“What do you do,” someone asked at a party.
“I am an MBA student.”
“I am an entrepreneur.”
I work in the bank,” you would reply right away. And we go into further conversation on what we do for a living.
We let our day jobs reprise the majority of our days. In the 2019 Penn World table, an average Filipino spends 41.7 hours per week at work making the Philippines rank 8th in the top countries with the longest workweek. (source).
With these, we engaged in a lot of discussions involving our work. Reports. Presentations. Brainstorming sessions. All of these we made rigorous preparations – from in-depth research to script writing to mirror practices. We polish everything to perfection.
It doesn’t even end there. We would talk about how miserable we are at our jobs or how challenging it is. It is all that comes out of our mouths. In turn, it takes up too much precious headspace.
But have you remembered the last time you talked about something outside of your job? No preparations done. No scripts. No outlines. You only go with what your mind throws and what your mouth says.
What would we discuss then?
Books. Let’s indulge in the string of words crafted by the writing geniuses. We could fight over with the strongest Heroes of Olympus demigod. We could fangirl over Daniel Wing and June Iparis. We could mourn again for the hundreds of deaths in Hunger Games.Talking endlessly over cake and coffee, in a lush garden surrounded by trees and exquisite blooms.
Creative journaling. Putting together stickers, and ephemera is bliss, making me forget about the world. I wish to share that with someone who is on the same page with me. We could scroll through beautiful entries on Pinterest, share the best stamp brand, and make a list of the stores to buy cute stationery. We would not only share tips, but also materials. At the end of the day, we go home with a smile and new stationery in tow.
Family. The Strength. Also the Achilles Heel. I could talk forever about them, the boundless energy of my nephew, the aromatic smell of Mom’s dish, the magical hands of Dad, the gentle heart of my ate, the fierce determination of my ditse. Oh how can I forget the petty fights, and the never ending scoldings! I can get you through every blissful day and challenging moment of our little family. Would you like some of mom’s sweet spaghetti while I tell my story?
Anime. Do not get me started. If you do, our conversation would go as long as a Naruto series. Speaking of Naruto, you could ask me to recite all the names of the hokages and how every one of them is related to each other. We would discuss the coolest fights and jutsus in the series (BTW, it is Obito vs Minato and Ishiki vs Baryon Mode Naruto). We would rave over Sakura Kinomoto’s cute costumes or we would pore over my tiny collection of The Prince of Tennis stickers I kept in grade school.
In the past years, we let our life revolve around our work. What choice do we have then? We have nowhere else to go. We are stuck at home. There is nothing else to do. And we consider ourselves lucky for having a job and being safe and alive. With this, we try to compensate by working more. We forget that other facets of our lives exist.
Let’s get lost in the realm that we would not usually explore at work. Once in a while, let’s put down our mask and show another side of us – the one who finds joy in the little things.
Let’s know ourselves better – the identity beyond the premises of the office.