I Found Myself In Punk Rock
As the famous Cebuano phrase goes, "Asa ta mangaon?", followed by another popular response, "Kamo, agad rako." - it's almost a fact that decision-making is hard. Does it relate to a lack of conviction, self-confidence, and accountability? Maybe, maybe not.
Society bombards us with new trends, cliques, habits, and slang every day. If you were pop culture, you'd be scratching your head. All the things being fed to us and the things we consume makes us feel lost like we're in an eternal search for affirmation. We continually rely on others to make decisions for ourselves. You will never truly know yourself, yet somehow, you can easily label a person's character by looking at them skin-deep.
So, next time you ask, "Asa ta mangaon?", and the next time you answer, "kamo, agad rako.", perhaps rethink first. Am I asking this because I wanna know? Or am I asking this because I don't know what I want and I always let society decide? If it's the latter, then ask yourself - is this truly who I am?
Now, how do you find yourself? You don't. It's a journey, a mystery, they say. When you die, people tell things, good things about you that you are not. It's like society rationalizes the stuff you've done for them, intriguingly, nobody says the good things they've done for you.
You may not find who you are now, but you can find yourself in peace with some things—the order of your chaos, and the chaos of your order. Some people rely on beliefs, religions, or philosophies. Others from books, music, and sometimes they find peace in their hobbies.
For me, it's from music, but not just any music. I find peace in punk rock. Yeah, it's lame, not the most Oscar-worthy story. For some, it's only a three-chord song, screams, and dynamic-less melodies. But, it's about finding identity, finding a voice, and purpose. It's angry, it's rebellious, yet talks about peace and coexistence.
When I was first introduced to this by my friends from high school, I never really understood it. I was listening to it because I thought it's cool, and everyone's talking about it in the late 90s. For me, it was the "pop culture" back then. It was what's fed to me, and I consumed it. Nevertheless, I kept on listening, even making and playing some songs.
As I dug deeper into the genre, I didn't realize that I was already digging within me and eventually found peace. I've understood it and I've recognized my self. It's not about breaking the rules but to challenge things. I learned to question everything and became a critical and meticulous person. I finally know what I want. It helped me make decisions and admit mistakes.
So, where's the adventure in that? Isn't punk rock supposed to be free and non-conforming? There's nothing more free than being able to decide what you want and not let others decide for you. Knowing what you want is not conformity, choosing between options is. You make your own options as you make your own choices. That's what makes you punk rock. ✳︎