Today is my last day at school. Supposedly, grade consultation day. But I guess my students were all satisfied with their grades kaya walang nagpaconsult sa akin. I’m a bit sentimental right now because I am deferring teaching for now, thus I have to leave my TRED family for the meantime. In the span of three and a half months, I have met some new acquaintances and friends who have welcomed me so warmly. I will miss them. I will miss Ian’s company at lunch and meryenda, and our never-ending kwento about our own vocation, Ivan’s coffee which perks me up after my last class in the afternoon and of course his equally-perky personality, ate Fem’s (our department’s secretary) reliability on all the things I need, Fr. Francis’s humor especially during lunch, Tita Pearl’s motherly “sermons”, Sir Galo’s assistance on Tredfor, and the rest of my co-faculty who have been so very helpful and so accommodating: Doc Louie, Doc Rito, Doc Ed, Charmaine, Ms. Edna, Ms. Carol, Sir Hernan, Christian, Ferds, War, Dan, Lawrence, Dr. Bombongan, and the others who until now I fail to remember the names (pasensya na, blame it on the anesthesia)! Hopefully, our paths will cross again in the future.
My brief stay in La Salle brought so many memorable experiences for me, which I know I will cherish and relish as I go back again to “my” world. I love my students. I am so proud of them. This is the first time I really appreciated what accountability means. That’s why it touches me so much, when one of my students, in his final reflection paper on our course, wrote this:
This is just one reason I do not regret teaching. I know, in the end, I will resume this noble vocation. Not now though.
As the days passed by and the first day of October approaches, I am becoming more and more ambivalent. I am excited but at the same time sentimental. It’s been two years already since I resigned from my job and left corporate life, and so now, once again, I am going back. I know some of you will be surprised to find this out. I’ve been meaning to explain myself as well why I suddenly I decided to change again my course.
Was it really sudden? I don’t think so. It has been my habit every sembreak to ask myself if it’s time for me to go back to the corporate world. And every time, I would have different reasons. The first sem that I considered it was just a few months I resigned from my job; my reason to going back was financial security. I did not know how I could get by without having a job. Then God provided for my needs: I got a tax refund, I got a few thousands from a production job, and I got a refund for my tuition from a friend. Next bout of this proverbial question was at the end of 2nd sem going to summer. I was worried because I still got no work and I wanted to attend a retreat-giving seminar. God’s answer came through a generous friend and my aunt in Italy who both sponsored my seminar fees, and by giving me Bayard. After nine months of having no source of income, Bayard employed me in June on a part-time basis.
Then came another sembreak…I confided with my nun-friend about my plans of wanting to go back to working in corporate, still my reason was to augment my finances and to save for “my future”. Although, I told her that if I would have a choice, I still would like to stay where I am, to work and study and have all the free time I could get! So how did God answer me this time? Nothing. Nothing happened with all my plans. I remained status quo. Then towards the end of last year up to the close of the second sem, I began to actively sought employment again. My reason this time was “selfish”, selfish in a sense that I just want to regain whatever I have lost before: money, prestige, accolade, security, control, etc. And this time, God’s answer was clearly, no! In the end, I gave up my desire to apply for jobs as I have found it difficult to proceed in all my interviews. So I said to myself, maybe, God has other plans for me, maybe he still wants to fulfill his promise to me or rather he still wants to fulfill my desire to teach. Anyway this was my reason for my resigning from my job and taking a course in theology --- to teach about God! And so the rest was history. I got accepted in La Salle. I was given the opportunity to teach.
And yet, as the term approached its close once again, I began to consider the question that haunted me for the past two years since I left, “is it time for me to go back?” More and more, I realized that my reason now has been purified. It is not just about making lots of money, it is not just about settling my obligation, it is not just about helping out in the family. I believe the reason that made it easier for me to take that step and prove to my prospective employers that I am ready, was my desire to really go back. I realized now that marketing is indeed and has been my passion all along. Yes, teaching has been a long-time dream, and it has helped in my discernment that I experienced it. And yet, what this experience confirmed and re-affirmed was I also have a passion for marketing. I still have that passion burning inside me. And the more I delay addressing this restlessness that is building up, the harder it would be for me to seize it. I realized that my talent is this. I am good at this. I can be more effective doing this. I am sure this is something I can do well. This is something I am passionate about. This is something that will maximize and realize my full potential. And this for me is the key…the world I am going back to is the world where I believe I will experience fullness of life!
I am not saying that where I have been in the past two years was a wasteland. I did not regret withdrawing from the world to see for myself what the other world is offering me. I will treasure everything and everyone I met in the past two years. They are now part of my present. I may not be as closely linked to them anymore as before but I am confident of the bond I have established with them. Again, they are now part of my present.
Today is my last day at school. On the 30th of September, it would be my last day at Bayard. Symbolically, it would also be my last day living a life withdrawn from the “real” world.
On October 1, I am going back to the world!