Jose Carillo's Forum


The Lounge is the newly expanded free-talk section of the Forum. You can post anything here about any topic outside English grammar and usage. Wide-ranging discussions and debates will be allowed in the Lounge subject only to the condition that the subjects are not unlawful, obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, hateful, and threatening. As in the Forum’s sections on English grammar and usage, we expect discussants to keep the Lounge a vibrant venue for relevant, healthy, and civilized discussions, not impertinent, angry, or violent ones.

So if you have any non-grammar thought or idea you’d like to share, make the Lounge the sounding board for it now! Let your fellow Forum members help you germinate the seed of that idea if it’s a good one—or terminate it if it turns out to be otherwise.

The Roller Coaster Ride of My Life
By APA.Victory

I have a revelation to make. At 39 years on earth, I haven’t been into one roller-coaster ride. I am as scared as a pup to try this one out. “Not in my wildest dream,” I’d say. But now as I look back, I don’t need a roller coaster, at least not an actual one, to experience it.

Life is a roller-coaster ride. The phase starts slow, picks up, throws you back, drives you wild, gets you down, tips you on the edge. It challenges your heart as you move uphill, and draws your stomach out as you go down fast. There are times when you’re just okay, but most of the time you scream either with delight or with fright.

My childhood…

When I was young, life was simple. I would eat, I would sleep, I would play (alone most of the time), I would study. It was, oh, so boring that there was a time I decided to end it up (because of watching too much TV at a young age, I thought of escaping loneliness and catching attention by doing something “wild”). Good thing it was just my mind imagining an effective melodrama plot.  I soon forgot about the idea after I wrote what I felt in a Grade Three pad paper. But hey, it was a fair goodbye note for what it’s worth! 

Every time I look back to that event, I just shake my head and say “It’s good to be alive.”

Then I grew up…

As I was gaining years, life became complicated. School became a priority. I was a shy schoolgirl then, a far cry from the person I am now. But during all those years, I was a writer.  It occurred to me that I was a blogger long before the term was coined. I would practically write my thoughts on any paper I got my hands on, especially when I was performing my night duty in our family bakery business in the province.

My favorite past time then was writing and dreaming, and dreaming and writing (obviously, aside from eating, hehe!). I was happy then and became even happier when, in high school, I had a chance to be in our school paper as a news editor, and then as editor in chief. I was happy during my high school years. My father would let me stay late in school to join extracurricular activities. I had lots of them aside from the paper: the Banda Kawayan [Bamboo Band], theatre arts, choir, aside from other organizations where I would serve as an officer. My limitations, though, were these: Be at home for dinner at 6:00 p.m. and no boyfriend. (Some administrative personnel in school were my father’s “private eyes” in case I did anything stupid, hehehe!) That was the price I had to pay for being the youngest and only daughter among three children (and my father’s favorite, hula ko lang, hehe!).

That fun, exciting time didn’t last after I graduated high school. I wanted to be a journalist but my parents wouldn’t let me for fear that I might end up an activist if I enrolled at the University of the Philippines. So I took the entrance exam for journalism in a Catholic university only to experience the shock of my life. I had to read Greek! Those vocabulary words were beyond my stock knowledge. I passed but was traumatized by the experience.

I then took up Industrial Engineering in a prestigious engineering school. Still, there was no escaping the highfalutin words even if I had an edge as I knew my grammar better than most of my classmates. I was a superstar in my laboratory reports and technical writing projects then, though I struggled with numbers and the engineering concepts (think of calculus, thermodynamics, and those computations that look like worms and snakes!). But I did well with numbers involving plane, solid mensuration and things that involve imagination, analysis and words. But hey, don’t ask me anything about it now. It was several years back!

During college, I tried to join the college paper but fear of failure prevented me. I thought that if I joined the editorial staff, my grades would be affected. Now when I look back, I shake my head, especially after I realized that working with the school paper had nothing to do with failing grades. Ahhrrg, what a limiting mindset I had then!

On to the rat race…

For the first five years after college, I detached myself from anything literary. My work as an engineer limited my use of creative words and reports as I all I did was doing methods and time studies, workplace design, product technical specifications, some business letters. And again, the job got boring! But this time I didn’t attempt anything stupid. I had a boyfriend then so there was little chance for me to feel lonely. (Araw-araw ba naman kaming magkasama, ayan nagkasawaan din.*)

I was working in a multinational company that put out company newsletter, but managed to avoid the task of handling it until someone else was commissioned to edit it. Then a chance meeting on board a bus with a former colleague in my high school paper brought back my interest in writing. Happy memories of our days in the editorial room came back! And that same day I got the inspiration to write a literary piece in memory of a friend who was killed days before our graduation. After submitting that story to our newsletter and seeing it printed, I felt different. I was whole again. And from then on, I would create interesting stories and interviews of personalities in the workplace and about the industry I was in.

