Never did I use it to find work, since, I was earning comfortably from my favorite marketplace. Last, I was dropped into the middle of things without any knowledge. Imagine having panic spells thinking as to what happened to your compensation, only to find out it was hijacked by a person you don't even know of.

So it was escalated to my team leader, my manager and to Odesk itself. I was looked down by the headhunter after accusing her of sending a spam.

"Im not gaining from your contract." The bitch said. "I earn way too much if you can see from my history yet I'm the one contacting you just so I can give you your pay. And yet I'm being perceived as a spammer." I was unrepentant.

Knowing that my money remains with her, and that, throwing more insults would result in a possibility that I'd not get my pay forced me to tone down the rhetoric. After explaining my behavior, I let the good managers do the talking. Not only was the manager able to persuade the headhunter to drop me from the staffing service, she sent a full refund amounting to half month's worth of pay I get from my day job. I was relieved.

At a hindsight, the escalation could have been averted had the headhunter explained how the process worked. Instead, her words probed, like a blade piercing through my gut. She was condescending, cocky, and unfitting to look after agents that were supposed to be under her wing. On my part, I could have been level-headed, a little less abrasive, a little less suspicious with her intentions.

It's water under the bridge now.

With my contract resumed, and without any staffing agency attached to my new account, the only challenge remaining is how I can hit the quota without losing so much of my free time.

Seldom do I get the chance to hit so many birds with one stone.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Evolution of Kaijus

I was reading i09 the previous week, and one of the articles in that sci-fi blog is about the weirdest giant monsters ever made on film. The write-up has a hilarious premise. It features a giant samurai statue becoming animated to protect peasants and their villages. There is also a Kaiju that looks so bizarre, people of the present age would be hard-pressed to explain how their creators envisioned such monsters. 

Kaijus are, when translated in Japanese, means strange creatures. But when taken literally, the word refers to giant monsters who trash cities and create mayhem that awes viewers. The first of these Kaijus is Godzilla (1954), which is screened in theaters as a Hollywood reboot today. To the Japanese, not only is the massive radioactive dinosaur regarded as a pillar of their pop culture, they can very well say Gojira is their contribution to the world.

Now going back to these vintage Kaijus, one that caught my fancy was a massive winged creature. Dubbed as "The Giant Claw," the avian is described as "larger than battleships" and "soars faster than jet planes." The voice over even claims that "bombs that destroy cities, barely scratch the bird's skin." The voice over added that "scientists are increasingly becoming helpless in finding ways to stop this menace."

A kid (or geek) from the late 50's will find the movie trailer a work of genius. It was a technological marvel with clunky cameras filming the monstrosity chasing B-52s in mid-air. But to those living in the modern age, the bird looks like a disfigured turkey - partially cooked and with strings attached to its bones - so it can fly across the set. The buildings and set pieces have closer similarities with toys. And the actors spoke their lines like they read it from the script. No wonder, The Giant Claw made it to the list.

But then, the creature and the people behind the film lived in a different time. They have no access to special effects wizardry such as green screen and computer animation. Perhaps, even serious film makers of their generation regard their work as mere child's play, and thus, received no support.

Armed only with visions and boldness to render reality they perceived the way science fiction does, they went on filming. The final product may have turned into a B-list film, but at least it made history.

We have come a long way. We have learned a lot from the pioneering efforts of the first Kaiju creators. And if there's a reason why Godzilla - and Pacific Rim enjoy box office earnings today, it is because of films like these we draw our inspiration to pursue perfection.

For that they have our gratitude.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Higher Ground

"I don't owe anyone an explanation. What happened between my ex and I is just between us. Unless the details are shared to you, all you can ever do at this point is assume you can make sense of what happened. This will be my first and only post about the breakup. 

I'm moving forward."

I was told the other day that your romantic relationship had gone kaput. That your cheesy union with that snoot had come to an abrupt end. But instead of getting emo and stuff, you dumped the old guy for the new one, and you had the guts to tell all on Facebook when everyone you know believes you are still with the ex. 

