Day 24 – Quarter life Crisis?

Yesterday was supposed to be my pre-weekend breather. My teaching schedule is over and I’m usually more relaxed on Thursdays and Fridays. However, things haven’t gotten really better.

Just before the day ended I was contemplating on the bills I have to pay. It’s only now that I realized that I should be devising a smart way and a supreme sacrifice to settle them. Otherwise, I will be forever in the blackhole of debt. My only prayer is that I will never be placed in a situation where I need to leave my job. That will be the start of my calvary to suffering and death.

After finally waking up that I need to tighten my financial belt, I suddenly felt sad…. The thing is I have been battling this  sadness disease lately. There are days when I finally feel blue and melancholy. After some time, it will elevate and mutate to sadness. Just last night before I left the office, my occassional sadness syndrome attacked me again. As I was riding the train, I can almost feel that I’m near to crying. But I was able to hold back my tears. It’s payday and I should be happy because my favorite brands are holding the end of season sale. For the first time however, these things failed to uplift my down spirits. It used to be that a little shopping can cure my seasonal sadness. However, this time, everything felt different. I’m sad and I can’t imagine anyone or anything to make me feel better.

Was it because of the bills to pay? I agree  to a certain extent. But over the years, I believed that I have learned to handle debt as a deterrent to happiness. But now, the situation feels so different.  Perhaps this is what they call as quarter life crisis. I don’t know but it’s the nearest thing I can relate with.

Day 23 – When the teacher experiences her own taste of learning

Just a few minutes before lunch time, I decided to write my Day 23 post. Yep, I’m committing another mortal sin in the workplace. I’m stealing office hours in lieu of blogging. To my defense, I feel quite tired and melancholy after what happened yesterday. I haven’t found my pace to start work so here I am, trying to condition myself to write because later tasks entail much writing.

I’ve been missing sleep again over the past days. I’ve been finishing my freelance works and to my surprise, it was almost a hell of writing for eternity. The job is quite new to me so I’m still in the process of adjusting and coping with everything. Hopefully, this shall soon be over.

Before I had my last class yesterday, my immediate supervisor in teaching surprised me with a visit. He told me that some of my students complained of my teaching, particularly the topics I lectured. The students are claiming that I’m just repeating the lectures they had from their previous subjects. I felt disappointed and admittedly sad because apparently, I thought I was teaching in the right track. We were given course syllabus to follow to which expected topics to be discussed are enumerated. As I was religiously following what I’m expected to teach, I found myself being criticized for seemingly not performing my job…. To some extent, I find some faults in the course syllabus. However, my mistake is that I never bothered to complain. Why? First is because I believe I was never in the position to question someone who is more knowledgeable than me. Second, I see no damaging effect in repeating some previously discussed topics. At least in education, I believe that too much knowledge and information are not at all harmful. More information, more knowledge, more learning… this is the simple principle I believe.

I’m always firm in believing that a complaint is a gift, especially in the service industry.  Complaint is feedback in a negative form. In any organization, customer feedback is essential in improvement and development. For large companies, it is hard to monitor whether they are delivering services and satisfying customers. Hence, customer feedback serves well. It meant hearing the voice of the customer and paving the way for immediate actions and improvement.  This situation makes me remember a signage I encountered in one gasoline station that we passed by,

 “If you love our service, please tell everyone.”

“If you hate our service, please tell us.”

In the case of my students, I felt the need to feel gratified because they raised their concerns to my direct supervisor. Otherwise, they might rant about me somewhere else I will never knew. Hence, I will end up always assuming that I’m doing well. Perhaps, the main reason why a certain level of disappointment is thriving in me is because in reality, I’m not used to students complaining about me, I can’t bear the fact that everything was my fault because I comply to what I’m expected to teach and lastly, I can’t understand why they have to vent out their complaints to another person while they have all the means to tell me.

Perhaps, they are too young to know this. But if there’s one thing I’d like them to learn, it’s always better to directly address your complaint to the person involved. If you passed your complaint to another person, a simple complaint can elevate to an issue. Place yourself in a situation when you discovered that your own friends told your classmates that they dislike something about your attitude. Wouldn’t you feel offended?  Your friends supposedly had all the means to communicate with you and yet they chose to speak out to other people.   

I feel disappointed. However, I’d like to emphasize that my disappointment will never elevate to anger. In the first place, I told my supervisor that I don’t want to know who they are. For me, things would always be better if we remain anonymous to each other, given that they decided to anonymously complain to another person as well.  

This is perhaps one of the hazards I have to embrace when I accepted the challenge to teach. Sigh… Hopefully, things will be better on the next days…

Day 22 – How do you want people to remember you?

