Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Reflections on My Life this Easter Monday

Life doesn't always turn out the way you plan it.

When you are young you have so many plans and dreams just like I had at 18. And though I didn't think of the concrete steps to make these dreams a reality, I was able to make some of them come true. Right after graduation I landed a nice job in a multinational company in the financial district of Makati and I was given a very attractive compensation package. I had an endowment plan at the age of 20. I had saved enough money for my trip to Europe at the age of 23 and I owned shares of stocks at the age of 25.

At 23, life held so much promise but somewhere along the way, I made some mistakes, one after another. And just like a tower of cards, my life came crumbling down right before my very eyes.

Today, I am far from the person I wanted and envisioned myself to be before graduation.  I'm now just someone who lives life wishing things were different, thinking of things that could have been, wondering if life would have turned out differently had I stuck to my beliefs, had I been wiser, braver, bolder,  humbler, had I been more patient and tolerant with people and their schemes or would I have ended up on the same road somehow because my mistakes just led me right where God really planned for me to be?

Since 2006, I have touched the lives of more than a thousand students.  I like  to believe I have started a spark in their hearts, sparks that will become flames as they grow older. I  like to believe that they are now better persons because of me, that someday they will become doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, executives, politicians, and teachers like myself, and they will all be amazing and good  because of what I have planted in their hearts. I like to believe that I am able to do what I came here to do -- to change the world one student at a time.

I have always said that I have made two major mistakes that have more or less dictated the direction of my life--  getting married at a young age of 23 and leaving the job I loved for reasons that only my immature 26-year-old self can understand.

Influencing the lives of my students is something I can live without but what I cannot live without is my son, my opinionated, talented 16-year-old musician, the one I gave birth to at the age of 25.  And everytime I think of all the mistakes I've made, each time I wish I could go back in time and live my past the way I should have, I realize time and again that this mistake of marrying young was something I'd gladly do over and over again because it means having my Tootsieroll in my life.  If I didn't marry at 23, I probably would never have married his dad which meant that though I might have had a son he would not have been my Mr. Toots, and that's a life I don't want to live.

Life is mysterious. Life is full of uncertainties. Life is sad and thinking about all the what-if's and the what-could-have -been's can make you go crazy. Life is complicated and life is never easy.  But despite everything life is still worth living. Life is exciting and life is meaningful because of the people you love -- whether they are with you because of the things you've done wrong or they're with you because of the things you've done right. Life is still beautiful no matter what. Life itself is hope because no matter which road I am on, no matter how many mistakes I have made and will still make in the future, God is with me and always will be.

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