The news, of course, didn't escape the prying eyes of your digital friends. After all, who wouldn't be surprised of the announcement. There was a photo of you - next to your ex - together with your "Supermom" last Mother's Day. The result of your pubic disclosure was collective disbelief. Some thought it was a hoax. Others reluctantly threw their support. While those who didn't approve the budding romance spoke in hushed tones. You will know them by their refusal to respond to your calls for validation. Dazed and confused as to what had just happened, they will scoop the details from common friends. Then attempt to put together the missing pieces. And soon, those we reserve as speculation become established facts.

A morning was spent with friends, and all we did was to decode your movement.

"Magkasama pa nga sila sa Laboracay eh." A friend said on Viber. "Pero I find it weird na they're not as sweet."

"Tapos may time na antagal namin magkasama, tapos magkayakap lang kami kasi 'antaas' niya." He added. "Yung bf, dumaan lang, nag hi-hello tapos umalis din."

"Tho may slight instinct pa rin ako na gusto ko siya tulungan." Another friend confided during the course of our three-way chat. "Pero gusto ko rin siya matauhan."

"Let's wait and see."

Regardless of the cause of breakup, we were displeased with the way you introduced the new guy on social media. It was premature and distasteful. You made him look like a convenient replacement for the one you left behind. (or was it the other way around?) And from the way you wrote your heart on the Wall, you didn't spare a thought about the parting.

You were more excited in taking a journey with the new beau instead of finding closure.

Where is the humanity in that?

Break-up Etiquette - if ever it exists - requires a little discretion in romantic affairs. Especially when your social circles still reel from the shock of the fall-out. You may not care about what people say. But when image matters - especially for someone like you - whose social clout reaches far and wide, sooner or later you will be obliged to explain the details.

And it will be messy affair.

With the ex keeping a lid as to what caused the break-up, while you desperately sell the notion that everything's okay and you're happy with the new boyfriend, your audience sees through the masquerade. Much as they would want to reserve their judgement until the truth comes out, some might have already dismissed you as a heartless loser.

And I would have publicly smacked you in the head for letting yourself sink like that.

But you are my friend - someone who's already been around since the earliest days of my gay life. I still want to protect you no matter how silly some of your actions are. Because I know, you need the voice of reason to get through this difficult chapter of your life.

"Kirsh, an unsolicited advice." I began tapping the keys of my laptop to send him a private message. "The way your Facebook updates read like, you are making a big issue about your breakup. 

I do not know your motivations and the reasons for parting ways. But sincerely, I don't like that doofus even before. I am telling you this as an outsider. If someone who doesn't know you that well reads your updates, it sounds like you're getting back at your ex. Love in silence, for this is what the situation requests. You still have to prove so much with your new relationship.

Best wishes." 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Traffic Helpdesk (The J.Ruiz Shortcut)

Previously: Traffic Helpdesk (First Part)

In the heat of mid-summer, roadworks done on some of the city's major arteries resulted in another round of gridlock. It wasn't Edsa this time, but the passages going to and from the heartland of Manila. One is along the Santa Mesa corridor between V. Mapa and Kalentong. A portion of the road lay exposed forcing vehicles to squeeze themselves against incoming traffic.

Situations like this are everywhere, I presume. School days are around the corner and contractors are working day and night to get the job done. But moving forward, it would not resolve the snarl at all. When rains come tumbling and the metropolis gets flooded, hardly there would be any movement across the city.

Thus, the choices available would be to wait - until the waters have subsided, or to wade across bacteria-infested deluge.

But there is hope. 

Last year, an early morning thunderstorm had turned Ramon Magsaysay into a man-made lake. Only trucks can pass across - some even stalled at the middle of the boulevard. Timing and knowledge of the city's terrain allowed me to reach my office without having to sink my boots at all. It has become an advantage too that the LRT remained operational when roads became impassable. 

