I was never a failure

I started writing this post several weeks ago. I planned to have it queued for publication since last week. I never had the chance to finish this post because I don’t know how to end it or perhaps, I actually don’t know how to start it. I was stuck in the middle of everything. Quite a premonition as to how I really feel.

In the middle of the past weeks, I was caught with the reminder that the first day of September marks my 10 years of working. I can’t believe that it’s been 10 years since I finished college. Such span of time is the same as finishing my entire years in Elementary. I was 6 and 10 years after, I emerged as 16 year old teenage kid. I didn’t realize that I have completed a decade in working. But I guess the real highlight of everything was the fact that I stayed in the same company. Some would feel proud but in my case, I’m half-hearted saying that I’m proud of achieving that loyalty. Honestly, part of me feels ashamed and pathetic.

A few months ago someone told me that at my age, I should have already achieved that level of advancement and stability in my career. I don’t know what she exactly meant but from her words, I can sense that her measures of career advancement include a managerial or supervisory position,  a real estate property, brand new car and all those monetary and material manifestations of successes.

Truth to be told, my ego was hurt. I felt like someone telling me that I’m a sore loser. I’m nothing. I wasted my 10 years. I made a mistake in steering my career. I wanted to prove her wrong. A debate or any form or oral argument was never my style. So let this blog post salvage my wounded ego and dwindling self-confidence. I hope I will end this blog post convincing myself that I did not mess up and wasted the past 10 years of my life.

I was able to finish my masteral studies

I said in a previous blog post that graduate studies already lost its luster on me. I may no longer be interested to pursue further studies but I’m proud of the graduate degree I earned five years ago. I financed my own studies. I satisfactorily surpassed all the requirements. There were no special favors and requests made. It was only me, determination and that discount privilege that made me finish my degree.

I was able to fulfill my dream to teach.

First and foremost, not everyone has the interest and patience to teach. In like manner, not everyone has the capability and qualifications to teach. I’m proud to say that I have worked my way to become a qualified educator. And more than the qualifications, I became an educator because I have the passion and dream to become one. I didn’t venture to teaching because of the additional pay (which by the way, does not really translate to an additional pay). I decided to teach because it would mean the fulfillment of a dream.

I was able to finance our home renovation

I’m fortunate because my parents made all means to purchase our own home. Over time however, the the wear and tear of our home demanded that much needed renovations. In my 10 years of working, I was able to finance all renovations made for our home.  There were no loans made. Everything was financed by my personal earnings.

I was able to correct one of my physical disabilities…. my crooked teeth

Orthodontic treatment is so expensive! I spent a significant amount of money to cure ugly teeth, something my parents cannot afford then. After 5 years of visiting Ms. Ortho, I was able to free myself from all the metal wires. Except that I have to live with these metal retainers?!?

I was able to see some parts of the world other than my country.

My first trip abroad also meant my first international research presentation. Years after, my appreciation to traveling intensified. I was able to see my neighboring Asian countries. I was responsible in financing my trips. No rich parents to back up my expenses. It was all me!

I have my own investments

I was able to purchase my own insurance apart from what the company provides. While my savings account still needs to be boosted and I have debts to pay, I took the risk of investing in the stock market. I’m proud to say that I’m building my own wealth. I have relied on hardwork to earn these investments.

I was able to build my reputation as a credible freelancer.

My knowledge in Statistics and years of experience in academic research helped me build my credentials for freelancing. I have consultancy and research writing work aside from my day job. Modesty aside,  my few colleagues recognise and respect me for my knowledge and expertise in research. Freelancing gave me both learning and earning opportunities.

I started serving as Statistician for masteral students writing their thesis. Not everyone has the knowledge and patience in understanding numbers, digging information and relating interesting stories. A lot of people only see Statistics as a field of study for those who are good in numbers. Unfortunately, Statistics also demands creativity and the talent to craft interesting and believable stories. I’ve been doing this for quite a number of years already. I may not be a major in Statistics but my degree in Economics helped me work my way to this profession.

I grew from Statistical reports to full blast research. I was hired several times to write an entire masteral thesis. This might sound professionally illegal. However, I always remind my client that though I do the writing, we are actually working as a team. The client provides the input while I translate his thoughts with the requirements set by the academe.

I was able to build successful businesses. In particular, I discretely worked with a number of successful food cart businesses in Manila. The problem with some businessmen is their lack of technical writing skills. They always have the talent to create demand, but to place their ideas in writing has never been their turf. So like a typical hopeless romantic film, we meet and complete each other. 🙂 Even though I didn’t sign a disclosure agreement with them, I respect and prefer to keep mum about the successful businesses I’ve documented. I have been rehired several times and hopefully, our relationship will continue.

I was able to transition from research to corporate planning.

I used to believe that I’m meant for research. I was reluctant when I was forced to move from research to corporate planning. I love research because it fulfills my dream to write. When I moved to corporate planning, I was afraid of losing the opportunity to write. The research was lessened but my dream to write was still fulfilled. There’s so much more to write in corporate planning. A few of my accomplishments in my 5 years in corporate planning include the preparation of the institutional manual of policies and procedures and lately, the documentation project. The project consultant was surprised to see that I was able to accomplish a task good for 7 persons. Not that I’m carrying my own chair and it’s still to early to declare success, but my company was able to save tons of money from my existence. Moreover, the tasks I have been performing were meant for supervisory and managerial positions. I’m proud to say that the rank and file employee in me can actually accomplish things meant for advanced positions.

A few minutes from now, it will be September 1. I’ve been officially working for 10 years. At this point, I may not be successful. I may not have exhausted all means to success. I’m just one of those many rank and file employees who report to work everyday, patiently waits for payday and still struggling over insecurities and frustrations. The person I am today may not be the best. At the end of the day, what I can proudly claim is that I’ve never been dependent to my parents for the last 10 years. Lastly, despite not passing those society imposed indicators of success, I have lived a clean, honest and good life. I never cheated. bribed, boot licked or use another person to reach my destination. Everything I have is owed to my hardwork and the blessings from the Boss above.

Not passing the indicators of success does not conclude that I’m a failure. I’m a work in progress and years from now, I know, a better person will emerge from this post.

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3 thoughts on “I was never a failure

  1. I think that refusing to think that one’s a failure is an indicator that he is not. I just started working last month on my first job. And like you, I also want to be able to teach because I believe I am born for it. I also want to write at the same time. I am planning to pursue graduate studies next year. Thanks for being an inspiration. 🙂

  2. have you ever thought of working overseas? i suggest that you apply for an immigrant visa to canada as a professional. you can do it on your own without the help of an agent. with your qualifications, i don’t think you’ll have a problem. it may take years, but it’ll be worth the wait.

    you should consider it even if you’re satisfied with your present situation right now. as you know, there’s nothing certain in this world but death and taxes.

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