What I noticed about the best decisions that I’ve ever made in my life is that prior to it, there is a period of uncertainty. I don’t know what I want, and I don’t know what to do, but I’ll guess. I’ll guess by making one decision after another, and I’ll do this just to keep moving.
Of course this will lead to a series of mistakes, but you can also see it as a process of discovery. Then something will hit me, and I’ll find out that I’ve always known what I truly wanted; I just didn’t realize it sooner.
When I make that final decision to leave a place, a person, a job, or do something I’ve never done before, tell someone something that I really need to say–things get weird. I won’t get happy right away. Even though I’m sure that this was the right decision, I’ll be thinking “What if I regret this?” or “What if I made the wrong decision?”.
Deep inside though, I know that I might regret the decision at the present moment, while I’m still unsure about the ramifications that lie ahead, but in the future, I know I won’t. So far, I’ve been correct. I’ve made many good decisions, and I am proud of them.
The items below are not ranked as to their importance in my life, but I organized them in either a chronological way or based on their similarities.
1. Shifting to Creative Writing
If you’ve read To Shift or Not To Shift, then you’ll know that I’ve had four courses in college. It took a while before I realized that I wanted to be a writer, but so far it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
2. Leaving the U.S.
My mother wanted me to chase the American dream, and I did go to America. When I finally got a job there, I realized that I didn’t want to do this. Why should I spend years away from my family? For what? To get rich? Why do I need to get rich? I can just have a comfortable life in the Philippines, and that’s enough to make me happy.
3. Leaving my unrequited love
The first guy that I have ever loved didn’t love me back, and I kept falling in love, falling out of love, and falling in love again. I realized that I couldn’t do the friendship thing with this guy because my feelings for him were too strong. So I decided to distance myself from him, and it did me a lot of good.
Nowadays, I see him very rarely and with a group. I feel like I’m already over him, and I wish I could be friends with him someday, but I am taking my time before letting him in my life again. Occasional meet ups are enough.
4. Going for a guy I liked
There was this guy who I liked, and I decided to go for him.
5. Leaving the guy I liked but didn’t love
I realized that although I liked that guy #4, I didn’t love him, so I broke up with him.
6. Leaving my job as an editorial assistant
I hated my job as an editorial assistant because the work that I was doing was so boring for me. The topics that were assigned to me didn’t spark my interest, and I got bored uploading articles and searching for free photos that we can use for the website. But really the thing that made me leave is that I hated my boss. She was a great writer, but she bombarded us with so many criticisms and she added insults to the pile. Instead of just simply correcting our mistakes, she’d say, “You should have learned that in grade school.” She also thinks that your typos are not typos but are signs that you are the stupidest human being in the world. One time, when I misspelled Angelina Jolie’s name as “Agelina” (because writing for online was so fast that sometimes errors just happen), my former boss said, “God, such a common name, you don’t even know how to spell it!” Hello, alam ko naman how to spell Angelina. Di naman ako tanga. Pero for her, your mistakes betray your deeply-entrenched katangahan.
7. Not accepting that high paying job
There was a high paying job that was being offered to me while I was waiting for a response for my current job. It was P25,000 plus P2,000 (or was it P3,000? P5,000?) monthly allowance. I was so tempted to take it, but I decided to say no.
8. Accepting my current job
My initial salary in my current job was lower than the one in #7 and even lower than what I was getting in my previous job, but I decided to accept it because it seemed like a great opportunity. Now, besides the fact that my salary has risen, my job as an art reporter is highly enjoyable. Before getting this, I wrote a blog entry where I wished for a job that was creative but intellectual, and that is what I have right now. I can get creative when describing artworks, and artists have a lot of intellectual ideas behind their art so it is interesting to talk to them.
9. Starting my writing workshop
I am not qualified to teach writing. I don’t have a degree in education, and I am not affiliated with any educational institution. Yet, I decided that I will not wait for qualifications or credentials to give me permission to teach, and I will not wait for anybody to give me opportunities to do what I want to do. If I want something, I can just do it. I can create it myself. This was such an important and liberating realization for me. Nowadays, I’ve held nine workshops and I am gunning for more. Full steam ahead!
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Note: For some entries in this blog, a few names and details have been deliberately and willingly changed by the author. This is a personal decision made by the author for specific reasons known to her and is not an endorsement for censorship.
All the opinions expressed in this page and in this blog are my own and do not represent the official stances of the companies, institutions, and organizations that I am affiliated with. I’m not just a manifestation of corporate interests. I have an identity that is separate from my company because even if human beings are paid for a service by corporations, human beings are not owned by corporations.