Sunday, December 23, 2007

Surfacing

It had always been my greatest regret, leaving school. I had just turned twenty, and was raring to go and conquer the world despite my unpreparedness. Although I’d already finished my thesis, I still had a couple of back subjects, and at the College of Architecture in UP, this was not an unusual situation at all.

Then my father and I had a huge argument and for months we were not speaking with each other. I decided to look for a job immediately, because my father had cut off his financial support. At that time I had another brother who was going to start college, so I completely understood. Either I go home to the province, or stay and earn money to support myself.

Those were desperate times. Since I was three months behind the rent at my boarding house, I would often sleep over at friend’s houses to lessen the chances of my running into my landlady and having to plead and explain. After a three month wait, I finally got a job.

As I had planned originally, I would study and work at the same time, and so the set up was this: work at night, and go to class in the daytime. Two of my biggest enemies were stress and the lack of sleep. The commute from Diliman to Makati took about three hours, and the long hours at work did little to help. Months passed and I was still able to finish most of my back subjects except one: Hardscape construction. I had become rusty with my drafting skills. I would remember looking around the classroom and seeing a younger batch of students who effortlessly tackled one architectural plate after another, while I struggled with mine.

The first promotion at work brought a new complication to my set up. Of course, I was proud of myself for having been recognized as having potential to lead and manage (three months later I would become one of the youngest team managers in the company at the age of twenty three), but that also meant more responsibilities and more stress. It came to a point where I had to decide to either work full time or study full time, because I could not take the pressure from both. Too proud to ask for help from my parents, I decided to work full time and for the time being, quit school. I reasoned to myself that if I were to remain independent and earn money, work was the way to go- and I was doing very well, indeed.

It was only years later, did I have to clean up the mess I made. Of course, if I could, I’d change my decision, but it was a little late. What I did try to do was careful thinking, an analysis as to what caused me make such an unwise decision.

I call it the “Too-much-too-soon Syndrome”. The compulsion to want something or to make something happen even when I am not ready for it. It had become a pattern for me, even at work.

Two years to being a Team Manager, I was eyeing the Assistant Call Center Manager post, which would not have been a problem at all, had I been ready for the job. Unfortunately Management saw that I still lacked skills in some areas, and I still needed refinement, and so they said no. The problem with me was that by the time I became ready for the job, I already had my eye on something else. If only I stayed just six months more or maybe a year and reapplied, there might have been a good possibility of me getting the job. But no, weeks after being turned down, I decided to take a different direction- and resigned from the company altogether.

Perhaps other factors like family matters (my family migrating to the states without me, for one) might have had some influence on the decisions that I make, but my mistakes usually spring from my lack of patience and inability to commit to something. I want to accomplish so much at once, that I leave out the most important details.

If I am to keep my head above the water, or keep my feet on the ground for that matter, perhaps I need to understand life’s pace. Everything happens at the right moment, and taking shortcuts only means creating complications one has to clean up later on.

I do hope I already learned my lesson well, this time.

9 comments:

runawaycat said...

I'm like you in a way. Though I don't think I'm ready to accomplish my dreams (which changes pretty easily) so I told myself to wait. But there's always the question, 'What if I wait too long that everything sobers down and I just couldn't care anymore?'

Phoenix said...

@ runawaycat: Ah the rashness of youth = ) Maybe we'll learn to sober up as we mature. Time will come for us, Neko ; )

earlyluvs said...

hi thad.....im seeing myself in u...its giving me goosebumps...lol....was a graduating student then jumped in the call center bandwagon for almost 3 years and now back in school...u guessed right...a nurse wannabe...lol....i do miss my big paycheck...

Phoenix said...

@ earlyluvs: ahh seduced by the fat paycheck I see, pareho tayo! hehe. On the brightside, we've charged it to experience and we are moving on..

People make mistakes all the time, I just hope I don't make the same ones = ) Have a great day! (closing spiel ko ata yun!) lol!

chase said...

those were hard times thad..
working student taking up architecture?? damn.. that would have been very hard.
diba.. those crappy plates take a lot of time..
and one ink blot could ruin a drawing.. heheh

runawaycat said...

Now I feel like quitting school. Felt like saying it again. At least to someone who's not sick of hearing it from me.

earlyluvs said...

and i think tonski was under me....i mean when he transitioned from training to the floor....hehe...merry christmas!

Phoenix said...

@ runawaycat: nah, I can totally relate.. try to think the best thing for yourself and decide. = )

Phoenix said...

@ earlyluvs: really? ; ) how's tonskie on the floor? hehe I've always wanted to meet him.

Happy Holidays to you too = ) These are the first two holidays I actually got to spend at home rather than at the office..

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