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Sunday, July 29, 2007

My Life Thus Far

I’ve been reevaluating my life thus far. Maybe this is me having a premature mid-life crisis. Or maybe, on this extremely RARE occasion where I have some free time on my hands, I’ve been given a chance to slow down and do some thinking. I’ve been considering the things I’ve done so far, where I am at this point in my life, and what I want to accomplish in the years to come. I’ve been reflecting on what are the things that are important to me, the lessons I’ve learned, and what I’ve found out about myself through the years.

I guess at the ripe old age of 32, I’ve had my share of ups and downs. I’ve had interesting experiences, both good and bad. I think everything I’ve gone through has been important in shaping who I am today. And although I’ve had my share of disappointments and regrets, I don’t think I would do anything differently should I be given the chance, since all the things that have happened to me, have played a part in making me who I am today. There are things I still don’t understand and sometimes question, but I guess, as with all things, the answers will be revealed in due time.

All things considered, I am happy with my life. I’ve been incredibly blessed with my family (both the family I was born into, my in-laws and my hubby). I think Jojo and I are ready for parenthood and I sometimes wonder why we have not yet been blessed with a child. But I know that there is a reason for that and when that blessing comes, it will be the right time and for the right reason.

My career has been colorful. I started as a part-time pre-school teacher, worked as a sales and marketing person, dabbled in market research, experienced life as an external HR/OD consultant, and am now working as a corporate training manager. I’ve gotten a bachelors degree in development studies, studied international marketing, went for graduate studies in organizational psychology, and a certificate in human resources. I see that although each of my professional and educational experiences has been different each one has serendipitously also contributed to the next step in my career development. There are days when I still feel challenged by what I do, but more and more I am thinking that the corporate world is not for me. I have been thinking about what kind of job I would be passionate about and would actually look forward to waking up for every morning. It’s strange how my thoughts seem to lead me back to what I used to do, somewhere in the realm of teaching and working with kids, where I got so much more satisfaction and happiness.

The other areas in my life such as my faith, friendships, relationships, health, and finances have had their shares of ups and downs. But in all honesty, I’ve been lucky because the ups have definitely outweighed the downs. And in general, there are very few things I can really complain about. I’ve lived a happy, sheltered life in Manila and a much more independent one here in the States. There are days when I prefer one over the other for different reasons. But lately am realizing that coming here may have been one of the best things that I have decided to do. I’ve learned to be self-reliant and strong. I’ve learned acceptance and flexibility. I’ve learned how to be more patient and to understand that the things that matter most are the ones worth waiting for.

My priorities in life have changed as well. I used to think that a good career meant a management job with a high profile salary. But lately I am starting to realize that money is not everything and that a good paycheck is only one part of job satisfaction. I used to think having a ton of friends was important but now I appreciate the quality of true friendship much more than the quantity of acquaintances. I used to thrive on having people around me … all the time. I was one of those people who could not enjoy a meal alone in a restaurant or go shopping by myself in the mall. But these days, I have learned to be much more comfortable with myself and actually look forward to indulging myself in alone-time.

I am at a point in my life where I am facing a crossroad. There are decisions I need to make to determine what the next part of my life has in store for me. While there are definitely no guarantees as to what the future holds and that sometimes our making decisions in life can be compared to a game of chance, I do believe that we have the power to choose to be happy. I have realized that our fate is not predetermined and that we have the power to pave our own destiny. If we end up miserable and living a life with no purpose and no passion, we only have ourselves to blame, since in the end, we are ultimately responsible for our own happiness and in shaping our own fate.


jml said...

It is both healthy and wise to stop once in a while and take stock of one's circumstances. For life is a journey and it is best to every now and then see if we are indeed on the right course. We learn from our past and we redirect or continue the course for the future. Just as happiness is of our own making. Yours is the choice to be happy or otherwise. I hope you choose wisely.

jol said...

It is true that you are the master of your destiny. But circumstances and opportunities have a great influence on your decisions. As you can only see the past and the present, you must always pray to the Lord as He is the only one that can see the future. We are behind you in whatever great decision you will soon be making.