In the Matter of Death


Growing up, I have never really felt Death within the proximity of my family or close friends. My paternal grandmother died when I was nine, but I never got to know her intimately so the funeral was a mere chance for me to play with my cousins from distant lands. No one I loved so dearly and known for a long time had ever died, so the only grief I knew came from heartache, betrayal and failure.

I would often study with a clinical detachment the bereavement of my acquaintances. One who lost her grandfather mourned for weeks by posting his picture and anecdotes about him on Facebook. Others would appear pale and shaken, the gaping emotional wounds all too visible on their faces. It is not to say that I am belittling their sorrow. Rather, I simply cannot comprehend it because it has not yet happened to me.


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A few days ago, I had just finished reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

It was a good read and very inspiring. But it made me feel a tad (okay, a lot) guilty on how I’m living my life, on how I’m not fulfilling my Personal Legend.

I’m not even sure what my Personal Legend is, but it sure is not what I’m doing now. And frankly, I’m not happy. I’m not miserable either, but overall, I know I can do better.

About two months ago, my friends Darlyn & Donna finally quit their jobs. I was quite proud because in this day & age (and economy), it’s not that easy to let go of a source of income, especially in the Philippines.

Darlyn is now pursuing her dream of being a writer (you can read her current blog here) and Donna, while also teaching a couple of subjects, is studying to be a lawyer. Both have taken their first steps towards their Personal Legends.

While I am proud, I am also envious. Envious that I lack the courage to take the leap. I already know that what I do does not make me want to get up in the morning and wash my hair.

“Why don’t you just quit?” you may ask. And I can give you a list of excuses that will just make me sound like a whining little bitch brat. And I probably am.

The pay’s good. The job is secure. I’m good at it. It’s not torture. Etc…

Lame excuses aside, I’m merely afraid.

I’m afraid that what I want to do will not be enough to provide for my family and that I might fail. I found this inspiring post on 9gag with a quote from Terence McKenna and, like reading The Alchemist, it made me take another long hard look at my life.

Nature Loves Courage

I’ve always thought of myself as mature and responsible. My fear of failure contradicts that. If I do quit, where do I start? How do I start? How do I know how to get to my Personal Legend? I don’t even know what it is.

I need to find my Sweet Spot.


For now, I’m just going with the flow. Like I said, I’m not miserable. I’m… okay. I take pleasure in the fact that at least my two friends are doing what the love. My happiness for them overpowers my envy (Alhamdulilah). And if what I do provides for my family’s needs and keeps us together, then I guess it’s not that bad.

But I do know I can do better. I just need to dig a little deeper for that spark I once had. It’s still in me… I can feel it.