This week, I’ve been called jaded by two different people on two VERY different issues. One was my boss, to whom I gave the advice that “if it’s not working, it’s not working” and that in relationships where you don’t feel appreciated, it’s better to cut your losses. She said that I had grown too cynical because of a past protracted and messy relationship that ate up two years of my life; I really think it only means I’m wiser and know my worth.
And then there’s this person in the circle I move around in who called me jaded and a pessimist for not believing in this particular track that a lot of people are excited about. I have no problem with bravado and taking risks, I don’t think quite a lot of people who know me would come up with the word “prudent” to describe me. All I’m saying is that we have to calculate the chances of success with the consequences of failure. I don’t mind taking a chance if the only consequence of failure is failure, but if such impacts on your other tracks or compromises the chances of success in other arenas, I think it needs to be re-thought.
I’m not used to being called jaded. And twice in one week too! I’m Little Miss Sunshine. I’m the Eternal Optimist. I’m a little teacup, short and stout. Like my Friendster account reads, At twenty eight, I love that it takes so little to make me happy. If you ask me at the end of the day what I am most proud of about my life, it’s nothing terribly big or fancy. It would be that after having gone through all that bad stuff that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy — I still can laugh at myself and sing off-key in the shower every morning.
A month ago, I transferred jobs. I left my old job that granted me some margin of income security and transferred to a work situation wherein I would be paid lower. Already, I am feeling the economic impact of such a decision (particularly now that my mom is having health problems) but I don’t regret it. It is scary feeling so financially-vulnerable, however, one must go where her heart leads her. In my case, this meant doing lawyering with greater emphasis on mass-movement participation.
Maybe the difference between now and before is that before, I would have shrugged off the paycheck difference. Now, I would think of ways to actively offset that difference but without taking too much of my time or taking me away from my work in agrarian reform. Maybe by selling stuff online, or getting writing rakets, or whatever. (Pag binentahan ko kayo, bili kayo ha. Hehe.)
In relationships, I still like to believe that I believe in love and contrary to my boss’s assessment, I am neither scarred nor jaded. I don’t think wanting to be appreciated and valued in the relationship and refusing to be dangled OR HAVE MY FRIENDS DANGLED BY THEIR RESPECTIVE PARTNERS, means being jaded. Being jaded for me means tacticizing, hiding your cards, going into a relationship like one goes into a negotiating table. I don’t play mind games and I never will. I don’t have rules as to how a relationship should play out — verily, it can be a common ground, a shared experience, to which two people can fluidly return from time to time — but it has to be founded not only on affection, but also on appreciation of the other person. Without that, one has to walk away. Cut and cut clean. Jaded ba yun?
Or then again, maybe I’m wrong about myself. Maybe I AM jaded. Ewan ko din. Maybe over the years and as a result of past experiences, I’ve changed without my knowing it. Maybe this whole indignation parade on being called jaded by two different people in a span of one week on two distinct and independent issues is really anger at being “found out”.
I hope not. I don’t want to be jaded. I want to be Jae-Alive. Forevermore.
Ngek. Paling ang ending. Hehe.