The Dilemma of Passions

Disclaimer: This is a personal write-up.

It was in the middle of a drinking session and everyone left to either puke or assist some of our drunk friends when we were left alone at the table with empty bottles (which amazed me as to how much we’ve consumed that night). I started off saying, “Sir, since everyone confessed their feelings tonight, I also wanna say something. I really admire you. I wanna be like you.”

So that’s pretty much how I got to start a conversation with one of the few people who really influence me as a person. And by talk I mean that I was able to say how I really admire him, how I look up to him, and how much I want to be like him in so many ways. Our conversation wasn’t very long but it was meaningful. I couldn’t remember everything he said, just the gist of his advice. But there’s one thing he said that will forever make me believe that I have it, and I can change my life with my own workings: “You’ll go a long way, Mack.”

I don’t handle compliments very well. When he said those wonderful words to me, I was smiling, teary-eyed, light-headed, and was genuinely happy. I, once again, realized how blessed I am with talents and with supportive people around me.

During our conversation, he would bring up La La Land, which he just saw earlier that night and how much the story was much like the most of us, artists, and how we were sometimes made to choose between romance and our art; that life is not always good but that’s just it. The beauty of the film, according to him, is that it speaks the reality about artists and their struggles in love and in their art.

I confessed that I have a similar dilemma. Just recently I won a writing competition and I think my writing career is flourishing. Right now, I am part of an established dance company in the campus and in the region, and I am with equally-talented individuals, led by an inspiring artistic director. I also am a student of a premier university and I also want to go back to my first love, which is teaching.

The dilemma is that I seem to have a lot of career choices that I don’t know which to choose without sacrificing others. Of course, this is silly and petty, for others. People might say that I should consider myself lucky to have more than one option for a career path when others were not as blessed with options as I am. I might seem ungrateful and selfish. Trust me, I’m not. All I want is to utilize all the energy inside me. Because these are demanding energies that need more than one outlet. And the thought of sacrificing one passion is painful.

I love writing. Very much that I’d make love to it if it were a man. It’s something I see myself succeeding at. And it loves me back.


My plaque and medal during the Dungug Kinaray-a awarding last December 21, 2016 where my entry won first place in the Mamugu nga Suguidanon (Short story) category.

I equally love dancing. I am aware of this great passion, this great fire in me to perform. I have a hunger for sweat, body pain, stretching, lights, applause, and the thrill of being nervous every time I perform. I’m addicted to the ecstasy of being lost in a song while doing choreography as well as the overwhelming energy I am suddenly poured with whenever I hear a song.


Performing for one of our dance concerts in school. Photo by Jonathan Jurilla.

But then, my heart also longs to teach, to share my knowledge to other people. To shape young minds, to impart the realizations I have of life, to share with them the beauty and wonder of literature, to help bring intellectual thinking into the mainstream, and to see hopeful faces of students everyday of my life. And to inspire.

I have so much ahead of me. But instead of bliss, I feel confused as to which road I will choose. Is it possible not to choose among the three and maintain the balance for these three passions? Can I write, dance, and teach at the same time? Please?

Right now, I’m still trying to figure out my life. But I have wonderful people around me and I believe they will help me decide which path or paths to take in the future. And right now, I shall focus on the present – where I will help establish the roads I’d take. Because just as Sir Bob said, I will go a long way.

And yes, I do believe him. 🙂



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