Here's how it worked:

G. Reyes going to Pinaglabanan

Location: J. Ruiz Station 

This LRT station never gets flooded. Taxis abound since they cannot cross the bridge spanning the San Juan River near the UERM Hospital. The cab drivers would gladly accept commuters going to Shaw, as long as they explicitly say they won't reach Edsa. 

Shortcut For:  

Commuters coming in from Recto and U-Belt going to Ortigas Center and Pioneer Business District, and who has money to pay a taxi, and won't fight for space inside the MRT coaches in Cubao.

The Passage. 

Instruct the driver to turn right at G. Reyes and then turn right again at N. Domingo. From N. Domingo, the cab has to turn left at Pinaglabanan and then turn right at P. Guevarra.  

Pinaglabanan - P. Guevarra

The passage across P. Guevarra takes you into the Chinese heartland of San Juan. Expect moderate traffic.

At the street after the Ministop Convenience Store, you have the option to tell the driver to turn left at Recto and then left again at P Burgos, which is the next street. Reaching the corner of McDonald's, you have to turn right at Wilson and the road ahead leads to Greenhills. Expect heavy traffic from thereon, especially upon nearing Edsa. Also, a caution: Burgos and parts of Wilson went underwater during the time of Ondoy.

Proceed with care. 

Shaw Route (Pink), Greenhills/Ortigas Route (Cyan)

The final leg of the shortcut takes you to the edges of Wack-Wack, where the back road meets the monstrous snarl of Shaw. At this point, expect the smooth cruise to turn into a stagger, since merging traffic from incoming vehicles (you) push their way into the already congested boulevard.

From P. Guevarra, turn hard left at Ortega. The other left street in this forked intersection leads you to Acacia Lane. (and Nueve de Febrero, a shortcut to Makati Avenue) At Ortega, there is another tricky intersection. Turn right at Pilar. The road ahead leads to Shaw, near the Puregold Supermarket.

But the car build-up will spoil everything you have done to make this short cut effective. The crawl itself recovers the time you have saved from waiting in line at the Cubao MRT station, or on a bus as it inches across Edsa. 

All roads (Red Arrows) lead to Edsa

Therefore, before Pilar drains into the mess which is Shaw Boulevard, turn left at Calderon, which is the last street before the boulevard. An intersection past and then turn right at Lee. On the second intersection, turn right again at S. Laurel street. At the end of this road is Shaw Boulevard and depending on your agreement with the cab driver, this is where you disembark to continue your journey - on foot, or by riding a jeep - to Edsa.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Rocky Dream

As told to MyBoo minutes after the steam-room conditions inside my room stirred me from my afternoon nap.

"Nagkita kami (Rocco) sa SM Mall of Asia para daw mag-bonding. Tapos nung nag-iintay kami ng taxi para kumain elsewhere, nagulat na lang ako at nakita kong may ka-flirt na yung kasama ko. Yung ka-flirt ni Rocco eh biglang gumawa ng eksena in public. Paano kasi, naka-unbuckle na yung belt ni best friend tapos partially open pa yung pantalon niya. Ayun, dinala siya sa security office nung mall. Ako naman e sumunod para magbigay ng moral support at magtanggol kung kinakailangan. Nung naareglo namin sa office yung kaso, naghanap ulit kami ng makakainan. Dito na nag-iba yung setting ng panaginip. Napunta daw kami sa isang building na may open field. Yung Main Building yata ng PUP yun. Mula sa sixth floor, bumaba kami ni Rocco. Tapos sa ground floor nakita namin si JM na naglalakad papalapit. Inintroduce ko sila sa isa't isa. 

Meron pa kaming isang kasama na long-haired guy na hindi ko kilala. Inintroduce ko na lang siya bilang si Red. Natapos yung panaginip ko na naglalakad kami sa open field patungo sa gate para kumain daw ng kwek-kwek sa labas ng campus."

