I’ve always envied those people who are privileged enough to reach the goals they’ve been always sure they wanted.
Those who want to pursue music and have money to buy quality instrument and enroll in music classes.
Those who want to pursue art and can afford to buy those expensive art materials.
Those who want to pursue sports and can afford to buy and maintain their equipment. Plus the cost of their training venue.
Those who want to be doctors, lawyers, or engineers and have families who were rich enough to send them to good school and have good foundation of knowledge for their field of interest, and can later send them to university.
Those who want to study humanities and have families supportive enough to not tell them “walang pera d’yan” (you won’t earn enough money there) or ask them “anong trabaho mo pagkatapos?” (what would you do with that degree?).
On the other hand, I admire those who are faced with tough challenges but are dedicated and persistent enough to ultimately achieve their dreams.
Those who are financially challenged but works twice as hard just to support their own education.
Those who have unsupportive parents but are brave enough to disobey what they demand.
Those who have disabilities but still but don’t let their condition keep them from being great at their chosen field.
Whichever group you belong, I envy you. Because you are a kind of person I am not. No, it’s not because of your perseverance despite your challenges, not even because of the privileges you have. It’s because you have a dream to work hard for, it’s because you know who you are, it’s because you’ve found yourself.
Eighteen years, all grown up and I’ve never realistically answer the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” If you ask me that in High School, my answer would change every 2 weeks. I’ve dreamt of being practically everything; journalist, actress, doctor, lawyer, accountant, writer, mathematician, flight stewardess, diplomat, teacher, heck I even wanted to be a nun.
I’ve tried sport.Enrolled in Taekwondo lessons when I was about 7 but that was all. Learned swimming when I was 9, and continued until 12. I enjoyed it, I joined various competitions, won medals, made friends from other places. But it felt like it wasn’t for me.
I also gave music a shot. My brother has a guitar which I tried to learn playing but my hands aren’t strong enough to hold the strings. I joined the Violin Club in high school and there I learned to play a few songs but the music teacher did not teach us proper bowing (is that even how is it called?) and did not teach us how to read notes. Us being able to play the tune was enough for him, nothing more nothing less. Lastly, I also tried piano. I hired a music teacher who graduated from Conservatory of Music, and my teaching sessions with her, I really enjoyed. I felt fulfilled to be taught by someone who really know what she is teaching, she was strict with posture, hand position, and of course, note reading. She told me I have a future in piano because I learn fast, considering I started pretty late (about 13 years old), and so for a while, I thought piano was for me. Unfortunately, that time, I was convinced that academics is the most important thing of all, and therefore, not long after, I felt like piano was being a distraction. Plus the expensive tutorials, and I was only practicing with keyboards at home. And so I stopped.
Arts, never really tried until college. I just grew up genuinely convinced I’m terrible at art so I never really tried. It took me depression to try to do something new, to keep me occupied. Then I learned I wasn’t bad. It’s just that, it’s too late when I discovered that I could actually do it.
I always joined mathematics and writing contests as an elementary student. I constantly won in the competitions I joined, and so it got me to a good high school. There, I realized I was not really good. I was just an average student, nothing special. But it didn’t stop me from dreaming. I still believed that I am good enough to be something.
Now I am in college, studying in languages. And I like it, I enjoy college in general. I feel that I am learning and growing a lot as a person.
In the beginning, I still wasn’t sure if I’m in the right place. I enjoy my classes but not enough to see myself in that field in the future. There was not a day that passed when I did not question my choice. I spent nights crying, feeling like I made a wrong decision, and I was just wasting time, money, and effort in college. It took me 3 semesters to finally be confident with my choice and have a seeing myself working with languages for the rest of my life.
For a few weeks (yes, weeks), I felt relieved that I finally found myself. But life (or college life) is really cruel.
There are really just people who will make you feel useless, you are worthless, you are not deserving of what you have. People who’ll try to bring you down.
And because of them, I’m starting to question again if I made the right choice, if I can still do it, if I even deserve to be here. Because no matter how hard I work to try to prove that I am worth it, they make me feel I am not.
It is really difficult for me to stay in this kind of environment. I try very hard to just ignore them, mind my own business and do what I love.
So what do I do? I just try to remind myself that, just because there’s someone better doesn’t mean I’m worthless.
(Plus, I’m young, I still have a lot of time to figure things out. There’s no deadline!)