A blog by Jacqueline Tabora

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Ah, my birthday is just around the corner. The thought of turning 24 makes me feel very old. Gone are the days when people try to make me feel like I am too young to do and to know stuff because I am just 18 or 20 years old. The days come very fast. But I don't realize that until my birthday is coming up every year, actually.

Nearly two weeks from now, I will turn 24. I don't know why but it just crossed my mind how my life has been. Maybe this is the world's way of saying "Hey, don't you have any huge plans for yourself? You're getting old ya'know." But I really don't have any grand plans for my life to think of right now. I don't know, maybe because ever since I was young I hear people and my parents telling me things to do in the future, and I grew tired hearing those so I don't think about the future that much. Makes sense? Nah.


Let me share with you stories of misfortunes instead. What do I have to say? So what will those who mind reading this nonchalant, unpoetic and basic vocabulary-rich blog entry get from this? I don't know. I just want to unload my brain of thoughts and I feel unloading it here in my blog. Feel free to scroll down or click the "X" button as you wish.


I started young in school. Finished grade school at 10, got my high school diploma at 14 and receiving my bachelor's degree at 18. "You are still a baby for the corporate world", they say. But inasmuch as I don't want to leave school yet and taking up a higher degree of learning is not yet part of future plans, I readied myself for the corporate world, the life of an employee, "the real world" they say.


For someone who was sheltered (or caged, as others say when they do not like school) in the confines of the university, the shift from studying to finding a job in huge buildings in different business districts is not a walk in the park. Getting one rejection after another and going home to your parents without good news in hand sucks, and no one wants to hear bad news. It took me a year (2011) to find that first job that gave me self-redemption and remove all previously casted doubts in my once-revered intelligence and skills. I stayed with the company for two years (and a month, to be exact) and decided to leave to find a greener pasture somewhere else.


Five months since I left a job in a publishing company and I have not found a new one yet. My parents were already expressing their disappointment in me for choosing to resign and becoming a burden to them. I did not like what was happening at home, so I decided to run away. October of 2013, I left home with some of my stuff without any plans of coming back.


I found a new job as a content writer before 2013 ended but filed my resignation in the middle of 2014 because I did not get along with my colleagues very well. I was ready to try my luck again in a print publications company. I immediately found one, somewhere near the house I am staying at since I ran away from home. In a couple of months time, they say they'd call me to report for work. I did not mind waiting that long because it is already a sure job, not until I was asked to present a certificate from the doctor that I am fit to work. I did not get any certificate because according to the doctor I have an infection that "blah blah blah". The office I have applied to would not allow me to start work without the medical certificate. I did not have spare money to bring myself to the doctor or buy the prescriptions that the doctor told me. The company chose to move on and find somebody else. Thus, I became stuck at home, broke and still unemployed.


I admit to not being smart enough to handle money matters. I left the first job without any savings, impulsively resigned in the second without any enough backpay money in hand. I was broke. The jobs I got were low-paying. I got utilities to pay for. I have not saved up any amount that will keep me afloat for the next couple of months. And so I struggled for the next half of that same year doing babysitting and accepting writing and editing jobs as a freelancer while I try to squeeze in applying for jobs in online recruitment portals. The freelancing jobs did not pay well and juggling paying for basic necessities and making sure that I still have some extra cash in my pocket became a pain in the ass. It was just last year, but I felt like I grew a lot of gray hair and looked older than I really am because of the occurrences. I came to a point when I have nothing to do but blame myself all day because of shitty impulsive decisions I make and not knowing what to do after and where to start again. I tried to reach out to friends (and avoid the relatives) for some financial help but no one was able to help me. I met some people who I only knew for a couple of months and unhesitatingly offered their help to me, I owed them a lot and promised to pay back once everything in a new job was ironed out.


The year 2015 still started slowly and difficult for me. But the pace picked up when I landed a job in a foreign financial company. It is now the middle of the year again and I am nearing the end of my probationary period. The announcement of my regularization is within my birthday week. My manager said that it is in time to meet my foreigner boss who is going to fly in to visit our site. Hopefully, everything goes well this time.


So here I am, a runaway just got employed girl who tries her very best to move on and fix her life after putting herself in misery that could have been avoided. I still got a few things to fix and some loans to pay, though. But how I am this year is way, way, better than what I was in the past two years.


The misfortunes of the previous years made me realize a lot of things. Some may say that I was too stupid to not see those coming, or others may say that I was too dumb to make decisions like I did. But who learns lessons by just doing the right things, eh? Who learns to get back up if they would not fall first?


I know there are a lot of people who have suffered worse than I did. But this is my version of it.


~J

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