And no, this is not a self written eulogy 😀

This was the question posted to me when I made my first attempt to meet my two of my lovely blog friends. In one rainy Sunday afternoon, I braved my shy personality to finally meet Kelley and Janelle.  Kelley happens to be the oldest in our group. She proudly admitted to be 51 and her eldest daughter was of my age. Kelley was like the mother and facilitator of our group. In the course of our discussion, she challenged us to answer this question

How do you want people to remember you?

I took a deep breath and forced myself to utter something that doesn’t come from my mind, but from my heart. The irony of life, the simplest questions is often the hardest to answer. Questions that pertain to oneself are ironically the toughest.

“I wanted people to remember me as someone who did what is right. I also want them to associate me as the person who always understands.”

Come to think of it, I have a number of goals and ambitions in life. I wanted people to recognize me because of research and writing. I wanted to be a great teacher. I wanted to be the best daughter for my parents. I wanted to be the best friend to my few close friends. I always wanted to be the best. But at the end of the day, I realized that I only wanted two simple reasons for people to remember me.

I wanted people to remember me as someone who did what is right

As I was walking on the way to work, I found myself contemplating on this thought. To be on the right side seems easy but in reality, everything is complicated. Defining what is right already entails a disaster of perceptions. What may be right for you may not be the same in the point of view of your friends, family and colleagues. We also know that doing right does not always yield positivity and happiness to everyone. In my attempt to stick with what is right, I have to endure hurting someone along the way. For the few who know me well, they know that the least I wanted to happen is to inflict any harm or negative feelings to anyone. I’d rather render some sacrifice than gaining an enemy for a lifetime.

Now I realized that my perceived simple answer was conversely complicated after all. In the first place, no one ever claimed that being right was easy.

I wanted a person to remember me as someone who understands.

Then again, understanding does not merely mean recognizing the situation and knowing how the succeeding events unfolded. Real understanding crosses beyond the borders of the actions and decisions made. Whether a friend was at fault, looking at the causes and issues than the blame meant understanding.

Why I want people to remember me as someone who understands is because such requires the perfect tango of the heart and mind. Genuine understanding means having the mind to grasp the situation and the heart to accept things the way they turn out.

I did what is right. I understand. These were the initial traits that surfaced from my heart and mind after I was placed on the spot. If I were to improve though, I also wish that people would remember me because

I silently and honestly make things happen…

Pardon the overemphasis but I always prefer to work things the most discrete way. I never wanted all the attention in the world. I’m contented with the love and attention of the few and special in my life. This could also explain why I value my almost invisible presence in the blogosphere.

I would be the happiest if people will regard me as someone who never spoke but worked hard in her entire lifetime.

Lastly, I can make things happen… I used to dream of outshining the rest and becoming the best. As I age however, I realized that competing becomes a form of those self inflicted stress. If I will spend my entire lifetime beating other people, I can turn out the best but not necessarily the happiest.

The only competitor I want to beat now is myself. As long as I have new achievements and milestones in my reach, I’m the happiest. I may not necessarily own those wondrous achievements. However, the mere fact that people know that I was able to make things happen for myself is more than enough reason to be considered as best and happiest.

Day 21 – A grown up wish

Nine more days and this blogging series will be over. Time really flies so fast, I still feel that Day 1 was just yesterday. This is my third time to engage myself in a challenge to write for 30 consecutive days. The first was made in this blog while the second was in my blogger account. Common mistakes committed for both challenges, I ended up screwing my publish button. I missed uploading one post for both challenges. In my third attempt now, the experience went worst. In case you have noticed, I missed two or three days of blogging. The absence of an internet connection, the workload and my self-imposed laziness defeated my goal of daily writing.

When I started this challenge, I was secretly wishing for something to happen as I fulfill the writing task. It’s only now that I realized that a significant event in my life and career was documented in my first and second attempts of blogging for 30 days. My dream international presentation was like the prodigal son who went back to my life. This was documented in my first challenge. In my other blog where I made the second attempt, the dream for international presentation was fulfilled. While I was still engaged in the challenge, the date of my presentation came in. Everything was documented from the worries, pain and happiness. Sigh… the experience was just so priceless and overwhelming.

Fast forward now, I think I’m creating my life’s own chaos. The bitter truth is it’s self-imposed and self-inflicted. Tardiness, productivity, excessive shopping turned burden of bills to pay, loss of my father’s employment, laziness to complete my freelance works,  I feel the need to render another huge sigh..

As much as I want, I can’t wait for a heaven sent blessing as I engaged myself in this challenge. My only wish is perhaps two to three years from now, I’ll be better and happier when I read this post again.