At the back of his head, the beau would probably think that I'm making up a story. That, or he would find my memory too sharp to capture every little detail of the scenes. He even said that it was a long dream, a fact that could not be disputed given my recollection.

The practice of keeping a dream journal has allowed me to recall some of my dreams with clarity. Including this one. From that time I dreamed of Godzilla sacking Manila, (the details I still remember) to that fateful decision to cross the bridge, (a subconscious resolution to end dating a romantic interest) it seems I am getting more skillful in remembering the events in my slumber. 

There was one significant piece I later told my boyfriend as to why I was caught unaware of Rocco flirting with another guy:

"Habang nag-iintay kasi ng taxi, may kotse kasing huminto sa harap namin. Yung pasaherong lumabas ay dating editor ng newspaper ng dad ko na matagal ng patay. Kunwari hindi ko siya kilala pero namukhaan niya ako. Kinuhaan pa nga niya ako ng picture point blank gamit yung camera phone niya. Foul yun at dapat ako yung magrereklamo sa security sa ginawa niya. 

Kaso naunahan ako ng eksenang ginawa ni Rocco."        

But the detail omissions didn't stop there. And I didn't bother telling the partner about them out of fear that he might get confused of my story telling. I would have to say this is one of those rare dreams you get to remember in its entirety. A subconscious hint that I should meet my friend who has been there ever since I switched preference more than a decade ago.

"Yung head ng security ng SM na nag-invite kay Rocco na sumama for questioning ay dating manager nung security agency ng dad ko. Hence, madali namin na-areglo."

"Habang naglalakad pababa ng building at papunta ng field, tinanong ko si Rocco kung bakit nakipag-flirt siya dun sa guy. Ang sabi niya sa akin, mukha daw kasing daddy."


Monday, May 12, 2014

Wardrobe Upgrade: First Wave

Previously: The Wardrobe Crisis

News about the Markdown Madness Sale had reached me only a day before the event marks its end. The venue was at the Tektite Towers in Ortigas, and even if I was down with a flu on the morning of the last day of the sale, I forced myself out of the house and into the sun-scorched streets of the city just to get there and have my loot.

The brand names of the items on sale are of no importance, if one searches for great finds. No Fear, Keds, Sketchers - just to name of few - pooled their import overruns to make this bargain insanity possible. But then, what are these when compared with the likes of Nike, Onizuka Tiger, or even Cotton On? Someone who is into signature brands would pass up the bargain. Especially, if they got lots to wear, or they climb the social ladder by showing off their expensive tastes.

For me, it is the style and fit that matter. Sophistication must be drawn from within, with creativity and refusal to embrace the trend as solid merits. Brands are there for distinction. They belong to those who follow the whims of the fashion tyrants.

Given that I've got very few articles of clothing to wear, the Sale came at a most opportune time. I may not have the funds for it but using the credit card, (and some secret stash of cash hidden somewhere for emergencies like this) I was able to mount a spending offensive to add new clothes into my closet.

At a quarter of their original price. 

No Fear Jeans - 450.00 Php

No Fear Plaid Shorts - 300 Php

Creative Recreations - 1,200 Php

Thursday, May 8, 2014


The fault was ours to begin with. It was the boss who accidentally nudged the figurine leading to the ceramic boy's decapitation on the floor. But instead of putting back the pieces together, the object, whose purpose is to trail days remains broken when we kicked off the shift earlier today.

And then, the dissonance of the imagination hits me. Thus, the bodily parts re-arrangement.

Grotesque the outcome might be, the exercise spawns the surrealist within. Whatever pebble of knowledge, a tear drop of reflection, or a timeless learning I cast in the wind as a result of that boredom, I encapsulate in a pensive sentence:

Sometimes, the creative impulse twists our perspective of things to see beauty in perversity.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Wardrobe Crisis

The last time I made a wardrobe inventory, my dresser counts two walking shorts, three denims, two slacks dating back from college, and a pair of khaki pants that reminds me of how fat I once was. One of the baggy pants I wear features a torn slit running below the fly, and the older of the walking shorts has a missing button that is also its lock. It would require me to tighten my belt just so it won't slide down my waist.

