So it was stressful, and God always said no.

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Avatar for rang
Written by
3 years ago
Topics: Freewrite

As a kid, I was an achiever. That's the boastful part of my self speaking, and you may take that with a grain of salt -- but I was an achiever. I ended up excelling in things I had no interest in (like studies) and got wound up into a cycle of do this, do that, succeed.

And I always succeeded even without much trying. I passed my exams with flying colors. For some reason, my name found its way into the honors list every year. My teachers, classmates, and schoolmates trusted me so much to the point of appointing me as an officer into the school's student council, as president of the Art Club, as officer in my other clubs, and even as platoon leader in the Citizen Army Training. So much was going on in my life back then when I wasn't even trying, and now I shudder at the thought of what would have happened had I at least tried.

From a shy kid who only excelled in her studies, I became that person who somehow got wrapped up in many of my school's affairs. I got sent everywhere and tasked with things I had zero experience in. The student population and the whole faculty seemed to think I could do everything because that was expected of me. I remember still how it started -- my 7th grade homeroom teacher felt it was necessary for me to leave my comfort zone and join scholastic contests... which I won. Then she had it extended to extracurricular activities... which I did so well in. I never even knew I could speak in a public setting. In the four years of my high school, I was a go-to resource person for public speaking and program writing. It was crazy.

In hindsight, I appreciate everything that took place during my first 12 years in school. I found comfort in knowing that I actually can do pretty much many things (with the exception of singing -- I'm tone deaf, I think and of dancing -- I have two left feet). And who wouldn't want that? Our school even had us take CSAT -- or College Scholastic Aptitude Test -- and I surprisingly aced all fields... and contrary to popular belief among my classmates at the time, despite my apparent happiness with the results, I was hounded by invisible fear. And that fear ate me up until I stepped into college.

Everything wasn't without some sort of extra weight to balance the scale; my family, friends, and even strangers who have for some reason heard of my name expected so much from me. It was a weight that tipped the scale away from me and suddenly I felt like a robot doing things in a programmed way. In college, suddenly I wasn't good. I wasn't an excellent student. Heck, I was probably below average in an ocean of gifted kids.

I wasn't used to failing and it took a seriously long time before my heart settled and my brain accepted that I couldn't always be good at everything. Suddenly, I was judging myself. Everyone wasn't as forgiving. The things I loved weren't as comforting. And many times, God told me no. The Nos were a hard pill to swallow. For years, it was trying hard and asking God on and on when the yes will come.

For some unfathomable reason, I did well in research. My undergraduate thesis was heavily praised and my adviser was very adamant on having it published (we didn't get to). Still, college was my foundation to everything I am doing now. It was difficult and opportunities weren't as rampant, but it was good. The prestige that came with my degree was valuable, and it got me into my first work without me even having had to try so hard.

My interview back then was succinct. It was with the project leader, and he didn't ask questions. He just told me the things he was expecting me to do. And when I started working, I delivered. My immediate supervisor was rather proud, even. It was going well until it wasn't.

"What am I even doing here?" I asked myself one too many times.

To my surprise, everyone else in my circle was asking the same potent question. What were we doing? Was this the right thing? It took me over three years to even act. I was trapped in a bubble I blindly called my favorite place, but really, it was a comfort zone I was scared of leaving.

Suddenly, like petals in an old flower, everyone started leaving. Sometimes it felt as if I was the only one left holding on to what once was, but the burn out was a quicksand pulling one of us after the other.

I had to leave if I wanted to save myself.

For the first time in over three years, I updated my curriculum vitae and applied for a job in one of my dream organizations. I got past the screening, the exam, then the interview. It wasn't for me, I guess.

Firmly still, God said no.

So I tried again, for a more stable position in the organization I was working in, and still, there was His firm no.

I was slowly getting embarrassed. Getting denied equated to a huge bruise to my ego. My confidence was withering. There was no room for a big pick-me-up. I was so tired, and that was just me having to try twice. I couldn't sleep at night thinking so hard.

Really, what was out there for me? Is something great reserved for me? I needed answers. And these answers, without me having explicitly even asked, I was provided with.

An old supervisor from an old project I was involved in offered me a job with salary more than Php 20,000 my current. And this supervisor wasn't just anybody -- he was a very well established person in my field and in the academe. It was him who told me he saw something worthwhile in me, worth the job he was offering.

I would have loved to grab the chance, but the distance was pulling me back. I wasn't adventurous, and I don't think I was ready for such undertaking even when I was assured I was good enough for it. And again, I was afflicted.

Why can't I just be confident enough? Why aren't I adventurous? Why am I always scared? Why do I look down on myself so much? Why can't I be more certain?

And it broke my heart to turn down the offer. It broke my spirit, too. I was reminded that I was stuck still. What do I do?

What was I supposed to do? I prayed. And I think I even shed a tear or two. I wished on every 11:11, wishing well, and even the wishbone I'd fish from the chicken I was eating. Where is that yes? I kept chasing after things that weren't for me, but run away from every opportunity that came my way.

Why was brain's circuit designed this way? Why --

Then I was offered another job. This time, it was so good, I felt like accepting it would be stabbing my team in the back. But I needed to grow, too! I needed the money. And like how it had always been, I was assured I was perfect for the job.

I should be scared. So much is at stake here. So much is expected from me, and even myself is unsure whether I'd make it or not. Was I really fit for this?

But I wouldn't know without trying. So I grabbed it. And so what if I was anxious? I'll just do my best, wherever that "best" can bring me.

So I wait.

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Avatar for rang
Written by
3 years ago
Topics: Freewrite