Today at work, I had to phone a supplier and discuss the possible implementation plans for one of our projects. I made a list of all the pertinent details I needed, a brief guide of sorts to ensure that I don’t miss anything important.
When I had all the questions typed out — damn son I panicked!
All I had to do was pick up the phone, dial the number, and start the conversation. Dude was expecting my call anyways so there shouldn’t be a problem, yea? But what if I mispronounce his name? What if I ask something stupid?
Ugh, the scene was almost comical. I would pick up the phone, stare at the prompts on the screen, and put the phone back down while an icy rush of anxiety stung up my spine. I would then take a deep breath (“kaya mo ‘yan Jolens woo!”) and go through the silly cycle: pick up the phone, wait for the tapang to kick in, only to put the phone back down again. Naknampota.
On the fifth try I realized how petty and unjustifiable my nervousness was. I recalled a shower thought: sometimes baks, you know you just gotta do it (apologies to Nike).
So finally I dialed the number. My call went to voicemail and I was too scared to leave a message. I hung up. Mr. Supplier called back a few minutes later, told me he’s a bit busy but he would like to chat again in a couple hours. All good in the hood bruh.
And then came the flashbacks. All the phone calls to important offices requesting for a document, all the tense moments in front of a mic whenever I had to ask a question during a presscon, all the mini panic attacks I assiduously suppressed during each interview. Every god damn time my heart would pump in rapid tremors, and my mind would pray for the proverbial Bakunawa to just gobble me whole.
From the get-go, I knew I was not cut out for journ.
Sometimes I wonder if writing Journalism on the form was the single worst decision I’ve ever made. I remember a blockmate, a classic bida-bida journ student who grabbed me by the wrist and ran after the Chancellor during the Lantern Parade because I was too shy to approach the guy.
Boy was she impressive. She talked to the Chancy, part-apologetic, part-feeling close. Chancy said the usual chummy lines and I got my quote. That was in first year. “Weak,” Essie would later tell me. I agreed, but I never grew them ballz and became more proactive; I don’t think I ever had that so-called journalist’s instinct.
And now come the what-ifs. What if I shifted to Film like I’ve always wanted? What if I ended up in MP, my next choice? What if I chose Katips, if I wrote CL instead of Journ — what if I didn’t study CW in high school? Would I have decided to stay home?
Well alas, my “career” is now in an entirely different trajectory. Lotsa math and physics and other shit I’m equally terrible at. At least I don’t hate it? Oh well papel. I guess I’m really just indecisive. #