Walking the Line
As happy as I am with the way my life is going on right now, I can’t help but be a bit anxious. It never occurred to me until now that next year is the beginning of the rest of my life: I thought I was struggling then to make a career, but 2008 will be a year I bet I would never forget. Or that I would do everything in my power to forget it.
Oh that’s right: 2008 didn’t happen yet. As my mom says, I’ll have to cross the bridge when I get there. But I’m already at the bridge: crossing it is a whole different story.
What’s getting me really, really anxious is the ICWSM conference for March 2008. There still isn’t word on whether my paper got accepted or not, and I’m working on my poster presentation just in case. I took a gamble on it, knowing that I don’t have the credentials or the academic backing. It’s me going for the kill, but there are a few things in the way. Few, really big things, one leading to another.
I did some calculations a few weeks back, and did them again today, and figured that I would need at least P100,000 for everything: plane tickets, registration fees, accommodations, and pocket money. I understand the apparent reluctance of funding institutions when it comes to matters like these: I don’t have a masteral degree or a doctorate, and given the state of the economy, I am asking for too much.
I could write the powers-that-be at school to ask for money, but UP is hard-pressed for money, too, and I could understand that. I understand that the priority when it comes to conferences are faculty members, and I understand that there are still “political” things involved in getting funding for anything in UP. I should know.
So I decided to take up a job to earn what I can to partially cover a prospected trip to the US. But I can’t earn that much in two-and-a-half months: I’d be lucky to cover my pocket money or my registration fees. But I won’t hear from the company until January: even if I saved up every cent I can in my allowance, I wouldn’t be able to pool up the money in time.
I’ve pulled rabbits out of the hat before, but this has got to be one of the toughest challenges I’m facing right now. I laid it all on the line a few weeks ago, knowing that whatever I’m going to do back then maps out not only the rest of my life, but my place in the world. And it makes me – no, forces me – to think about where I am and where I’m going, and how many times I forced myself back in line when I was way off it.
Come to think of it, I always followed my own line, if not the line I always thought to be mine. As I moved back, forward, sideways, and all ways, the line moved. When I crossed the line, so did it cross me.