You have never been more conscious of the things you enjoy doing on your own.

I’ve been having trouble writing here mostly because I’m finding it difficult to take responsibility for things said in the first person. I had no trouble writing the title for this post though.

Also, “You feel better after typing this.”


Jenny Holzer, Survival Series
Jenny Holzer, Survival Series (1983-85)

People still ask, “when did you get back?” You always answer “a month ago”, even if it’s been much longer than that (more like two by now). Earlier this week, you filed an application for an apartment you actually hope you will get, even if the only way you’ll be able to manage paying the rent is by seriously depleting your savings. “At least you have savings to deplete,” says your aunt.

You realize you’ve been holding your breath while filling in the area dedicated to “Employment Information”, knowing this bears more weight than anything you can say about your education. There is no space for your education and even if you attach a CV, you doubt that will have any bearing. This makes you very, very nervous; despite having sent in applications and having received just as many rejections before.

You finally exhale once you start filling out the sections for your bank details, pause realizing this might not be enough, stop when you see that there’s no space for your insurance provider. Is insurance even a thing here? You are proud of having insurance, proud of the semblance of a safety net in the event that you get sick. You feel like an asshole. Or rather, the tension between privilege and the principles you’ve been raised with, your conservatism and the compromises that come with it along with the risks you can afford to take–just because–these thingsĀ make you feel like an asshole.

You keep your fingers crossed as you hit send, hoping your potential landlords will consider an application from someone with no stable source of income; someone who left all the spaces for “Spouse” blank and who jokingly wrote “2 cats” in the space for “Dependents”. Outside, it is still raining and you remember that the area you’re hoping to call home, the one thing you’re willing to commit to for more than a few months, is probably submerged in water, neck-deep.

Still, while hoping for another light-filled space to call your own, you are also thankful for what has been a very good year.

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Author: alicesarmiento

San Juan, Metro Manila

2 thoughts on “You have never been more conscious of the things you enjoy doing on your own.”

  1. Application forms make us all feel inadequate from time to time, make us think we’ll never know the love of a real woman. That’s mostly me.

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