Shadow

Looks like I was meant to be a shadow.

I say this given the current state of my disposition right now. I’ve never really thought of myself as brilliant, at least since I entered UP, and I still haven’t had the pleasure to refute that thought nor do my  “accomplishments” say otherwise. So far I’ve been an entity lurking only in the shadows. In undergrad I was a member of several organizations, volunteered in the College’s official VolCorp, part of my Batch’s governing body and eventually my block’s representative in our Course Org but despite all these I was merely a shadow with no major accomplishments whatsoever. None that I can say were exemplary even to a layman’s standard. Now, I’m still the same.

I still continue to be active. Most of the time only to gather new experiences, meet new people, and know the inner workings of the community I haphazardly entered into. Nevertheless I remained a shadow. There but never there. Not that I mind it most of the time. What frustrates me more is my own lack of initiative to even try to achieve greater heights. Most due to laziness but some due to fear – the fear of the unknown. For every opportunity I shun away most are because I feel that it is tiresome to do so and that I have better use of my time without such responsibilities (like sleeping) although deep inside I really want to try bigger things. However, the greed in me just won’t quiet down and it’s longing for that choleric side of me to get out and do it’s thing so I eventually join with the flow, like a dead fish floating with the current. I accept menial jobs, those that will not make use of a lot of my time and those with the least responsibilities because it’s tiresome to have more.

Despite the fact that I adore at the same time envy those at the top with all of their responsibilities and sense of leadership, I still decline because “with great power comes great responsibility” (do I still need to mention where this is from?). Now in a College I once dreamed of entering but at present hope of exiting ASAP, I find myself envying those who try to become relevant. I do want the same but every day I am reminded that I am but a shadow. Like Kuroko, if I don’t make a peep I remain invisible. Indistinguishable. My presence forgettable. Maybe it’s a talent I acquired after High School given my previous goal of becoming an ordinary person away from the limelight. I do miss it though, the limelight, but then mine’s probably good only until HS ends. Since then I haven’t found myself worthy of the limelight I once had, not anymore. So I continue to linger in the shadows, doing things that don’t really merit a mention, at least not for me because what I do does not even compare to what the other members of the team actually do. When people point out the good work I’ve done I feel flattered at first. The flattery inside turned to guilt because of the fact that I haven’t really done anything that was a significant contribution. Thoughts such as “I didn’t really do anything out of the extraordinary” and things like that bewilder my mind. I know they’re being kind and appreciative and maybe they do think I did something great but for me, I knew I could have done more. I could have made better things, made the event smoother, etc. Maybe I’m just myself’s best critic but still, I know my efforts most of the time aren’t enough. I end up unsatisfied of my work because I lack the initiative to try to do more and I belatedly realize that I can do more when there is no more time for such things. In the end, I feel lonely.

I once read that when you praise and acknowledge the little things that people do they tend to become better at their duties because they know that every little thing counts and is appreciated. I use this sometimes mainly because I rarely ask for favors from people. What I can do, I would. What I can’t, I learn by my own. That’s how my family taught me. Whenever a person does things for me, either through kindness or as a favor, I feel guilty (depending on the favor). I shouldn’t have bothered that person because he/she has better things to do or maybe he/she is already tired, is sick, or just doesn’t want to do it and I forced him/her to do so. So I practice the art of appreciating even the most minor of details. However, this strategy doesn’t work for me, not all the time anyway. On times that I know I haven’t given my absolute best, appreciating my work would only backfire. I feel guilty at the same time pressured to do more, which I should feel because I didn’t do my best. So during such times I regress. On another note if at times I know and feel that I did my absolute best and nobody even bothers to say a simple “Thanks!”, I feel underappreciated and I become angry and resentful about the fact that I already worked my butt off and yet nobody even bothers. Yes, I am complicated like that. But I try to hide such things because in both situations, my reactions are neither polite, appropriate nor civil. They’re just akin to a child’s tantrum which I am experiencing right now.

I know I could have done more than what I accomplished (if ever they are accomplishments) today and I know it is my fault for not even trying and realizing the need too late in time. I also blame myself for wearing those sandals which only added to my exhaustion and my unsettled mood. I knew I should have worn comfortable shoes. But despite this feeling I never learn. I will still continue to be a shadow and just contribute minor things to a bigger task at hand. I don’t know why, I just feel like there’s no point in trying to return to the limelight when I’ve already lost all the right and status to do so with no hopes of getting them back anytime soon. I will do my part in this machine called responsibility. Ticking and working as the machine owners want me to. Doing things that I should be doing because I have decided to accept this responsibility without anyone forcing me to, just like a hinge doing it’s part of opening a door. Maybe that’s why I thrive when placed backstage (referring to theater experience).

Eventually I’ll graduate from this University. I doubt anyone would remember me except those whom I made friends with, some may even forget my name in the long run. Others who won’t might eventually forget how to spell it correctly. I doubt any of my professors will remember my name or my face. Just like many before me I’d just be a passing entity who once graced the halls of Malcolm. It hurts a little but then it would be best to accept it especially when I consciously make it happen on my own. I do think I have the aptitude, enough to get me through life’s difficulties. I also think I have talents, enough to impress one or maybe two people. I also consider myself as lovable, albeit not romantically. For all the insecurities I have, I do feel that I am still blessed with talents that many only dream about and yet even those aren’t enough to get me out of the dark and into the light. Despite that I have realized one main use for the talents I am blessed with – backdoor support. Just like a how a shadow organization gets the work done but never gets known or recognized, that’s what I have developed over the years. I have indeed perfected the art of stealth and maybe a bit of inception. The ultimate backstage person. So to make use of this, despite the lack of a concrete legacy, I will remain the shadow and help people accomplish bigger goals for a better future. Maybe then, even if it is only me who will get to realize it, I get to contribute a little towards making the world a better place.

Note:
Current mode: Hormonal, hungry, tired and pained. The thoughts that come to me at such stage are mostly temporary and my views change almost all the time – that’s what people call MOODY (thanks to me being born in February).  I am not justifying my post just because I am hungry right now (or moody). I am just stating facts. (Now that sounded defensive. Nah, IDC anymore. I’m hungry!) I am highly inconsistent, except for a very few deeply enshrined principles. My thoughts and opinions of people, things and situation change – a lot. Even some of my beliefs and impressions are entitled to a second opinion. Maybe that’s why I welcome critiques wholeheartedly because I don’t see things in the same way all the time. So if ever you find any contradiction in this article to my previous write-ups then it’s quite normal. Even my novels don’t come from a single genre (because I am inconsistent like that). I am not a good example of a principled person. I am neither a good reference for opinions and views on several matters. Such change over time. No one should quote me or hold me bound to what I have given an opinion of in the past. Aside from facts and concrete things, a lot in my life change. Case in point, I once dreamed to become a world famous lawyer now I don’t particularly care. I was once an activist on the extreme left side but now I have turned more to the social-democratic side. Judge me all you want, I will remain true to who I am. My opinions change because even the world changes. I refuse to remain bound to a tradition that eventually becomes meaningless in time. I am aware of the dangers of such inconsistency but I thrive in it. Bahala na kayo diyan. Peace out!

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