Thoughts and Lessons from the Everyday By Kevinn Chan
It was a cool and quiet Thursday night in Poblacion. We had just had dinner with the whole office at Crying Tiger, after an afternoon conference on branding hosted by the Ateneo Professional Schools. A few of us decided that the night wasn’t over yet, so we found ourselves a spot at the Mexican bar and restaurant El Chupacabra.
The place was nearly full, so we had to settle for this cramped space in between two couples on separate dates. To our left was a couple who were really into each other. Really. We knew this because they were all over each other throughout the night. It was uncomfortable to sit next to, but good for them, I guess. To our right was another couple. It appeared they were not as close as the ones to our left. They were more shy, less in each other’s throats. Perhaps, they were still on their first date.
The lighting inside was bright enough so you could see the whole room, but not too bright that you had to squint your eyes. The dark orange hue made for an easy atmosphere, perfect for those long, lean-back-and-just-talk conversations.
We drank and we talked, but not too much about work. We talked about my boss Elna’s age, which is a surprise to many given how she looks. We visited places in our heads through travel stories and tales. And for some reason (maybe it was because we were wedged between two couples on dates), we arrived at the topic of marriage.
Bogey, one of our Creative Directors in the office, opens the floor with his take on marriage. “Marriage is a trip,” he says as he ties his long flowy hair into a clean bun, “it’s fucking crazy, man.”
I look at him confused and slightly concerned. “You trying to scare us?” I asked.
“Nah man,” he replied, his voice now significantly louder and more persuasive, “it’s a good kind of trip. You choose this one person, and you go through it together. You just go on this trip together. It’s crazy.”
Trip. What a way to look at things.
It’s not like “journey,” which implies that you have to get somewhere, or accomplish something. It feels like this huge endeavor. But trip is different.
When you’re high, you say that you’re on a trip. When you’re low, you say “badtrip.” It’s light. Sometimes, it just happens.
Ever since that night, I found myself using the word more often. I didn’t only like how it sounded, but it was more because it changed the way I looked at things that have gone.
When we look back at a past relationship, for instance, why does it almost always leave a bitter taste in our mouths? Why do we often look back in grief or in anger when, really, we went on this trip with a person? For a time, we were on some different plane with another person, and it was some trip.
However, all trips end. And why shouldn’t they? When we go on a literal trip, like when we travel to another place, we expect to one day come back home, and it’ll be over. Maybe we feel sad about it for a while, a little hungover from it. But we look back at it with a soothing smile of calm and nostalgia. It’s over, but we’re glad we went. It’s a memory we can always go back to.
Relationships are one thing but many other things can also be seen in this light. A job could be a trip, whether it was toxic, challenging, or boring. A hobby could be a trip, a successful business, a failed business, a friendship, a family, a period in our lives.
They come in many forms. Some take a day, others take years. They come and they go. But who knows, maybe one day, we’ll find ourselves back on the same trip, or starting a new one. Like I said, sometimes, they just happen.