Author Topic: The Roller Coaster Ride of My Life  (Read 6211 times)


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The Roller Coaster Ride of My Life
« on: July 24, 2011, 03:38:19 PM »
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, tip you on the edge. It challenges your heart as you move uphill, and draw your stomach out as you go down fast. There were 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 eat, I sleep, I play (alone most of the time), I study. It was oh, so boring there was a time I decided to end it up (influence of watching too much TV at a young age I thought to escape loneliness and catch attention I need to do something ‘wild’). Good thing it was just my mind imagining an effective melodrama plot I instantly forgot about it 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!

Everytime 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 all those years, I was a writer.  It occurred to me I was a blogger long before the term was coined. I would practically write my thoughts on any paper I get my hands on, especially while 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 in my high school years. My father let me stay late in school to join extra-curricular activities. I had lots aside from the paper: Banda Kawayan, theatre arts, choir, aside from organizations where I was an officer. My limitations though: be at home for dinner at 6pm and no boyfriend. (Some administrative personnel in school were my father’s ‘private eyes’ in case I do anything stupid, hehehe). That’s the price I 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 as I graduated high school. I wanted to be a journalist but my parents won’t let me for fear I might end up an activist if I enrolled in UP. So I took the entrance exam for journalism in a catholic university only to experience the shock of my life. I was reading Greek! Those vocabulary words were beyond my stock knowledge. I passed but did not recover from the trauma.

I took up Industrial Engineering in a prestigious engineering school. Still, there was no escaping the highfaluting words but at least I had an edge as I know my grammar better than most of my classmates. I was a superstar for 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 the things that involved 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 if I become an editorial staff my grades would be affected. Now when I look back, I shake my head, especially when I realized the paper has nothing to do with failing grades. Ahhrrg, limiting mindset!

On to the rat race…

For the first five years after college I detached myself from anything literary. My work as an engineer limited the use of creative words and reports as I was doing methods and time study, workplace design, product technical specifications, some business letters, and again, boring! But this time I didn’t attempt anything stupid. I had a boyfriend then there’s no chance to feel lonely. [Araw-araw ba naman kaming magkasama ayan nagkasawaan din.

I was working in a multi-national company and was, for several times, avoided the task of handling the company newsletter until it was commissioned to someone else. A chance meeting in a bus with a former colleague in my high school paper brought back my interest in writing as happy memories of our days in the editorial room went 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 and seeing it printed in our newsletter, I felt different. I was whole again. And from then on, I created interesting stories and interviews of personalities in the workplace and 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, perfect for oral and written expression. I was really passionate then especially as I had a newsletter to manage, events to host and to help organize. I finally felt at home until I decided to pursue a promotion and was assigned in a different 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 I didn’t mind the months away from my parents and brothers without any communication 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 my husband…

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

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

Life’s surprises…

Life has a way of shaking you when you least expected it.

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

It was difficult then. I was angry and depressed most of the time and my health suffered.  I was saved by my two-year old daughter who cried with me and comforted me everytime negative emotions gripped over me. My husband then was also nursing his own hurt but had the strength I needed to keep living day by day. Friends were standing by, spotting and bearing with me, and praying for me and my family during those moments.

My conversations with God…

I had 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 stress 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 forgive.

It wasn’t easy but with His grace, the ride became less bumpy. I survived that setback in my career and He restored my confidence once more as I became productive in the workplace. I enjoyed my new assignment as I 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 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 can peacefully talk about delicate issues face to face. We were also able to understand our troubles of the past and became aware of our present actions and its implications.

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

God restored my spirit when I forgive. I didn’t realize I was carrying a heavy baggage but the process revealed to me that I was feeling guilty 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. I wasn’t completely letting him go long after he was gone.

And this time, I reap the rewards of forgiveness for myself for the things I did and failed to do.

The ride continues…

I still am experiencing the emotional ups and downs.  But the awareness I had gained after the trainings and the support group I now have helped me cope better. 

And that made the big difference!

Life is good and it can even get better!
« Last Edit: May 28, 2024, 08:20:54 PM by Joe Carillo »