Whoever said growing up was easy? If it were so easy, then everyone should be grown-ups by now, but they aren’t—I included.
I recently graduated from the school of my dreams and landed my first job as a clerk in an I.T.-Enabling company in Makati. Although my stay there was only for a year, it was a full year of ups and downs. I met wonderfully talented people in that job but I also met those horribly brought-up, overgrown children as bosses. I was often pushed to the limit in terms of how I work because, just like any job (especially corporate), the pressures were immense. However, out of those experiences, my edges were softened and my heart, opened. But I just didn’t expect what would happen next.
After discerning for a long while I finally decided to pursue something I loved, teaching. I needed to make sure that this was what I wanted to do for a long time that’s why I opted for a clerk job in an unknown company. The longer I was not teaching, the longer I craved for it until finally, one faithful day, I finished my application essays and started skipping work for interviews and demo classes. After a long search, I found myself in a surprising and refreshingly familiar environment. However, the happy-growing would soon make way for more humbling painful-growing.
Just as I was getting the hang of teaching, my grandmother, Lourdes Jocson Lachica (Former English Department Chair of San Pedro Poveda School), suddenly passed away, leaving the responsibility of managing the household entirely to me and sister. Because of this, I had to learn the ropes of being an adult, of being chased after bills, of making beneficial and detrimental decisions, of fulfilling commitments—all happening as I grappled with the many challenges posed by my inexperience in the profession of teaching and the ever-changing relationships I have with the people I love. Never did I realize that living was expensive. Never did I realize that managing money was as good as managing life. Never did I realize that I was only 22 years old doing all of this at the same time. Growing up was not as clear and sunny as it used to be and maybe that’s the point.
Often, I remind myself to blind my ever envious eye on colleagues who need not go through what I’m going through—that they can keep their income, their space, their freedom, their stability. I find myself wondering at times, “What if I were in a different situation, would I be more financially stable?” Sometimes I wish I could keep what I receive during paydays and not have to allocate them to Meralco, PLDT, Manila Water, Sky Cable, Groceries, Househelp’s income, unforeseen household repairs and replacements, and Graduate studies. Maybe I’d be able to “live life” more if I wasn’t weighed down with so many responsibilities at an early age.
But, come to think of it, isn’t what I’m doing already considered “living life”—the real, difficult, and responsible-laden life? Isn’t this something that we will all go through eventually while some of us have the privilege of delaying it for sometime? Isn’t life already difficult to begin with and what makes life even more difficult is our insistence that it isn’t?
With these, can I not be granted the grace to see that this is a privilege, that growing up this fast is a task not given to everyone?
Maybe in this sense, I am lucky. Maybe with my recent loss and colorful experiences, I learned to be more compassionate, I learned to suffer-with more with others. Maybe, because of these experiences, I’m less cocky, I’m less sure about myself, and I’m less of myself? Maybe this is the point of growing up: letting go of what’s old to make room for the new. And the “new” this time is the more humbling daily struggles that make human life worth living.
Nobody ever said growing up was easy. But it doesn’t have to be THAT hard. Just like Eagles, maybe I need to learn what’s it like to fall so that I’ll know the Glory of soaring above the clouds.
Image taken from: http://everlastingalgorithm.tumblr.com/