On Growing Up

A lot of people fail to reach their full potential in life because they never discovered it or no one told them about it. As a consequence, we make a lot of wrong choices, missteps and our lives go in the wrong direction until we realize our mistakes when it is already too late.

During my childhood and teenage years, there was no one telling me about preparing for the future. No pep talks about having a better life during dinner. No discussion about the importance of going to school and what will it do later in life. You just go on with your life and your daily chores as you are expected to. This became a big problem later when it was time to choose my future career.

In fact, no one even asked how I am doing in class. It’s not that people don’t care. It is just the way it is. You see, I was raised in a time and in a community where people live day to day, where the work in the farm takes more priority in daily conversations than asking a kid the result of his examination and his grades.

In the house where I lived, when you wake up in the morning, (and that would mean very early) you automatically go into work mode before you prepare for school. The same routine will be in the afternoon after class. You feed the pigs, feed the chicken, feed the dogs and pound palay (rice) in the mortar and pestle and go to the fields on weekends. All you do is work, work and more work.

It is really difficult when no one told you about life and the future it might hold. Of course I did not grow as a hermit, but as far as I can recall, I never heard anyone telling me about the realities of life. No one told me that life is going to be better when you get an education. I just go to school, work in the farm day in and day out.

Going about the everyday life in the farm, that is all the education that you need about life. You don’t listen to lectures, you learn by doing. These folks don’t tell you what to do. You do it because it has to be done. It was always a day to day living as long as I can remember.

All along I thought that was normal. I was not looking forward in my future career and what will I be doing for a living. I was not preparing my life after college. I thought everything just comes into place and life would be perfect. Unfortunately, it did not. Somehow, I survived and now have a career and a life. But I always think of the people I know who should be achievers and have a good life and ended up somewhere else.

This what caused me to teach the youth about life, growing up and the right direction their life is supposed to go. It’s what excites me. I know a lot of them are experiencing what I went through. I want them to see themselves as successful. I want to tell them that they have a bright future and that their options in life are not limited to their surroundings. So I go around speaking to the young people. Every time there is an invitation I do not hesitate about going. Somebody has to tell them or at least reinforce what others have told them.

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