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. However, life is unlike the novels in stores because it is “stranger than fiction.” Lives may follow a particular format and sometimes story elements but life has more unimaginable surprises.
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 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.
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 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 asked 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 college remained but I had two or three thoughts of exploring other fields. On all occasions, I ignored all doubts.
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. When I moved to a Catholic university, I was no longer given a chance to manage a student publication because the university had tenured faculty in the publications office. In my fifth year of teaching, however, I was able to verify the emptiness inside me. I did many writings at 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 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 imprisoned 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 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. I do not want to regret something so much when I get old. I 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, 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.