Choose Your Own Adventure

You get off class early today, thanks to fast-talking 
professors and surprisingly short lectures. Despite 
not understanding a single thing about the supposed 
lessons for the day, you are thankful for the reprieve. 
You therefore decide to use your unexpected but 
definitely not unwelcome free time to...

A. get started on reading the coverage for the second exam.
You know you didn't do well on the first one, so it's bawi
time!
B. take a leisure walk around the mall and do some window
shopping. A little book browsing will be sure to help you
ease some stress.
C. work on the second round of editing for your upcoming 
novel. Your editor has finally replied and she wants you 
to improve on a couple more stuff.
D. SLEEP. You've been sick since a week ago and you're 
stillnot completely recovered. Do yourself a favor 
and get some rest!

I’ve always loved the Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) books. Remember those? Yep, they’re those multiple ending books that star you as the protagonist and allow you to make the choices that will ultimately decide how the story goes. I liked the idea of giving the reader control of what happens. It gives the storytelling a whole new dimension, a little personal touch. I come across CYOA books so rarely these days that I almost always buy the ones I see in second-hand bookstores as well as book fairs/sales. 

But I guess what I really, really like about the CYOA books – as well as the interactive visual novels I find myself downloading and reading every day on my iPad and smartphone – is the fact that it highlights the importance and impact of choices. At every turning point, you determine what happens and what doesn’t happen based on which path you choose to take.

It’s a whole lot like life itself. The importance of a single choice cannot be stressed enough. It can either make you or break you. It can either make a dream come true or throw it away forever. It can either lead you to meeting that special someone or make it so you two never cross each other’s paths.

But unlike the CYOA books, life isn’t something you can redo. You can’t just turn back to page 1 and start the story all over again. With life, you won’t get a chance at an alternate ending. You’ll be left wondering what if, what if, and pretty soon, you’ll also start drowning in that never-ending sea of regret, if only, if only… 

You wake up revitalized after a great afternoon nap. It is
now 6pm on your watch. The night is young. There are a lot 
of things to do. Being too lazy to head downstairs, you fix
yourself something to eat with whatever's available in your 
kitchen space. You settle for a childhood favorite - pork 
and beans. After eating - don't forget those meds! - you 
decide to:

A. study! Hooray for Pulmo! Better read the transes and 
try to browse through the textbooks for higher learning 
and understanding.
B. start editing your novel, focusing on all the parts 
your editor told you to work on. That novel isn't going 
to edit itself, you know...
C. pour out some thoughts by writing a blog entry in 
your very inactive website. Time to let out some feels 
and put itup somewhere where everyone can read (and judge) 
D. clean up your condo unit. You haven't done your weekly 
sweeping. Get the broom out.

Our life story is a precious one. You only get to write it once, so you have to make sure every word, every sentence, every page counts. Regret is fine – It’s part of the process. The ink may be permanent, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to cross things out, to try to make it better using the space that follows. Treat every day as a blank page waiting to be filled. Fill it with things you know you won’t regret. Fill it with things that will lead to that much-wanted happy ending.

In choosing your own adventure, think of the many possibilities in store for you. Every choice opens up a new path, each one unique and special, each one leading to who-knows-what. Make the choice you know you won’t regret and, to borrow the words of Francisco Arcellana, Philippine National Artist for Literature, write the story that only you can write. 

After pouring out your feelings into a pretty well-written 
(Oh shush! Can't a writer give herself a pat in the back
every once in a while?) blog entry, you see that the clock
now reads a quarter to 11pm. Class starts at 8am tomorrow - 
it is a MicroBio and Parasitology Day. Knowing that your 
knowledge of the two said subjects is close to nothing,
you figure you'd better spend your time...

A. reviewing or at least, browsing through the transes, so
you're not so lost in the lectures tomorrow. So sad that 
iMed did not prepare you for these kinds of things. You're
pretty sure that you would have enjoyed a MicroBio Lab 
subject rather than a Physics Lab one. 
B. forgetting about it anyway. As Dr. Tan-Lui said earlier,
 'pag hindi ma-get, forget! To hell with Pulmo! Let's start
the long weekend early! Time for another House MD episode.
C. getting into bed early to SLEEP. You don't want your 
sickness acting up again! SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP!
D. finally starting on editing your novel! Stop delaying 
it, lazy author, and freakin' write! Write while you 
still have time!
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