This time, I would really have to be honest. I am not happy anymore. Like what my recent GM decalred, “Something inside me says, there’s something better than this. Smiley.” That smiley would be off but then, retaining the usual me, it has to be there.
Status: Experiencing the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility
Microsoft Encarta is telling me that the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility is a state where the “possession of added units of a commodity increases the total psychological satisfaction or utility of the possessor, but with each successive unit total utility grows at a slower rate as the ability to enjoy each successive unit becomes less keen. A point is finally reached beyond which no further effort at acquisition will be deemed worth making.” I am not an economics fan, but there is no better way to concretely describe how I am feeling at this point in my life than using this concept.
In high school, I am not completely apathetic but I enjoyed extra-curricular activities at their full extent—joining youth camps, organizing outreach programs, involving in interschool conferences, and so many others. But it completely changed the moment I stepped in to the multicoloured world of college.
My active involvement came left and right—from outstanding opportunities up to holding key positions, I had them all. Who would have thought? I wasn’t even a bit interested in student politics back in high school, but there I was in college, even representing the student council in meetings with the University President.
I even got myself involved in a social action office as a student volunteer. There I got all the exposures no other student could ever have. I am boasting about it now since it is really something to be boastful about. I didn’t even realize the weight of it back at that time. But then, recognizing those credentials now, I could have been a perfect epitome of Ateneo’s pride—their wholistic education. Forming the head, the hands, and the heart, honing every aspect possible just to become men and women for others, men and women for the nation, and men and women for God.
I was a good student (not really excellent since I only study whenever there is an exam) and a good daughter (you know, giving pride to your family and all). Graduated with flying colours and achieved a number of awards. And then, I even acquired a good job, still in the University, in less than two months after I marched.
And then, four months later, it felt like I had enough.
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So here’s the thing: my job description still entails social involvement and community service, the very thing that I have allowed myself to be immersed to for the past four years or so. It bought me joy and a sense of fulfilment. So I thought.
Joy and sense of fulfilment. It seems to me that they are only mere words. I have lost their meaning. More so, I have lost their purpose in my life.
Yes, I have recognized that the passion to be of service to the Ateneo community and even to my hometown, Zamboanga City is instilled within me. It remains true, even until now. My work is still worth doing. But here comes my personal struggle. I am now at the point where I felt like I finally “reached beyond which no further effort at acquisition will be deemed worth making.” I can’t exactly pinpoint the part when I started feeling this way or the specific happening that lead my brainwaves into this kind of thinking. All I know is that yes, it feels like I already had enough. I have played my role of being that active citizen who felt the responsibility to encourage other people to become engaged citizens and socially involved so well. It felt like it’s about time for me to respond to my own personal call, to my own dreams, to my own plans.
But my SACSI Family has kept me going. They are my only fuel. It’s really a big chunk in one’s career to have a high level of intrinsic motivation because whenever shortcomings arise, they are the ones who will hold your hand and face the challenges not
ahead of you but together with you.
The Bigger Picture
The bigger picture will always be me being a woman for others, a woman for the nation, and a woman for God. The passion for serving other people and encourage them to become engaged and responsible citizens will always be there.
Only this time, I am going to do that by fulfilling my other passion—my love for words, for entertainment, for adventure. I was only able to grasp this dream plan only recently but it felt like it has arrived just at the right time. I am going to become a writer for a teen magazine; I am going to be a part of the creative team of a media production; I am going to go to places.
I am just 21. And being 21 is a gift. My career is just starting. And it is quite disturbing that my first job is giving me this kind of thoughts. Maybe, just maybe, I am really destined to be in this kind of work. But then, maybe, just maybe, it still has to wait for ten years or so. For now, or to put it distinctly, for my next year, I am going to play along with my youthfulness. Especially now that I have finally acknowledged what I really want to do with my life. It’s time for me to live…given that it felt like I am only existing for the past 21 years of this gift of life.