It was a gloomy Friday morning. Gray and white clouds were competing over the sky. Once the alarm rang, I forced myself out of bed and did my usual morning routine: rush down to the dining area, make myself a cup of hot chocolate, and boil water for bathing.
As I took a sip from my cup, I shuffled through the weather app on my phone, checking the current status in Makati where I work. Before I left the house, I made sure that I had all the essentials with me on my commute all the way from Bulacan. I also made sure that the battery of my phone was full, since having a phone nowadays is essential in everyday life.
I hate commuting early in the morning on a weekday because heavy traffic is always to be expected. But on this rare occasion, there was no traffic at all. When I arrived at the MRT, commuters were not compressed like mackerels in a can. There was still space for people to breathe. Or maybe I got lucky that day.
It was my first time going to Makati using the MRT. From Ayala Station going to the office, it was only about a 15-minute walk. Thankfully, the weather was fair. My ears were plugged into my Broadway playlist and while walking along the street, I couldn’t help but admire the sublime architectural design of Makati’s commercial buildings.
Once I reached the office, I checked my phone and noticed that about a quarter of the battery has been consumed. “Too early for me to charge my phone,” I thought.
I spent nearly seven hours at work. That day was a special one in the office so I used my phone to check messages and document the goings-on that I forgot to charge it. By the time I left the office, I only had around 25 percent of battery life remaining. I have noticed when using mobile data that the battery consumption is generally high. I wondered if I could make it home without my phone dying out on me.
As I got on the train, I was able to find a seat—another rarity. I plugged on my earphones again and played my favorite Broadway playlist, but this time I lowered the brightness of my phone hoping that it would prolong the current state of my battery life.
From the time I reached the last station of the train heading north until I boarded a minibus finally going home, I only had 10 percent of battery life. By this time, I already felt so exhausted. But I didn’t want to be bored while traveling home so I decided to continue listening to my playlist, ignoring the possible consequence of the battery dying out. I thought I’ll be home any time soon anyway.
As I was listening to “Wait For It,” a song from “Hamilton” sung by Leslie Odom Jr., one line struck me: “I’m not falling behind or running late.”
I checked my battery percentage, it was seven percent. As I stared at my phone screen, countless memories flashed inside my head. I remembered the days when life was fast-paced. But as days pass by, there comes a point where you will feel lost and helpless, drained like an empty battery. I consider living in my 20s as being at the crossroads of life, where you experience so many sudden realizations after making decisions, and realize that it is important to slow down for a while, recharge, then continue the game of life until you reach the goal point.
As soon as I got home, I put down all my things on the couch and went to the dining table to eat dinner. After resting for a while, I took a quick shower before going to my room and savored the newly changed bed sheet. I checked my phone for the last time before charging it: it was at four percent.
I plugged it into a power outlet to recharge but reminded myself that it is okay to rest and slow down when everything seems to be uncertain because eventually, I’ll figure it out. I was not falling behind or running late, I was just taking my time to uncover the mysteries of life at my own pace.