I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again — life is too short to be spent on crises.
Now that I’m 25, I’m not wasting another moment figuring out what’s next. A part of me always knows; we always do the best we can until our destiny reveals itself.
Here’s a quick list of the things I’d like to do in the next 25 years. Can someone keep track of this for me? Remind me when I’m 50 and let’s do a checklist. 🙂
1. Skate. Seriously, this is the first thing that came to mind. Blade, roller or ice — doesn’t matter. I want to learn to skate. Weird eh?
2. Learn tennis. I see this happening soon. I intend to shorten this list quickly.
3. Win a badminton tournament. Doubles. Singles. Doesn’t matter. Funny thing is, this may be farther off than #2. Still, I’d like to really improve on my current favorite sport. 🙂
4. Get a book published. Or two. Let’s start this list strong. Yeah, I dream of being a bestselling author. Some concepts I have right now is a book that will make Taoism accessible and beneficial to the average Pinoy. I have other serious concepts (such as democratic consolidation in the Philippines) but I don’t want to sound stupid right now.
5. Write a really cool history textbook for grade schoolers and high schoolers. This may be a similar goal to #4 but this requires a different commitment. I’d like our students to love history and so I’ll fill up this textbook with little known stories about our historical figures, and games for our students to experience history and society in a new way.
6. Shoot a documentary. I’d like to either write or direct one. I have a lot of cool ideas, but one I really want to do is a retelling of the lives our national heroes through the eyes of their still living descendants. Then there will be live reenactments similar to The First Emperor. That will be very interesting!
7. Learn a foreign language. I will consider this item fulfilled if I learn at least three of the following: Mandarin, Cantonese, Nihongo, Thai, Hindi, Farsi, Arabic, and French. Yes, French.
8. Visit our native fiestas. Sinulog. Ati-atihan. Pahiyas. I’d love to see them all. I heard the food is great too!
9. Put up my own school or help run one. This one is a far-off goal and is something co-teacher friends such as Sir Arghs and I talk about all the time. I think school should be fun and should have no disconnection with the real world. You guys have no idea what I would do if I had complete freedom to teach a course the way I want to.
10. Be a cool dad. If I beat my son in Tekken 9, no allowance for him. ‘Nuff said.
11. Host my own .com address. I can do this right now but I just don’t have the focus for it. One day though, I will sit down and work on this.
12. Watch my favorite bands live in concert. If I get to watch at least two, I consider this item fulfilled: Goo Goo Dolls, Lifehouse, Staind, U2, Aerosmith, Rascal Flatts, Coldplay, Counting Crows, Matt Nathanson, Chris Cornell, Five for Fighting, Train, Faith Hill (don’t ask), Fuel, Maroon 5, Matchbox Twenty, and more. Heh.
13. Meet a celebrity. This is a fantasy item so I’ll consider this list fulfilled if I meet at least one: The Rock, Undertaker, Maria Sharapova (and play tennis of course… hehe), Matthew Perry or any of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. cast, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Zhang Ziyi, Ken Watanabe, and so on.
14. Meet and chat with an intellectual, an author, or a famous public figure. And be a total fanboy too! I’ll consider this list fulfilled if I meet at least three. Let’s be daring just because I can: Kishore Mahbubani (hopefully my future dean!), Thomas L. Friedman, Barack Obama, Tony Blair, Jeffrey Sachs, Amartya Sen, Elie Wiesel, Joseph Stiglitz, Michael Crichton, Pope Benedict XVI, and the Dalai Lama.
15. Go backpacking through China. Fulfilling #7 will be integral for this. I’d love to do Peter Hessler one better.
16. Spend a year or two learning Hindu philosophy and yoga in India. When I hit a spiritual crisis in my life, remind me to look to India.
17. Travel the Holy Land and ride a camel. I don’t know why I clump these two together (travel the Holy Land on a camel, perhaps?). It’s all or nothing for this one, baby.
18. Design my own 3-unit university course and teach it. I can really see this happening within the next five years or so. I’m ambitious like that.
19. Once I’ve reached the peak of my career, I’ll take a break, write and spend a year traveling. I promise myself this: that as I gain experience over the next twenty five years, I will reward myself and my family (both present and future)by not burning myself out and constantly reminding myself of what’s important. Of all the items here, I should be reminded of this — #19 — 25 years from now. I think I’ll need it.
20. Do something great with my former students. I can imagine myself really carrying a powerful advocacy within the next ten years or so. At one point, I may even begin an organization or a foundation to banner my beliefs. I’d like to have some of my former students join me if they believe in my cause as strongly.
21. Remain a student, a learner and a teacher. I’ve always seen those three roles as one. Within the next 25 years, may I continue making most of the opportunities in life. I’ve always believed that to whom much is given, much is expected. Simple as that.
22. Remain a friend, brother and son. One thing I’ve learned in the past 25 years is the value of commitment — that in everything you do or say you give your utmost best. There is no reason for us to not shine bright; by liberating ourselves we liberate others. In remaining a friend, brother and son, may I teach my future children to be great friends, brothers (or sisters) and sons (or daughters) as well.
23. Meet my light and the center of my universe. Love is a funny thing. We say we never know what it is or what it means, but we fall for it every time. However, I’ve had enough of the love that trips me. I’d love to meet that person who could sweep me off my feet and teach me to fly. I’d love to meet that person who, of all the 25 things I’d like to accomplish here, would convince me that there needs to be only one. 🙂
24. Say that I have lived my life with no regrets and that I am proud of who I am. I suppose this is the core of what AKOMISMO means. I don’t understand completely yet, but of all I’d like to feel in 25 years, I’d love to stand tall and say that I have lived my life.
25. Start the next 25 years of my life by saying the simplest thing: thank you to everyone. Pardon me if this will sound like a CD jacket credit, but there really is no other way to put it. I love you mom and dad. There can be nobody else I owe everything to. My bro: you are my best friend and you absolutely rock. My sister: the coolest and most beautiful person in the world; learn and live well. My family of aunts and uncles for being my pillars of strength. Tita Anna for being the best teacher, mentor and friend. My fellow Social Science teachers who took a chance on an angsty 21-year old from the call center. Thanks for helping me make history. All my students past and present — my life is yours. Batch ’07 who welcomed me, Batch ’08 who grew with me, Batch ’09 who raised me and Batch ’10 and AKSIS who made me believe. May your lives be beacons as well. Special thanks to Ellie, David T., David B., Guio, Angelica, Pauline, Reggie, Kamille, Lara, Eyo, Brandon, Criselle, Benj, Anna, Prissy, RC, DR, Gian, Kevin, Gero, RD — thank you all for your friendship and loyalty. Many thanks to the Lunch Club — Arghs, Joey and Fil –for wherever one or two is gathered and present, lunch there shall be. To my dear friends from college who continue to walk with me no matter what path I take, thank you Rob, Victor, Benedict, Sheryl, Maeyahn and Citas. Thanks to the rest of our PolSci buddies too! You’re the best supporting cast. 🙂 Before this paragraph gets any more convoluted, I’d like to thank everyone I’ve met over the past years or two. Mong Palatino and the rest of the BK crew, it was great working with you too! I hope to work again with you guys once work frees up. And the rest of the blogosphere — Pinoy or otherwise — thank you for reading. The best is yet to come.
With that, I bring this list to a close. There is much to do in the next quarter century and I am sure this is just the first of many lists. See you around.