The other day, I fell face down in a parking lot–ripped my upper lip, chipped off my front teeth, sprained my knee, cracked my phone screen, and dented my laptop. Not even a week after, I fell again–this time hitting the back of my head against the floor. I wouldn’t lie; this has been one of the worst week ever for me.
So when I was lying down in the hospital bed, and right after the nurse and the doctor checked whether I had a concussion, I started thinking about this… whole series of misfortune. They came out of nowhere, and they struck like a repeated bolts of lightning. Each with more intensity than the previous one.
What did I do to even deserve this, I had thought. I kept on searching for a satisfying explanation, be it a realistic one or not. Did I lack sleep? Do I suffer from a unique bodily balance deteriority syndrome? Did I upset my ancestors? Did someone hex me into tripping over nothing? It doesn’t matter how illogical the reason is; I just wanted to blame this whole misfortune on somebody. On something.
The nurse soon came and told me that she wanted to clean my wounds. Deftly, she moved her fingers and cleaned the open wounds with a sheet of clean cloth. The bruises stung a bit, but I kept completely still. Right after the fall, everything went in a blur. My mind didn’t immediately register that it was hurting, so I didn’t feel anything up until I went to the emergency room. But after the worst had passed, and along with the “It’s done” statement from the kind nurse, I gradually regained my senses back.
In a lot of sense, I thought, there is no point in looking for something–or somebody–to blame for the incident. The damage is done already; if anything, I should be grateful that I just broke my phone screen, and not my nose. Granted, the two consecutive falls left me hesitant to leave my room for anything, and I even had to take the weekend to rest up. But I was alright, said the doctor. I was alright, said my parents.
I was not alright, said myself.
I’ve talked about how everything went super fast in my life lately, and I believe that has to be one of the reasons for my deteriorating health. Which might have led to my poor equilibrium. Which might have led to my fall. The list goes on and on….
The fact is, I know that I have to change something. I am clearly not happy with how things have turned out. The bump on the back of my head and my swollen lip will be able to testify for that. But the underlying question remains unchanged, even after all this time: what was I not happy about?
After all, I got everything I wanted in this year. A new job with more cooperative peers and boss, a new manuscript in the making (more on that in another blog post), and even a better financial plan for myself and my family. I initially thought that by having my life more organized, I would find myself happier. Clearly, I was wrong.
In reality, I long for a new adventure. The kind that takes me to the nooks and crannies of a city I can’t even pronounce the name of; a new recipe that I will screw up attempting to make; a kind of unplanned life where I don’t have to abide to a certain set of rules, or routines, in order to stay afloat. I want to write a different kind of story, in a different kind of format, in a different kind of writing voice, in a different kind of genre. I want to break the status quo.
By the time I realized these things, I was already lining up to pay the cost of my little trip to the emergency room. It felt almost surreal, being all along in front of the hospital cashier. Just moments ago I was dragging myself to the reception, and after getting myself patched up, there I was, handling all the administrative work on my own, paying my own bills, and not long after, booked my ride home. Not even ten years ago, should the same thing happen to me, my father would probably be by my side, taking care of everything as I just sit around idly in the nearest bench.
I want to break free, I thought as I hopped into my car ride.
And you know what, even after having the thought nestled at the back of my mind for several more days, it still rings true. Even as I am writing this–the very thought of wanting to break free is, perhaps, one of the most sincere thing I have ever put down to words in the last few years.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I will just quit my job, burn all my WIP manuscripts, and jeopardize this whole adulting process I’ve built. But that doesn’t mean I will sit still either.
Come what may. Maybe I will actually quit my job and travel the world. Maybe I will start a new adventure that only I know. Maybe I will write a new book in a completely different genre. Maybe I will stop writing completely. Maybe for a while. Maybe I will try out a different hobby. Maybe I will sell off all my things. Maybe I’ll disappear and return after a few years.
I do not know.
What I do know, is this one thing: we are the ones holding the steering wheel of our lives. Winds will blow and guide our sails, but sink or swim–we are the captains of our own ships. Be it through stormy seas or calm waters, the important thing is to paddle on
And that, for sure, I shall do.
I post new contents here every Saturday. This includes writing tips, reviews on writing/reading spots, short stories, poems, personal essays, and more. Keep yourself updated by following me on Twitter and Instagram!