That is one lesson I’ve learned in my life. And being able to learn it was one hell of a task.
Things would always screw up and you are supposed to deal with it. Not always fix it, but deal with it.
Before going to college in UP, I took a stroll with my mom inside the campus. While walking with her, I promised that one day I’ll graduate with the Highest Honors. Magna cum laude was the dream. Being 16 back then, I never could have imagined what could hit me.
My dad decided to not work anymore for no particular reason.
My mom’s company where she worked for almost 10 years closed down.
They decided they don’t want to be together anymore.
My mom and my sisters were evicted from our apartment we were renting for 10 years.
I am struggling with college. We had no money and I am studying thanks to debts.
It tore me apart. I was 16 back then and I was torn to pieces. Shredded
I remember the coming to my professors begging if I can submit a hand written paper coz I don’t have money for computer renting or printing. I tried to avoid meeting my landlord as much as possible. I was buried in debts. My friend had always been there for me. God in particular was the only thing I had left with me. I remember buying dinner for P5 and hoping something comes up the next day coz there won’t be anything left for any meal. I ate the most memorable meal in my life that day: half a cup of rice worth P4 that comes with Tinola soup that I’ve asked from the cafeteria for free, 1 pack of crispy Patata worth P1 and a lot of tap water. And thru all those times, God never left me.
At any rate, I could’ve quit. I could’ve done what my dad did and go back to my province. I could’ve said enough. I could’ve ended everything back then. But there was just something in me that said I can make it. I can get out of that hell hole. But I knew I needed to compromise and let go some of my dreams, some pieces of my soul.
I started taking in all the jobs I can get a hold of: English Tutor, Physics Tutor, Math Tutor for Korean, Japanese and Rich Filipino Kids, Speech Choir Trainer, Chamber Theater Director-trainer, Book lay out editor, Entrepreneur, Architectural CAD operator, Portrait Artist, part-time Industrial Factory designer, and finally a call boy in a company called Accenture. I became what the wind asked me to be. What came at hand is the job that needs to be finished. From being a 200lbs kid after HS graduation, I went home to my mom after 6 mos weighing 161lbs. My mom was in tears when she saw me. I was teary eyed too coz I understood why.
Life was hard, no excruciating. But I still am here, I can breathe, I can move. So I will make means for me to live.
Now I am 2 years delayed for graduation but that didn’t discourage me. In my whole stay in UP, I am perhaps the only student in the college who had inspired numerous students here and abroad that they can do anything if they put their hearts to it, made a living out of selling chocolates and charcoal sketches, was an unknown lay-out artist for an AIM journal, was part of a design team for a 200M pesos factory in Subic Bay, was in the design team for the landscaping of Alabang Town Center, was able to design an oven for drying painted handle rods for LV bags, and so much more.
I lost my pride in all those jobs. I succumb to so many people in my life young, old and stupid people. But I gained something so much more, wisdom and courage as they say it. Not because I was perfect or a genius or ambitious, but simply because I didn’t quit. I am who I am because I never quit.
And now in my last 3 semesters in college, I will raise the bar because I don’t quit. Not till there is breathe in me.
Because quitters are not losers… they’re dead.