Just another traffic jam
I was on a train on my way to the office two days ago and just to pass the time, I was scrolling down and up my facebook feed. I saw a “What kind of commuter are you?” test which I answered quite quickly. Upon reading the results of the “test”, it explained that I have been quite a commuter and learned how to deal with traffic, delays and jams it has brought me.
Having been in Manila for a year and a half now, I think my mind and body was built to be a local of the concrete jungle. I decided to take a bus home the night after with the mind set that air-conditioned buses are meant to be your temporary bed or resting place right after a long day at work. That night, an accident happened around 4 kilometers away from where I am, causing the clog in the stretch of EDSA. (Well, EDSA has always been clogged but this is far worse than the usual, IFYKWIM)
I’m supposed to be attending a talk the same night but I chose to be stuck there. For some reasons, after a long while, I let myself be stuck there.
We are all given different choices in our lives and saying that we did something out of the lack of choice could somehow sound lazy.
Traffic is a societal problem but going to work late or missing sleep because of your daily commute routine is a personal problem. The same goes with all our other disappointments we face in life. Choosing to be stuck in a moment where your emotions move like the busses clogged in the heart of EDSA is a crisis you have to resolve within yourself.
The past few weeks has been a battle within myself. It was a never-ending fight of whether or not to drag these little feet all throughout the day or just lay in there with the comforts of my sheets. I wanted to shut down for a while and contemplate on things I am supposed to focus on. But instead of contemplating, there I was demeaning my self worth and thinking of not being on a life I have been working hard to be in. I cannot forgive myself for not knowing what to do, where to go and who to share my stories with. I fear that with my current difficult phase, people in my circle would grow smaller. I chose to see myself smaller than what I already am and embraced fear like I have embraced love and sunshine.
Today, I was in my uber ride to work and realized that my phone is still in airplane mode. I wanna avoid conversations and random phone calls. I wanted to forget about what’s ahead so I slept almost the whole time I was in the ride. I woke up to the voice of my uber driver talking over the phone. He was explaining to whoever that man on the other line was, how bad the traffic is and that it’s okay because he woke up real early today to make sure he meets his maximum number of rides. He said to continue being happy the whole day to avoid accidents and road rage. I was taken aback by his enthusiasm. I looked back to my results in that mini quiz game. I remembered the word “flytte” engraved in my skin. People and places played in my head — the number of vacations I took for the past few months and the numerous talks I’ve been with friends turned family and the family I have. I smirked.
We passed by the non-moving part of Makati and the traffic was gone in a moment.
People go through difficult phases and it takes a lot of courage to move yourself out from the pit. It’s hard to choose yourself every day and even harder to wake up to reality. The past few days were one of my hardest but it was necessary. It paused me from continuously being a stress ball. I dettached myself a little and I’ve seen that if I can take four train rides to aid someone then I deserve to run miles for myself.
I knew I wasn’t just tired but exceptionally exhausted. I have been in Manila for a year and a half now but my soul was not built to be a machine. We are not made to be born on a January and turn days and nights to December. Surround yourself with people who knows the answer as to what they hate most about you but looks forward to days with you in it.
I hope you choose to let yourself breathe whenever things are difficult and celebrate whenever you accomplish something. Don’t tolerate pain because getting used to it is not a strength. It will carve scars in your soul that you might never get rid of.
Your emotions might be 8ft deep at the moment but don’t laze out there and let yourself hug your sorrows. We all move forward in different paces. If you can survive a traffic jam that you thought would never end then most definitely you will get through any emotional breakdown. Like your daily ride home, it could take a while and feel hopeless but eventually, you’ll get there.
Honey, stretch your arms to the universe because you can go farther than you never think you would.