By Aya Mikhaela Lyn Lubon | February 1, 2024
My dreams are coping mechanisms akin to a safety net. In a Filipino society where mostly only the gifted and the financially fortunate can pursue artistic courses with a confident stride, many of us sit back, limited to dreaming.
I’m one of those who continue to fantasize about extravagant heights.
As the days progressed, a burdensome load weighed on my shoulders. Day after day, I burned the midnight oil, questioning what my life could have been—what I could have become. Perhaps it’s not just a “could” but more of a wish.
Slumping into bed after a routine day, staring at the popcorn-textured ceiling, I sank into the cushion, seeking comfort as I dreaded what tomorrow would bring. Little by little, my eyes gave way. It’s as if each thread is pulling me deeper into its depths. Then suddenly…
Before I knew it, my eyes fluttered open, abruptly awakened by flickering lights and deafening cheers.
Suddenly, I’m a charismatic performer on stage, dare I say, emanating an aura as boastful as Beyoncé’s. Blinded by beams of light, beads of sweat formed on my forehead as I caught my breath for the next verse. Bewildering to me, my voice reverberated throughout the arena, a place beyond my conceivable grasp. I heard it all—the person in my in-ear, the heavy panting of the dancers, my shallow breaths, the thumping of my heart. I feel like throwing up.
Truth is, I would much rather live this life. Fulfillment engulfed me like a warm hug—nothing could beat this over the monotonous path I’ve chosen for practicality’s sake. What seemed to continue for hours slowly proved too good to be true.
Enamored by the moment, I disregarded it—a distant noise beckoning me. I desperately try to remain in the rabbit hole, almost begging the universe, “Let me savor this, just this once.” Yet again, it shook me, pestering me to acknowledge it. I relentlessly refused, but inevitably, I surrendered to reality.
My eyes fluttered open, this time not to the pretty lights and the ego-boosting cheers—but to my blood-curdling alarm. Whiplash, the sun greeted me with an aggressive hello. Abiding by the pact I made to myself, I’ll continue living this life of denial—that I most likely will never live up to my full potential.
If only dreams were forever. Many could argue they’re attainable if you work hard enough, but only a few succeeded in grasping the dreams I yearn for. I’m not privileged enough to avail of more extensive opportunities. Even if that wasn’t the case, a disparity in skill level or physical appearance would still present itself. It’s also the con of being a people pleaser; I failed to allocate time for things I want to partake in to fulfill others’ requests. Sailing a monotonous life every day has pushed me to pessimism, though others might call it being realistic.
Part of me genuinely felt ashamed. I’d rather not look stupid trying—I’ve already tried. And it’s something my whole soul refused to relive. I’ll continue to partake in a lonely religion, preaching to my bed, the dreams I have. It’s exciting to become a different me whenever I fall asleep. Call me delusional, but it’s a great coping mechanism for a pre-med student.