Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Back when I was a freshman in college, in between classes I often hung out at this place called AS 101 with a bunch of my blockmates, including a girl named Charisma. I initially thought of her as stuck-up and self-centered, but later on, I found her to be really cool and fun. Up to now, I still can't forget something she said during one of our tambay sessions. In life, she offered, one of the toughest things one has to do is to decide when to give up and when to keep trying.

Sounds simple enough, when you take it as it is. After all, how hard can it be to choose between quitting and persevering at something? The cursory answer would be: you never quit. You soldier on at whatever it is you set your mind to, cross your fingers and hope for the best. "Winners never quit and quitters never win," "Try and try until you succeed" and half a dozen other cheesy aphorisms tell us that under no circumstances are we ever supposed to give up and throw in the towel.

The argument there is, how pathetic do we really want to be? How much of a loser are we if we kept reaching for the stars even though we already know there is a zero percent chance of that ever happening? Some people romanticize the idea of persistence and determination too much that they lose all sense of pragmatism. Throughout my life, I have learned that sometimes, it is ok to let go; to admit defeat, accept loss and rejection and to just move on.

This whole "giving up" or "keep on trying" thing can be applied to most any situation of conflict, and those that need an outcome or a resolution. I'm not trying to debunk one thought in favor of the other. I guess it would all really depend on a specific situation, and one's own character and attitude. The bottom line is: we're not expected to make sweeping generalizations; we can't keep hoping that something would end up exactly as we planned or imagined it to be. At the same time, we shouldn't let one minor setback prevent us from further pursuing our goals. Knowing when to quit and when to keep trying is really all about finding that balance between wanting something so bad you're willing to do anything to get it and not wanting it enough to sacrifice (or waste) our time, energy and sanity for it.

Why am I writing about this stuff? Well...maybe because I've finally decided to give up on something and I'm just telling myself that it's ok. Psyching myself up. Giving myself a pep talk. I don't really see it as quitting...more like moving on. God knows it's way overdue.


Blogger Phoenix Rising said...

the question "how much of a pathetic person do we want to be?" came to me before and here was the answer.

not so much. i'm too proud, i guess. got out of a relationship that has begun to seek compromises of my fundamental beliefs. i couldn't sacrifice the cornerstone of my being and so i gave up on him. i guess the litmus test to apply there is how much of us do we want left after that experience?

7:56 PM  
Blogger tinapa said...

you made tambay at the as 101?!?

9:02 PM  
Blogger michaeljosh said...

What's wrong with that? I did too.

9:05 PM  
Blogger peejay said...

hahaha! hindi naman ibig sabihin nun nagpapaka-coño ako (sabi nga ni seinfeld, not that there's anything wrong with that...) nagkataon lang na dun tumatambay mga blockmates ko.

12:07 PM  
Blogger siri said...

here's to our endless pining for the love that got away..

"A universe that includes you
can't be all bad, but
does it? At this distance
you're a mirage, a glossy image
fixed in the posture
of the last time I saw you....
Love comes
in waves like the ocean, a sickness which goes on
& on, a hollow cave
in the head, filling & pounding, a kicked ear."

- Margaret Atwood, Postcards

8:33 PM  

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