Thursday, February 06, 2014

My Dreaming, Imagination, and Self

I think there is a kind of delicious irony in that if we Filipinos do take part in a grand journey to Mars, this would be the first time that we Filipinos would be colonizers rather than the colonizees.
Who, me, a futurist?

That was my reaction when I read my interview with GMA-7 on the idea of Filipinos going to Mars. Heavenssake, I never thought myself as a futurist, only a guy who has an opinion on everything (though I only mention it if asked).

Ironically, I'm somewhat amused by the whole idea because if there's one thing I can say about myself, I've never actually had a dream for myself. Is that so strange? That someone who seems to have a wild (or at least varied) imagination would be so... unimaginative about oneself? Probably, though I've heard that some writers-- at least the ones who write such imaginative fare-- can be quite ordinary in real life. See exhibit A: James Thurber and his supposed alter ego, Walter Mitty.

I had this particular fact about myself thrown right in my face during an HR seminar three years ago, when the one conducting it asked us to imagine what our future would be like in 10-15 years. Thinking about it then, I remember feeling at a loss. It's only later that I realized: I couldn't imagine myself in the future because even way back then, when I was in high school or college, I couldn't imagine myself as anything... but myself.

See, that's the thing: I couldn't imagine myself as a doctor or a lawyer or even a psychologist-- though at different times of my life, I aspired to be those things. But what I held on then-- and what I hold on to now-- is though I couldn't imagine myself as anything, I always knew who I was and who I was would always hold true then... and now. You could say I was a diabolical version of Walter Mitty: full of intense drama but always unaffected by it.

That's not to say I'm an open book about myself. I still discover different-- sometimes surprising-- realizations about myself. However, I would eventually realize that these discoveries-- after some careful thought-- are actually facets of my personality that I've already accepted about myself. So yeah: surprise, 0; me, 1.    

So if ever you get to meet me outside the online world, ask me about a lot of things, but don't ask me about myself. Trust me, you'll get more about me when you do that.

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