Atoms and Other Dreams

Basically, my story is like this: I woke up one morning and announced to the people in the house that from that day forth, I won’t be living there anymore.
They were bewildered.

In less than an hour, I packed my things and vacated the place. My life as a prodigal, that day, began.

Certain posts I see in Newsfeed remind me of my dreams then: billions and billions of money, piles of material possessions and a high corporate post. Executive level. Yeah, I was an ambitious careerist once upon a time.

The turning point, I suppose, happened when I joined CEGP. Well, actually, I only did it out of sheer adventurism — some thing I have not done, rallying. But it modified the atoms in me that the former being became a fleeting haze hovering around the crevices of my memories.

My life in CEGP was hard, I must admit. Some days would pass by without food; I had three consecutive days full of french fries as my only meal. To alter their taste, I mixed them with Mang Tomas or Magic Sarap.

Hell, I even experienced asking each counter of various fast foods for packs of ketchup to survive lunch. I swear it was maddening.

But in CEGP I have learned that there’s more to life than ego, corporate position, material possessions and insatiable financial greed. That it’s impossible to become a CEO if your father isn’t the owner of the firm. That serving the capitalists is not worth it. That everyone is important.

I was exposed to various social realities, most of them painful — so painful they will crush a human heart.

In Negros, I met housewives whose husbands were abducted in front of them. I met those who lost their homes in demolition and arson. I wrote statements for the journalists who were murdered. I witnessed police brutality, saw broken bones and pools of blood gushing out of someone’s head.

I marched the street with people whose humanity burns more than the scorching sun. I saw so much misery, but in every struggle and step, I found hope. In CEGP, I accumulated experiences and they made me older than I am.

Most people, I am aware, find it odd why material possessions do not draw me in. I say, there’s more to life than iPhone 6. There’s friendship. There are small victories. There are selfless days. There is genuine love.