Stumble and fall
April 24, 2012. That day was one of the brightest days of my life when I heard the loudest applause I could ever receive. My family and friends were with me. Everyone congratulated me, and I had every eye on me. That was my moment. It was vivid, and the feeling has been inexplicable ever since.
That’s how I see Lyceum ever since I left it. It was a perfect photograph of fulfilled dreams, crazy friends, lost love, and a happy family. But, of course..there’s more to life than a school photograph.
Earphones on. Volume’s up. Ignoring the world like I used to when I write, and thinking of how things in my life have been ever since I stepped out of my alma mater. Well I can’t think of a perfect way to describe how my life has been, but I am sure things have been perfect, like they always are.J
What came after graduation was the commencement of another arduous life journey – the CPA board exam. That was the beginning of my new life where everything has to be decided and every move seems to matter. I am a self-confessed perfectionist and I am indecisive, hence it is no longer surprising if I tell you that I did mess up.
First stumble. My mind is a bit picky, it chooses where it works. Luckily, it knows how to put test papers on a pedestal. I tell you: I am in a coffee shop right now, facing a window, because this is how I can ignore the world, and this is how I can think well. That was my plan: to be in a place perfect for study. I had so many options back then, which include whether to stay with a bunch of friends whom I’ve known for so long, or to stay independent. I chose the latter. Then came the day when I felt so low; I got tired of walking along Espana by myself, of buying lunch for myself, and of putting my earphones on to study. I heard stories from my friends, stories which I could have been one of the characters had I chosen to be a more fun person than a dead serious one.
I realized I have been missing so many priceless things, when in fact that journey shall only be traveled once and I could never go back. It was my new life’s first stumble: choosing my comfort zoneand missingthe fun of life’s roller coaster ride. I really do not want to say it this way but; most of the time, “we time” is way better than “me time”.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Second stumble. After finishing college with flying colors, I have set higher expectations for myself. Being grateful to the institution, I have promised to myself that I will bring pride to my school by becoming a topnotcher. I had good support system back then, including family, friends, families of my friends, and teachers. All of them have believed that I could make it to the top.
But review days can really make people crazy to the point that even inconsequential comments like how red my red lipstick is could drive me nuts. With my emotions going up and down, I struggled. There were times when I could not really focus and study because I was insecure of my capacity. I got sick many times. I thought of giving up and of taking the next board instead, just to ensure the spot I wanted. In short, I belittled myself. And that was my second stumble: I did not believe. I wasin tears when I learned that I almost made it.
“Accounting is a test of heart.” – AnjellaMalabuyoc, CPA
“You are capable.” – Cyrene Cahinde, CPA
Third stumble.After passing the board exam, I got overwhelmed. Life has so many crossroads indeed, and that point in time was one of which. Back in college, I did not favor any particular field. Back in review days, I did not plan for any career path. To cut it short and simple, I did not know what I like. Only one thing was certain, I knew audit firm is something good.
So, I applied to various firms. I actually did not receive any immediate calls other than that from Reyes Tacandong& Company. I guess the universe was quite friendly that time; it did not prolong my agony. I landed a job as an IT Audit Associate. I met new people, whom I have easily liked and eventually loved. I really did not know fully what my job is, but I was made aware that it has something to do with one of my weaknesses – process designs and controls.
At first, I was so psyched about everything. I told myself I need this job to prove myself. Then the universe has challenged me. I was assigned to a difficult engagement, something so new to me. At that time, I really wanted to quit. I was afraid of making any mistake, and it felt like ignorance will be with me infinitely. Seriously, even writing emails to my client became so hard. Plus,I went to office not because I wanted to work, but just to see my officemates, who were my blessings by then.I saw myself making no sense at all. I figured out it was another stumble: I was lost.
“We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” – Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept
“In life there are only two directions: to grow or to shrink.” With the stumbles I’ve mentioned, it may have appeared to you that I was shrinking. I thought the same thing, too. That, my life was declining — from being the top of the class, to being a chicken-hearted reviewee, to being a mediocre auditor. If you think the same way, too – well pal, I was wrong. Probably, you are, too. J
Currently, I am living with my friends in Makati and enjoying every bit of time I could spend with them. We do crazy things as usual, because we, by nature, are crazy. I’ve done the same thing for my family — more family time, the happier I become. Because in God’s perfect time, everyone realizes what matters most. And I hope by telling you this, you get it. J
I do not want to make the same mistake again. When I was suffering from that engagement, I decided not to quit even if I have secretly cried many times. Because I did it once; I gave up, just when I was about to get the thing I wanted. Well life is pretty sweet and has so many clever tricks.
Recently, I have been promoted to Senior Associate, which I did not expect to be this soon, and which at first I was afraid of becoming. And just like you, I am still in the learning process, still immature, and still in the pursuit of achieving greater success.Now, I am handling a number of staff and have been assigned to a very proactive client. They are wracking all the nerves out of me – asking every question they could ask. Then just like one bathroom shower when life decisions are made, my client has made me realize – everything is just perfect! Who would have thought one could use Law, Management Accounting, Financial Accounting, and Auditing Theory in just one job? All are my favorites!
I guess I do really have such a creative Writer from above. He makes my life such a page-turner. Stories at some point are just the same, so might as well say this: if you feel like you are shrinking now, you have to remind yourself that at times you have to let yourself stumble and fall. After all, the darkest part of the night comes right before the dawn.