I left the private sector in 2000 and joined a government-owned and -controlled corporation. I enjoyed my job as an Information Officer, which I found perfect for oral and written expression. I was really passionate with my work then especially because I also managed the company and helped organize and host events. I finally felt at home until I decided to pursue a promotion that required assignment to another province.

I got promoted professionally but little by little, the quality of my life diminished. It was work, work, work. I had no nurturing personal relationship then. I was so independent that I didn’t mind those many months away from my parents and brothers without any communication with them at all. I thought I was pampering myself. My life was my own. My pocket was full, but my heart was empty.

And then I met the man who was to become my husband…

Life became different. After ten months of engagement, we decided to take the plunge. A month after our wedding day, I got pregnant.

For nine months I stayed home on my doctor’s advice to make sure my baby would make it. My husband and I struggled financially but with the help of family and friends, we survived. I went back to my work after giving birth, and life was great again. What else could be better than having a responsible husband and a baby with cheerful disposition!

Life’s surprises…

But life has a way of shaking you up when you least expect it.

There was a major change in my husband’s and my career. Too much politics prompted him to resign, even as office politics also intervened in my career. This uprooted my family, forcing me to go back to the province of my birth but still employed in the same government office.

Life became difficult then. I was angry and depressed most of the time and my health suffered.  My only saving grace was my two-year old daughter, who cried with me and comforted me every time negative emotions gripped me. My husband then was also nursing his own hurt, but he had the strength I needed to keep myself living day by day. Friends stood by me, watching me, bearing with me, and praying for me and my family during those moments.

My conversations with God…

I mustered the nerve to question God why it all happened. And little by little He made me understand. He unveiled my eyes to reveal His priceless blessings: my husband, my daughter, my family who stood by me, my friends who cared for me. He had given me time, the most precious commodity of all, and a chance to rest my body from all the stresses and demands of my former position. With a friend’s help, I was able to develop a thankful heart despite the odds.

Above all, God restored my spirit when I learned to forgive.

It wasn’t easy but with His grace, the ride became less bumpy for me. I survived that setback in my career and He restored my confidence once more, making me productive once again in the workplace. I enjoyed my new assignment because it allowed me to use my core gift at work. I felt alive again.

I felt I was at the topmost part of the roller coaster.

And then it happened…

Christmas 2009 was unforgettable. My father died after being unconscious for fifteen days due to a massive stroke.  The fire that was in me died down with him. For a while I was lost.

Rescue came in the form of the Basic Leadership Success Seminar conducted by Purposeful Stewardship Institute. I took the course together with my husband in February 2010. And after finishing it, our relationship improved tremendously. We were able to peacefully talk face to face about delicate issues. We were also able to understand our troubles in the past and became aware of the implications of our present actions.

Then, in March 2010, I decided to take the advance course on Heroic Leadership. Though I had gained much from the Basic Course, I wanted to fly like an eagle and be able to conquer my fears. I therefore didn’t mind the big investment because I knew that I was investing it on myself.

God restored my spirit when I learned to forgive. I didn’t realize I was carrying a heavy emotional baggage, but the process revealed to me that I burdened by guilt when I surrendered my father right away to God. As someone closest to him, I blamed myself for not pleading with him to stay alive, for not asking God to perform a miracle. So, long after he was gone, I couldn’t completely let him go.

But this time, I am reaping the rewards of forgiveness, forgiveness even for myself for the things I had done did and had failed to do.

The ride continues…

I still experience emotional ups and downs every now and then. But am now able to cope better with then because of the awareness I had gained from my leadership trainings and my support group.  

They have made the big difference in my life!

Life is good and it can even get better!
*The Tagalog “Araw-araw ba naman kaming magkasama, ayan nagkasawaan din” translates into English roughly as “We were together almost every day to the point of, well, finally getting fed up with each other.”

Click to read responses or post a response

View the complete list of postings in this section


Copyright © 2010 by Aperture Web Development. All rights reserved.

Page best viewed with:

Mozilla FirefoxGoogle Chrome

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!

Page last modified: 25 July, 2011, 4:35 a.m.