31 things, part 2: making plans

i find it almost amazing that i have managed to be at the office before 8.15am these past two days, when, on both occasions, i had gone home at past 3am with beer in my bloodstream; while that might not sound impressive to some, consider that i still had to endure 2-hour commutes. this job must be really worth the great sacrifices -- i would have just called in sick elsewhere. but if you actually look forward to something, you must really like it.

the last sentence in my previous entry mentioned about how the rest of my life finally begins. emphasis on "the rest of my life". had i phrased it differently, such as "my life finally begins", then i would have not just been a little unfair to myself, considering that i have lived life fully and differently from others. i have, much more than most, seized the day, and in fact, i think my life has been rich in many other aspects. i have never been a career-driven person, and i've always believed in pursuing a passion. i have been consistent ever since, telling people that i've long wanted to be in development work, where i could, even vicariously, serve the people, particularly those who are marginalized by their circumstances. and now that this has gone beyond the realm of the imagination, to be actually real, i can quit distracting myself with "in the meantime" undertakings, but actually focus on plans.

yes, plans. it's not that my path has been totally pointless, but my direction has been largely abstract, without details and definitions. i know where i'm headed, but it's something i cannot describe to anyone without them getting seriously lost. with this latest development, i can actually make concrete plans, because they follow the security of my current tenure. i've been asked how long i see myself working with the EU, and i've replied: for as long as i'm needed. i cannot think of many things that would convince me to leave, except perhaps if i'm invited to host discovery channel's travel and living. so anyway, having achieved a real career direction, i can make the following plans:

2nd thing: independence

i have been spoiled by a mother whose talents in the kitchen are only exceeded by her love for her family. that is why i have had a hard time to actually desire independence. the only time i actually got to live apart from my parents' household is when i went to a dormitory in singapore for close to 5 months. but now that i'm thrust into the working world, i also didn't consider living on my own for reasons other than that i prefer to have a meal prepared for me when i wake up in the morning. now that i'm sure of my footing, i actually, very suddenly, decided that it's time to fly the coop.

i'm looking to rent a place in makati, preferably within walking distance of RCBC plaza. i've made computations, and on transportation alone, i can spend as much as P5,500 a month commuting all the way to commonwealth everyday. i've pegged my budget at P10k, and i would prefer a studio with a kitchen because i'd like to cook. the first thing i'm getting, aside from the bed, is a TV set. that should be followed by a refrigerator, then a two-burner stove. ideally, i should already have moved in as of the beginning of this month, but many things have kept me away from my pad-hunting. but i'm still well within the timeline, and i should have everything ready by the time i turn 31. it's a plan, after all.

this should be distinguished from getting my own place -- i have no plans yet of investing in a condo unit or anything like that, because of the other things i'm about to list below.

3rd thing: learn to drive

i've never really found the value of this skill, because although i've been presented with the possibility of driving someone else's vehicle, i don't have my own car. but now this has got to happen because of the

4th thing: get a car

given my personality and lifestyle, a sedan would probably not serve me best. i imagine myself sneaking out of the city every chance i get, so my ride has got to be able to keep pace with what i want to do. it has to be sturdy, it has to be powerful, it has to be big. i don't know what it is about them, but i am drawn to pick-up trucks. i like the way they look, which is much the same way i would imagine myself: handsome, rugged, and fit. i'd like to be able to load a lot of things to the back of the truck, like my bike, my board, my gear, my plants. i find myself staring at the toyota hi-lux with longing and desire. i want to have one.

of course, when the time comes to getting the car, which i think should be before the year ends, i wouldn't mind getting even just a compact car, if my purpose is just to get from one place to another. i'd have to take out a loan for this which i hope to pay in the next 3 years. the money i hope to save would be enough to buy a decent 2nd-hand car. but i really prefer to get my own. i've always had an aversion to hand-me-downs, even those you pay for. besides, the difference won't be a lot of money; why would i buy something that technically isn't worth anything anymore?

these are not just part of my "it would be nice to have a..." fantasies. but rather, the desire is more mandatory. "i have to have these things!" the list i'm talking about here aren't just things i want to do for myself. my friends can actually help me in making these things happen. take the 3rd for example: you can volunteer to teach me how to drive. or the 4th: you can help me choose which wheels would be best for me. so this much is sure: i have a 12-month calendar to work towards the achievement of all these 31 things. this blog should serve as a monitor to my success.