Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tightrope

Patience is a virtue, they say.

I'm leaving for my so-called vacation in less than two weeks, and my preparations have kicked into high gear. I still have to find a warm shirt and a new pair of slacks to wear, figure out how to shave without actually packing a razor, and buy a new notebook and sketch pad so that I don't go out of my mind on the plane. All that, and I haven't even checked to see if everything will fit inside my suitcase yet.

I'm also foreseeing a lot more pressure at work for the next week, seeing that I'll be on leave from next Wednesday onwards. I don't want to dump everything on the office's only other project manager, and my superiors apparently feel the same way.

With all this on my mind, sometimes I wonder where -- and why -- I find the time to write.

I remember putting my writing on hiatus just after college. Work is a bit of an ethical dilemma for me, because I keep running into the question of how to divide my focus between the office tasks and the fiction assignments. If I place too much dedication in my work, then I may not find the time or the inspiration to write. But if I give some attention to my writing, then my work doesn't turn out as good as I want it to be. What's a person to do?

For a while, I thought that the obvious answer was "work". So I worked two straight years without stopping, and what did I get in the process? Tired.

In a way, it was a hard lesson in the fact that we all need some way to keep ourselves sane. Mine just happened to involve writing copious amounts of words on multiple sheets of digital paper.

It's difficult to walk the line, though, without being able to tell exactly where the line is. I obviously don't want to drown myself in work for the rest of my life, but I don't want to end up spending all that time writing, either.

It may sound strange, but that's exactly how it goes. As nice as the idea seems, you do not want to dedicate all your time to writing, just as you do not want to dedicate all your time to office work. Even writing gets boring if you're doing it every hour of every day, of every month, of every year.

Think about it: Any one of us would be partial to having a lot of money, for instance. But few of us would relish the prospect of being locked in a room full of five-hundred-peso bills for twenty-odd years. The smell alone would probably kill us.

I suppose that, just as I need to write in order to keep myself sane, so do I need to work in order to keep myself sane. I need to write while I'm working, and I need to work while I'm writing.

For the next two weeks, I'll be looking at the possibility of being too busy at work in order to write. Then, for the next two weeks after that, I'll be looking at the possibility of being wide open to write with no possibility of work to back me up.

Somehow, Irony has seen fit to catch up with me at the strangest possible moment.

How, then, can one consciously find time to write when one has all the time in the world to write? I find that it's not the opportunities to write per se; It's the search for them.

Yeah, I'm going on vacation sometime in the next month. But somewhere deep inside, I still wonder whether or not this is a better scenario than my current working/writing setup. Back when I was still juggling work tasks and writing assignments, at least I knew where I could place everything in relation to each other. Now I'm straying into unknown territory.

Do I like vacations? Sure, I like the idea of vacations.

It's just that they always seem to give me a headache.

Wonder why?

7 comments:

Dominique said...

Hi, Sean. Vacations give you a headache because you know that they're going to end and that you're going to have to go back to your daily grind after that. My thoughts, anyway; that's why I took a permanent one :-D

I think you can safely pack a razor on the plane without airport security confiscating it. I've done so several times. A safety razor, anyway, not a barber's razor, okay?

Seems silly that they should confiscate a safety razor. If you had bad intentions, how would you use it? "Turn the plane around now, or else I'll shave off her eyebrows!"?

Sean said...

Dominique: I'm heading to the United States, and I think that their security procedures are somewhat tight over there. Still no idea how to handle the razor issue, though.

Erienne said...

buy a razor when you're there...

:-)

how i wish i can take some vacation too...

-sighs-

anyway, enjoy Sean!

Sean said...

Erienne: I'll be shuttling between seven different locations in the US, I think. Does that mean that I have to buy seven different razors? :)

Erienne said...

hmmm... (scratches her head)

:-)

as in seven?

lucky you... sama ako.

Dominique said...

Buy disposable razors at each state. Should be available in most convenience stores.

Or just go for the grunge look. I think it suits you.

Clair said...

*laughs*
The grunge look might not be so bad :P

I do hope that you will have an unexpectedly wonderful time on your vacation =) You never know what wll happen anyways... ;)