Whenever people celebrate their birthdays and achievement, they usually call such milestones as “chapters,” “new page,” and “all new season.” Many people see life as a book series and TV series composed of episodes that are similar to or more than what was done in Harry Potter and Twilight. However, life is unlike the novels in stores; it is “stranger than fiction.” Lives may follow a particular format and sometimes story elements, but life has more surprises that are unimaginable.
Next year, I will turn 25 years old. What happened for the last 25 years? Just like the stories of the people around me, I was born in a highly urbanized city, I studied grade school, I finished high school. I graduated from a university with a bachelor’s degree, I landed a job related to my degree, I was awarded a professional license, and enrolled in a graduate school. Throughout my life, I considered myself successful in school and at work because I learned a lot about the arts and sciences; and I was able to build my reputation as an academic with a bonus institutional research award.
The beginning of a book two of my life occurred to me on New Year’s Eve 2016. All of sudden, the doubt that I have ignored in the past became bigger —- doubt on whether I would like to remain as a teacher forever. I attended Sunday Mass, I prayed over it, I rationalized it, and did other things to keep the doubt at bay. Unfortunately, I realized that it was not a doubt due to fatigue, it was real! I REALLY DO NOT SEE MYSELF AS A CLASSROOM TEACHER FOREVER!!!
When I was in grade school, I kept on telling myself that I want to be a teacher. When people ask me why I want to be one, my answer would always be the same: “I am the No. 1 most talkative pupil in class. Teachers talk a lot. I am fit to become a teacher.” When I was in high school, my desire to take up education for undergrad studies remained but I had two or three thoughts of exploring other fields. On all occasions, I ignored the baby doubts I felt and just thought of it as something normal for a teenager who knows a number of choices available.
Fast forward… I immediately enrolled in the Bachelor of Secondary Education degree program after high school. During my freshmen year, I adjusted to college life and accepted what our dean told us on our divine destinies of being in the College of Education. I survived the frosh year and became qualified to continue with a new tag called “Biological Science Major.” I luckily survived the bloody and demanding second year. In my third year, I was allowed by my family to join a student organization.
The third year and fourth year in college were the toughest years in my entire student life. I carried on in my last two years in the education program because I really wanted to graduate without any sign of 5.0 in my T.O.R. But I started to feel that teaching was not really for me, and I wanted to do something else. I noticed that in my last two years, the most enjoyable parts were those of related to the U.S.T. Education Journal, the student organization I joined in my junior year. My tasks in the publication were more exciting, dynamic, and fulfilling than what I did in things of education stuff.
When I graduated from the university in 2012, I felt sad because I would be doing more of teaching than writing, interviewing, reading, and researching. In my first year of professional teaching, I was given a chance to be an adviser of the Corinthian School Timeline, a student newspaper in Valenzuela City. Oh the CS Timeline made me happy in my first two years in the teaching career.
When I moved to a Catholic university, I was no longer given a chance to manage a student publication because there were people already installed in the slots. I just accepted it because the management had tenured faculty in the publications office. I was happy in that Catholic university since I focused only on teaching; and I was able to enrich my teaching and educational research skills. In my third year, however, I was able to verify the emptiness inside me. I did many writings in that school but all of those were more of technical papers — lesson plans, research papers, reports, minutes of the meeting, etc.
I really miss the UST Education Journal, not only because it is where I found additional best friends but also it is through it where I found the missing parts of my Paradise —- communications studies, business administration, and photography. The aforementioned fields break monotony, offer infinite possibilities for growth, and make me extremely happy.
I felt that I’m caged in education — expert in teaching science and with the affairs of a school, but totally ignorant of the streets. I felt that I’m so limited and the world is too big to be ignored for the sake of a demanding profession. That is why in November 2016, I finally made a decision. I already submitted a letter expressing my intention of not renewing the contract for another school year.
I cannot take a break from teaching yet because I have to be employed in school as I finish my master’s degree. I already started to redevelop my writing skills, conversational English communication skills, and appreciation for fine arts and business stuff. After my graduation from my first M.A., I will break away from the “the chains of tradition and prejudice.” I will follow what “my heart beats for” and that is to be in the exciting and diverse fields of communication and business. I love teaching so much, but I believe that it cannot give me a kind of life and dynamism that I have been longing for.
It does not mean that I will abandon teaching forever; what I want to happen is to be able to do whatever will make me happy and satisfied with my mortal life. I do not want to regret something so much when I get old.
Ha ha ha. Did I reveal so much about myself? I did not publish this as a public diary entry. I published it to inspire people to follow their heart because I also believe in the classic adage “happiness is the key to a well-lived life.” No matter how much knowledge and skills that a person has and no matter how qualified an applicant is, if something else makes him/her happier, the true happiness should be prioritized in order to become a better person and a better life form on Earth.
This is the start of Book Two of my life. I had a great life for the last 25 years and I will be having a more exciting life for the next years. Remember that Book Two of a life does not necessarily start at 25 years old; it may either start earlier or later than that for as long as there is readiness for a change and a forward movement. It is living and finding happiness at one’s own pace and motivation.