Weekly Ketchup 28 - Pretentious, Delusional, or Borderline Sociopath?

Previously on this blog: I lack ambition. I refuse to be Filipino. Identity issues. Unforeseen and unnecessary expenses.

Yes, that little episode recap is important to this blog. It's very meta.

Anyway, last Thursday, on my way to a client, I dropped my glasses and lost one of the lenses. Aside from adding one more item to the list of things I now have to spend for and making me feel even more guilty about buying a new toy last week, I thought the incident fit in perfectly with the theme of this week's blog, which I had already decided was gonna be about "perspective".

I've been wearing glasses continuously for about a year now supposedly to correct my slight astigmatism. Apparently my eyes, particularly the right side, are locked in perpetual macro mode. Chicken or egg question is whether my nearsightedness has to do with my obsession with mobile operating systems like Palm and Android or why I prefer writing on small devices like PDAs and smartphones. (Sidenote: All entries on this blog have been written on my phone.) Incidentally, I've been obsessed this week with shooting things in macro but because my phone doesn't have autofocus, I've resorted to using my trusty old jelly lens to do the job.

That aside, what got me really thinking about perspective this past week was a couple of "hypothetical" situations that I shared on my social networks (see here and here). I recon they were pretty funny incidents by themselves but I have this thing where I don't just tell a story - I put a creative spin on it. Because, seriously, there are millions of things being shared on social media, I want to make sure my virtual presence makes as much impact as my physical presence does.

For the same reason, I try as much as possible not to use social media as my opinion column because there are enough people with "thoughts and feelings" on the Internet already. For that matter, there are enough people living out their reality show fantasies on Facebook and Twitter, so I'd like to offer a different kind of programming. I don't necessarily believe I'm funny but I do constantly find myself in funny situations and social media has given me a channel, and an audience to boot, to broadcast my special brand of comedy.

Maybe because I once dreamed of being an actor or scriptwriter but I see my existence and reality as my own personal show (or movie). I wrote about it a long time ago during the golden days of Multiply and even alluded to this tendency of mine in another entry a few months back. To give you an idea, I've never left the house without anything plugged in my ears since I was in high school because music affords me the illusion that I'm in the opening montage of a show. Kinda like this:

I also tend to categorize specific periods of my life in seasons and I feel like these past few years have been like the final season of a show that already ran its course two seasons ago (*ahem*). I feel like everything that I've been doing the past year, this blog included, is just some last ditch effort by the writers and the network (ie, me) to make the show exciting. More than anything, this is why I need to leave and seek out new adventures.

I once told my geek friend Dek, who I'll be staying with for a while, that when I come over later this year, in her life of a TV show, I'll be like that character who left a few seasons back and made a surprise return in the finale to excite viewers for the next season. And that says a lot about how I see myself in the narrative I'm trying to live out. I don't really see myself as the protagonist of my own series. Rather, I'm the secondary character in everyone else's story. This makes so much sense now because I've always believed that if I ever get cast in a Disney movie, this is the type of character I would play.

Maybe that's why I'm not ambitious enough. I realized early on that I'm not meant to defeat the villain, get the girl, and save the world. My job is to support the hero, share in the glory but not the responsibility, and still be the audience's favorite character. In short: The comic relief. That's not so bad for someone with small ambitions, now, is it?

This probably why I have the hardest time navigating the reality around me. In the little bubble of delusion I created around myself, it was okay to merely have it together, which I mostly do, because the story of secondary characters hardly needs to evolve as much as the hero's story does. But to survive and succeed in the real world, I have to compete with the heroes of their story on terms everyone understands but me.

This dissonance between the reality in my head and the reality around me is likely where my identity issues stem from. In my little world, jeepneys and idiots who make garbage cans and toilet bowls out of the entire city just don't exist. And for as long as I can take buses and trains regularly, as I have for the nearly ten years that I've been working, I can live out my fantasy. Seriously, I'm the type of guy who would transfer from trains and buses to get from one place to another instead of taking the one jeep that goes all the way through. The Manila bus ban shattered that delusion and for the past year, I've been forced to take those heaping piles of scrap metal to work and face my third world reality on a daily basis.

For these reasons, I'm so glad I met my geek friends. They allowed me to indulge in my delusions. I get to throw out lines and be involved in situations that, by all accounts, should only work on TV.  I literally hear laugh tracks whenever we get together and I get to be the character I've always wanted to be. I don't know how everyone else sees the world but I'm happy to frolic in mine, with all its quirks and craziness! It's an interesting existence, believe me.

So this week's blog turned out to be that surprising episode that tied up loose ends and answered questions established in previous episodes, leaving the audience to wonder where the show can possibly go next. Oh, but in true TV show fashion, how about a cliffhanger / teaser with no context? Speculate away!

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