November 05, 2016

How Do I Stop Feeling Helpless About ‘Adulting’?

Ask Poppy 11052016

Welcome to Ask Poppy! I’m Poppy, your go-to girl for all of life’s woes. And when I say ALL, I MEAN IT. I’m not an expert on anything except maybe for being me, which makes me totally qualified to do this.


I would like to resign from this life. I want to move to another country and just start all over again. The only thing stopping me is how I do have a life here. I have a job, people to feed, a house to worry about. Among many other things, mostly concerning my mother and father who are both dependent on me nowadays.

I just don’t know where to start solving my problems or if I do ever get to solve them. I feel trapped and I am forced to lead my life according to how I should take care of other people. I wanted to study abroad, I wanted to save up my money for my future. But I am here, paying bills for my family, feeling insufficient every single day.

I can’t even afford a simple vacation to the province or just time for myself to get away. Most days, I feel like I am functioning like a machine: work, deadlines, dues, repeat. And it’s so frustrating because I don’t know if this is a way out or if I am just constantly digging myself deeper into the hole.

How do I stop feeling helpless and how do I manage both my responsibilities and doing things to make something out of my life?

Thank you for taking time to read this.


Hello, Marga,

You’re not the only one feeling that way, gurl. Every day that I wake up, I keep wishing that I had lived in another country or perhaps born in another era because I really feel like 2016 is the darkest possible timeline. How do we run away from all of this?

I took a couple of weeks away from work and threatened to resign because I really felt sh*tty the last couple of weeks. It’s when I realized how utterly f*cking scary it is to not have money. I’m a pretty lucky motherf*cker that I had this job that pays a bit of extra, it helps a lot considering how stupid I am with money. But yeah, I wanted to quit and move to another country and study, like you do, but that made me sound like one hell of an entitled fat f*ck.

I would be lying if I told you that I’m 100 percent independent, because I’m not. I would ask my parents for money whenever I’m down and I’m not ashamed. I guess that’s what being an Aries can do to your kakapalan ng mukha. Even if I get a bit of help every now and then, it’s still not enough, because I am a terrible person who doesn’t know how and when to stop spending imaginary money. So like, you being able to support your parents is one hell of a feat, Marga. It would probably take me a decade for that to start happening. HA! Maybe two.

Here’s what you should know from the very start, Marga: don’t f*ck with the wanderlust bullsh*t that everyone seems to be really into. I mean, sure, now they’ve moved on to that Marie Kondo trash, but a bunch of peeps are still down with the wanderlust. Kadire, guys. Sometimes it’s nice to function like a machine, you know? I don’t have that capacity, but I would like to be knowledgeable in that art and skill of being a work zombie.

But see, here’s the thing, Marga. You can break away from all of that crap. Like, just f*cking hit the gas pedal and zoom the f*ck out of here. If you’re so worried by your parents, dude, they’re adults. They will know how to take care of their own shit. And it’s as if you’re not gonna earn naman abroad. You’re gonna earn a sh*t ton more than what you’re making here, but with a nicer climate and people not dying every damn day for some stupid war against something-something.

So here’s what you’re going to do, Marga: find a job abroad. Me, I would love to live in Taipei and maybe just teach English and drink coffee at these hip spots. Did you know that Taipei doesn’t f*ck with China? And that they’re about to legalize gay marriage there? And that they have really decent coffee and a beautiful train system? In Taipei, people actually queue on one side of the escalator so that people in a rush can utilize the free side. They don’t need bitches in uniforms telling them what to do because that sh*t’s in them. Like, they know how to act that way. The other day, I saw a man taking a dump while hanging onto a bridge while I was driving. It’s more fun in the Philippines! There are racists in Singapore and Hong Kong, but they also pay better than the Philippines.

Don’t study just yet. Go find a job so you can support your parents and buy them fancy sh*t that you can cram in a balikbayan box, which by the way, isn’t taxed that hard anymore! If you want them to live like royalty here, send them some foreign cash. They would love you and not give a sh*t about what you’re doing while far away from them. Okay, Marga, maybe you can study, but just do it on the side. Coursera’s amazing. My friend took four courses and she’s like slaying right now. I would probably be enrolling myself in something real soon. You can always study naman, if you feel like doing it. But studying abroad is expensive, ha. Best to stick it with the free online courses or save money for the future.

You have a ton of options, Marga. Like, don’t feel like you’re stuck in a hellhole that is the Philippines. I’m sure you can get a job somewhere not here. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I mean, I would love to wipe old people’s asses if that’s what it would take to get me out of here. I would do it. I’m so f*cking sick of this place: the kaplastikan, your sh*tty friends, the fakeness of social media, the kadireng government—like, let’s just get the f*ck out of here, right?

And if all else fails, like if you can’t get a job out of the country, you can always buy a stupid franchise, like one of those fries in a cup that comes with iced tea underneath, and just sell French Fries. Pinoys love French Fries and things that are cheap and easy! Ka-cheapan sells, it really does!

But yeah, reach for things that are way beyond what you think you can accomplish. It will challenge you, but you will end up working harder and then earning bigger and then maybe even land you with a nice foreigner with a really big penis. Deeeeelicious.


Got a question for Poppy? From love and relationships to weird questions you dare not ask even your psychologist, Poppy is ready to answer them all. Send in your questions to or post your question over Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #AskPoppy, and you just might get the answer you are looking for.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.


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