I am now on my third week of being unemployed. Not that I am enjoying it much since I am stressed by the thought that I have no income, but I think, what the hell, we only have vacations once in a while. So, basically, I make the most out of it, (first week, I have submitted application letters to bans, government offices, private offices, schools, etc) like waiting for the calls from probable employers, staying late at night watching movies, writing stuff, playing the guitar, eating, drinking booze, partying with friends, staring at the ceiling…and waking up at 2PM, having breakfast at 3PM, doing the laundry, staring at the ceiling, waiting for people to come see me at my place and chilling, going home for days to see my family and stressing my boyfriend to get off from his work earlier so that I can have someone to be with. So, yeah. That pretty much sums up my three whole week of being a rich kid. It’s just that my wallet’s getting thinner every day and I worry that the worst is still to come.
For instance, not being able to find a job until next year. Which means being kicked out from my apartment, going home to our house in the province (it’s quite relaxing there, but it’s too quite like I-can-almost hear-my-own-eardrums-working – sort of being quite.) Which means, I will have to eat twice a day instead of three (because I won’t be needing much of the calorie intake since I’ll just be sleeping and slacking the whole days– as a matter of fact, a friend already noticed that I gained weight just 2 weeks after my end of contract, oh no…), which means no booze or new stuff, no dates – no anything. Or, I’ll have to resort to the most dreaded job ever – being a call center agent. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against the agents themselves, but the job, it’s silly, but it pays a lot which is one thing I can make adjustments with. Uh, first world problems, eh? It’s toxic really to be thinking all of these things while I am in hiatus.
Then today, a friend (my roomie) after just arriving from her hometown, suddenly asked me which school offers a master’s degree that is full time because her parents are planning to send her to school after she finishes her managerial contract here in the city. And I thought to myself, she’s one of the luckiest kid I know! Like, I just died out of envy. Understandably, since she comes from a middle class family, she doesn’t need to worry about sending herself to school or she doesn’t have to think of “What’s next?” after every end of contract. I mean, she deserves that after all that she has been through with her job right now and the small pay she gets for all her hard work and sacrifices, she really is worthy of something better than that. Ah, these lucky kids with much-money parents. They must have been heroes in their past lives to be worthy of such fate today.
And I ask myself, again. What’s next? Seriously, this is a huge dilemma. I have graduated from one of the best schools in the country, I have passed the civil service exam which make me viable for a government post, I have experiences in different social works, even teaching…yet these are not enough. I still have to invest money and effort to yet another journey in the academe, to study more, to learn more, to pay more. That’s not going to be a really huge mayday if only our education is offered free but I must have been a corrupt politician in my past life to be this poor today. And it’s just me. How about those kids who have not reached college, or have not even finished high school for that matter? What future awaits them? These Php 260 per day (that’s $5 per day) – contractual jobs, these are what’s waiting for them. It’s not surprising that even if these kids work hard, they might not get far. A Php 260 won’t even suffice if let’s say he has a family to support. How much is one kilo of rice, then fish or meat, plus his fare to and fro work? Poor workers in a poor country. So, it’s not surprising either that most of them go abroad and try their luck in the richer places they can be in.
That’s sad. But even I, am considering working abroad. I still have two siblings who are still studying. I have another sibling who is sick. My parents can only get by enough every day. We are not rich. I don’t even think we are in the middle-class. We can just get by enough. We are just considering ourselves luckier than those who are currently seeking refuge from other countries because of bombs and bullets flying in their own lands. Yes, I have worked in private organizations and I got paid higher than those JOs in the government, but my money goes to my family, not much though because I have bills and insurances to pay and of course, my tax is heartbreakingly huge since I am single, so mostly what’s left is for my food and apartment and a little booze. Moreover, I cannot afford to send myself to school while my family is not able to stand yet from the rubbles of what we have gone through these past two years. From Haiyan to Baby Hans. Yes, I have savings, but it’s for the rainy days.
I am still trying to figure out if this is really what I want. Do I want to work and earn more abroad, away from my loved ones, or do I want to work double-time here in this God-forsaken economy but be with the people I am doing this for? What do I really want? (I somehow regret taking up Psychology…I love it, no doubt about it, but it’s like art. There’s no money in art unless it’s Van Gogh.)
I have plans but at this rate, and with the limited resources I have, I am not just sure how to achieve them. I know, there will be a day when my phone will ring and someone on the other side will offer me something to work on. I just hope it’ll be not too late. I am hoping my vacation ends just until this month ends, because seriously, I am getting bad vibes from being unemployed.
*Speaking of Van Gogh, I don’t find his story inspiring. His paintings only became famous after he committed suicide. That sucks.
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