These articles of clothing are all hand-me-downs. Except for the plaid shorts I bought last December, and the pair of black pants that for some reasons, still fit perfectly despite being in my possession for more than a decade. A pity sight, given the resources at my disposal. A Fashionista who earns less, and who buys clothes from an Ukay-ukay shop may have a wardrobe collection far more respectable than mine.

The problem lies, not with the absence of cash. I can spend a fortune for loved ones or hobbies - like video games and herbal plants - but for reasons of habit, parting money for clothing has always been a difficult undertaking. Maybe because I haven't gotten over the fact that it used to be my mother who makes garments acquisition on my behalf. I remember, when she used to spend for me and not for her grandchildren, the matriarch would go to Central Market in Dimasalang and buy clothes I barely needed.

Now anymore.

Pride may get in the way, but the message is becoming clearer. Like last Christmas, when I made a subtle plea for relatives to gift me pants instead of shirts. Still I received tops as presents. Even the Favorite Aunt didn't get the subtext. A major closet overhaul was my next move, but it was for naught. I was able to acquire walking shorts at a discount, but thinking the prices would drop before summer, I stalled and waited for malls to announce a sale. By the time the announcement came, I had set my sights on spending my money for other needs.

And the trousers shortage went unnoticed.

Until a corduroy walking shorts was torn to shreds when I was forced to wear it for my weightlifting activity. I forgot to put in my bag the gym gear I left on my bed.

Its destruction serves as a wake-up call for me to revive my plans for a wardrobe upgrade. After all, not only did I lose a piece of history (the corduroy was a Christmas gift from an ex). More importantly, the walking shorts was something I wore every week.

It used to be a favorite.

The other pants are already showing signs of wear and tear. It's just a matter of time before a ripping sound leaves a gaping slit running across the fabric. Much as I would like to stall buying new clothes for replacement once again, the horror of going through another wardrobe malfunction justifies the need to face the crisis squarely and go on a splurge.

Before I wake up with nothing left, but the jerseys to wear.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Chasing Hours

Leisure activities had to take a backseat when the new project I was instructed to lead went live last week. As the nesting days slowly pushed my team to the front lines, the long pauses between job tasks have been reduced to a fading memory. No longer could I browse the web and read articles of interest like I did at work. I even have no time to post updates on Twitter, and catch up with people in my digital social circles.

At home, sleep and watching cartoons became a luxury. I would clock an average of 5 hours of shut-eye during weekdays. Meanwhile, watching reruns of Oggy and the Cockroaches on Cartoon Network have become a bedtime ritual. Within minutes of turning on the television and closing my eyes, the trip to snoozeland doesn't take long anymore. It's easy to sink into the realms of the subconscious when weariness and exhaustion had consumed what's left of your strength.

And I am just reeling from the first ripples.

A day wouldn't end without a poignant contemplation of tomorrow. Time for every activity, including the watering of the plants have to be counted. Work that never interfered with the wanderings of the mind now demands thoughtful dissection. Even penning words for reflection has to be done between eating meals and lifting steel plates. I sometimes fear these written musings have to be given up as well.

All because I made a choice, and my decision will force me to embrace a life chasing hours from now on.

"You are meant for this," the voice inside my head assured.

"But I'm afraid I will have to give up the things I treasure most."

"Like what?"

"Like prose, video games, and nightly musings."

"Like work outs, hearty talks with loved ones, and me-times I long the most."

"Well at least you have a shot to live out your dreams." The inner self giggled. "Can't you see you walk alongside the big boys now?"

"I do hope so." I said to myself when another email alert showing on my phone screen distracted my train of thoughts.

"And that gig you just signed up with TT, may very well double your wealth."