Thursday, February 23, 2012
Last month, life began for me. Wow, magic 40! Three decades ago I was a kid in a hurry to be an adult. Now, I am half-way through earth life. Wow.
When you reach an age like mine, you tend to keep stock of things. You review how you have lived life. I went through childhood powered with the thought that with a drive strong enough, dreams are possible and all it takes is sheer will. From the bottom of my kindergarten, I scaled the heights of learning to graduate at the top of my university batch. But it came at a price. It took a series of economic misfortunes and life-threatening ulcer to realize that some things cannot be had on will alone. For those other things, there is a God and a family you are supposed to depend on.
And so I charged through life with that lesson: chase your dreams with buckets full of will, and lean on family and God when life threatens to pin you down on the floor. It was a life lived fully, with troughs that made the peaks seemed higher and happier. A peak is when you almost dance your way to your next class reveling in the throught that you actually perfected an exam. A peak is when you touch the knee and lower thigh of your crush for the first time, and finally understood the bio-chemical electricity that is love. A peak is when you actually had a major hand in transforming your family from a quarreling swarm to an outgoing, celebratory unit you have always wished you've had. A peak is when love colors your world, and your love transforms others for the better.
The troughs? I believed then until now that my life's Marianas Trench showed itself at 19. The fact that I survived that and emerged an optimist instead of embittered gave me that confidence that everything else is peanuts. I have found the magic formula anyway – sheer will, God's grace. Armed with that I have survived rejections, personal debts, break-ups, loss of friends, health threats, corporate politics, and backstabbers.
Last year I went through some kind of trough. Certainly not Mariana's trench, maybe not even Dungaree deep, but a trough nevertheless. It was not enough that I was in the middle of professional mission to energize and transform a division, a group and institution – a daily monumental battle that fires me up with the challenge and drains me as well end of day. I had to fend off personal attacks and disappointments too, sadly from people who supposedly are my friends. It is true what they always say, that the people closest to us can hurt us the most.
I took the high road and kept my silence. I thought moving on meant shoving the unpleasant under the carpet. But I am mistaken. The only way I can truly move on is to acknowledge to myself what happened, pack it all up, and leave the baggage on side road toward happiness. So here is the reality to you, Rico. You expected honesty and felt you got platitudes. While you never expected any personal gain in helping others, never in your wildest dreams did you expect that people could cut the hand that helped them. You are disappointed that the chain of paying it forward seemed to have broken. You think your ability to trust people was severely scarred, but maybe Father Orbos is right: It is not enough to love till it hurts; one must love until it no longer hurts. In your hierarchy of values, friendship tramps “career advancement” - whatever that meant in recreational sports. You are disappointed that your friends seemed to chase the wrong values, but who is to say that your value set is better? Your reality may be colored, but this is the reality to you.
There, you have said what was screaming in your head for months. It is time to move on. It is time to regain your light and your ability to share, coax, and multiply that light. As I move on to my next chapter in life, I just want to be that vessel, that beacon capable of receiving and reflecting light, that light that is pure and eternal.
Glory be to God and His Grace be upon us all.