On Brick Walls & Pushing Through

wallpaper by Our Hei Day

From the long days of being tucked at home, spending hours observing the needs of the child who was then inside of me; the weight of traffic to my new work is a culture shock. A reacquainted culture shock.

Every day, my husband sets for a two and a half hour drive to Ortigas station where I can immediately take the train to Taft. But on moments he is away, I take a tricycle to Gen. Luna Ave. where I can ride an early jeepney to Marikina. After alighting in Marikina, I take a short jeepney ride to Meralco. There, I hand my P45 to the fare collector and join the crowd going to Ortigas, all lined up in a shape of a gut. At Ortigas, I walk from St. Francis to Shaw Boulevard and take the cramped train to Taft. Then at the last station, I ride a jeepney to the office and do some 4-minute walk to my area.

The train is always overcrowded with passengers, young to old. Their faces look sweaty and tired and I am well aware that I bear the same features. I doze off on triumphant occasions that I am able to snag a seat. But I am usually left standing up to the last station so instead, I grab on to something for balance, turn on my rechargeable fan, and observe strangers who are all just like me.

Travel eats about seven hours of my day when it’s rough. But on blessed days when schools are off, it only takes about six hours.

Yes, this is what I chose to do. This is tiring but strangely, I feel free. In every weekday morning that I try to be genuinely awake, when my eyes yell for me to leave them alone and shut them tight like a cupboard with secrets, I tell myself this is part of the bargain I chose.

Note to self: Everything you are doing now is just a step to make things easier for your future self.

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.”
― Randy PauschThe Last Lecture

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8 responses to “On Brick Walls & Pushing Through

  1. I already got tired from just reading how your daily commute is like. I can’t imagine doing that every day.

    Sometimes, I regret taking a mortgage loan to buy a small condo unit. In the words of an uncle, “umutang ka lang para bumili ng pader”. Now, I feel like it’s worth it having to spend only an hour a day going to and from work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe during your uncle’s time, it would have been a bad choice. But now, when you consider the daily traffic, it’s the convenience that you are really paying for. 🙂 I used to rent prior to having a child. My priority then was convenience at di bale na yung konti ang maipon ko basta hindi ako pagod na pagod (because anywhere is far from San Mateo). I reread my post and I also got tired just by reading it. Like if I was a canned food, umaga yung expiration date ko sa lamog at pagod.

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  2. Love the quote and the analogy of your everyday struggle… Focusing on the #commuterAdventures, I will forever hold on to my belief na walang malayong lugar… if we have an effective and efficient mass transport system. Trains in particular… I have this biased belief na half of the country’s problem will diminish basta maayos ang trains :p

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Kung maayos lang yung trains, we don’t have to say a place is “far” anymore. Possible naman na umayos pero hindi na siguro sa time natin. 😦 Pangit lang din talaga na hindi properly distributed yung jobs; it’s one disadvantage of lumping the CBDs sa Metro Manila. Lahat tuloy kailangan bumyahe sa halos iisang lugar.

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