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Strong Enough to Break

Submitted by Chris Evangelista on June 18, 2010 – 9:11 pmComments

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It’s been 4 months since I quit my job as an assistant teacher. I quit because I wasn’t satisfied with how the corporate assholes at my job were handling things. Have people become so engulfed with money making? How could they become so comfortable becoming inconsiderate suit wearing people? That’s how I looked at my bosses. They all seemed to have lost their appreciation for everyone who works for them and so I quit. I quit because I wanted to really think about what direction I wanted to take. I remember, when I was about 3 years old, an older friend of our family asked me “What do you want to be when you grow up? Perhaps, you want to be a dentist.”

I never really thought about that stuff when I was younger. I simply lived my life from a day to day basis. There was never a magical moment when I was amazed watching an adult do something. Nothing that I remember stopped me dead in my track and was like ‘Wow! That is awesome! I’m going to do that when I grow up!’ There were a couple of times when I would be curious about things I saw.

When I graduated high school, the question was thrown at me more than it had ever been before. Yeah, I had answers to throw back at the nosy people who asked me. I would tell them about my interests in law, journalism and every subject I thought was cool. When it came down to it, I pretty much gave into pressure (being a spawn of 2 Filipinos) when I declared my major as Nursing in my freshman year of college. The classes weren’t as bad as I thought they’d be. I actually did pretty well. I got decent grades and was taking a liking of it. So it looked like I was heading down the medical field until I spent a week at a local hospital. I waved the white handkerchief and called it off.

My brain was not capable of that line of work. I didn’t understand why I needed to know the scientific names for body parts. That’s why normal people don’t like doctors anyway- they throw these snooty big words at them and it’s unnecessary. With that aside, I also have never seen a crankier, regretful, bitter aging bunch of people until I did volunteer work at that place. All these people kept talking about was how they’re only doing it because their families wanted them to. I saw the amount of sadness and regret they had in their eyes. They talked about how bad their hours were and how sometimes they sleep there.

Who was I fooling? I knew I was going to live a really miserable life if I don’t put an end to this lie I’ve created. I’m not the kind of person who follows the color of money. I don’t know why but my parents believe that Nursing is the ONLY way to be financially secured. I don’t know why they think that it is the ONLY good paying job in the world. So, tired of lying to myself and everyone else, I switched my major to Liberal Arts & Sciences (my adviser told me that was the wisest thing for me to do). I finally came clean to my parents. It felt really good to finally get myself together. I was like ‘yeah… I’m going to kick some ass!’ but my situation didn’t go as smoothly as I wanted it to be. Though I declared a major, I still didn’t know what profession I was going to fall under.

There I was in my class, staring into space and I felt funny. I was freaking out. I never really put any serious thoughts about what I REALLY wanted to be. I freaked out because I wasn’t 3 years old anymore. I was 19 and I had no idea what I wanted to BE.  The whole thing put me into a rut. I stopped showing up to my classes. I basically dropped out. For a sometime, I spent days in my room watching You Tube videos all day long. It was a sad sight, yes. Then in a much unexpected time, I landed a job as an assistant teacher in a Preschool.

I used to feel so crappy about not being certain about my situation. I used to painfully groan when I walked pass by someone carrying an important looking briefcase and looks like they’re on a very important phone call. “That should be me!” I would silently scream out of envy in my head.  After working at the school for some time, I began to look at life differently. Many of the parents I got to know were kind of like me in a sense that they’re still weighing their options and some were even honest about their fears. I also got to know parents who, in society’s definition, are successful but were very blunt about how much they hate their jobs and that they’re only doing it because it pays the bills. From our conversations, I learned that it’d be a miraculous thing if we all had it figured out. It turns out that just because someone is labeled ‘lawyer’ or ‘doctor’ doesn’t always equal success. Just because the world thinks that if you’re 28 you should be doing ‘blah blah blah’, doesn’t mean you have to go out there and do just that. You’re not going to get anywhere if you keep worrying about what society will label your life. I realized that the key word is not ‘success’ but rather ‘happiness’. Ultimately, I know that if I’m happy with what I’m doing with my life then I have no doubt that success is just around the corner.

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