Change does have a way of surprising you.
I went to this photo processing store earlier this afternoon to have a film developed and transferred into electronic from. Yes, a film. I had a hard time getting the price for the technicians were still discussing the appropriate price. The fee was reasonable though. I was ready to hand in the film when the lady at the counter said they do not take rush processing.
I thought, okay. I wasn’t in a hurry thinking that the developing and the transfer would take about two hours maximum. So I said, okay and asked when I can get the electronic files. The lady said “tomorrow”. It took a while before I could process that three-syllable word.
On my way back to the office, I still could not believe it. Overnight?! For a film? Things have definitely changed. One-hour processing was the standard before. That was just two years ago. Now you have to wait overnight to have a film processed – in this town at least. Other stores do not process film anymore. So I guess I’d have it developed when I return.
Perhaps, this is just part of getting old.
Where is home? When I was still in College, I never doubted the fact that home was Bacacay, where my family was. Even if I came home four times a year, that where home was. Once one stops receiving monthly allowances, one begins to wonder where home really is.
For some time, I felt out-of-place whenever I visited my hometown. That’s the point, I guess. I felt like a visitor, not someone coming home. Maybe it’s because I’m away most of the time. I’m about nine hours away from my family, from home most of the year. I felt like an outsider inside the house I grew up in. The feeling lasted for quite a long while. I wasn’t a feeling I found pleasant.
I don’t know when it happened but it did. It dawned on my why I felt so detached from the people I spent more than half my life with – I never reached out. In the span of time I’m not home, I never really sent them messages or called regularly. What nerve I had to even expect that I’d be treated like a close member of the family if I did not bother to maintain contact with them.
Home is wherever you want to stay. Home is where you want to be. This, I realized after more than a year.
Perhaps it’s the street lights, perhaps it’s just doldrums.
There are times when everything seemed – yellow. I would have used golden but it is associated with pleasantness or positivity – which is not what I’m referring to. There’s this sadness that sweeps over one as one leaves the building. Streetlights play with one’s shadows unsuccessful in causing event a hint of a smile. It was one of those yellow nights. A silly name for a silly episode in one’s life. Yellow is supposed to be a happy color, but during nights like these – it isn’t.
There’s that feeling of detachment. A couple of laughs from the far side of the park, an excited shriek, a greeting. Good for them. Something is happening in their lives. It’s like watching an uninteresting movie when one has nothing else to do. One doesn’t bother to make sense of whatever the movie may be about but still, for the lack of anything better to do, one manages to get through each frame.
These past couple of days felt weird. I came home early. I woke up relatively late. Everything seems lighter. And for me, that is strange. I’m not complaining though. It’s just strange when you spent the previous months not knowing how you survived all those deadlines and then you find yourself having time to think of what to do next. It seems like everything is in slow motion these days. I’m enjoying the change in pace. But there’s always that nagging feeling that maybe – just maybe, I forgot to do something?
Last night, I was enjoying a read telling myself how great it is to enjoy not having anything else to do. It was idyllic. This morning, I woke up late. There I was thinking that it’s okay. This is the time to relax and spend more than the normal tine in bed. As I started planning my day, it hit me. I had a deadline at ten am! This, I remembered at past 9am.
Exactly what feared. So faced my laptop and did revisions to some posters. I was able to dash to work and submit it on time. In hindsight, that’s the pace I was used to. And though I found it tiring, that’s the pace I’m comfortable working in – perhaps I just got used to it.
This is one of those days when you need to force yourself to get up, waste time convincing yourself that you want to go to work, and you’re feeling great. You put on this smile when you look at the mirror still convincing yourself that the day would get better. Then comes a sneeze, and another. I am sick. I’ve been having chills the day before. I want to rest. I have student exercises to check. Perhaps a rest for the day maybe? or not.
Then I finish preparing for work. I’ve been in this situation before. And I know, the best and most productive thing to do would be to go to work than pretend to rest for a day and end up feeling guilty and unproductive for the next week.
Work, it is.