The Road Not Taken

Hi. So. I might as well address the elephant in the room―I’m back in college again this semester! Pursuing something that I truly (desperately) want for a change.

I’m not sure if it comes as a surprise to most people, if it seems like something that just happened all of a sudden―I just wanna say that it isn’t. I didn’t say anything about it online, yes. I didn’t post any photos of my new ID after enrollment, I didn’t share a big life event on Facebook, I don’t think I dropped any hints… But this has been a long time coming. At least a year or so, in my mind. I wasn’t optimistic that things would actually move in this direction, so I kept mum about it, and even when, a few weeks ago, it started becoming more of a reality rather than just a distant dream, I still felt like it wasn’t something I wanted to sensationalize. (And I have an issue with oversharing on social networks. You know this.) It’s exciting, yes, but it’s not at all rewarding just yet―more than anything, it’s still a struggle. And that’s what I want to emphasize. Like, I’ve already received messages saying I’ve inspired people and stuff like that, but: Hold up. It doesn’t feel like Fuck yeah! This is what dreams are made of! yet, actually, so…yeah. It’s like being back to square one; I’m way older than my classmates; I have less patience for schooling now that I’ve experienced what the working life is like; I literally have a different set of classmates for each of my classes and if I weren’t as introverted as I am, this would be very lonely and disheartening; worst of all―this is gonna take a while. A long, long while. And there are no more take-backs this time. This is it.

I can’t even say it’s all gonna be worth it just yet; it’s way too early for that.

But I’m happy. Happier.

But yeah: I don’t want to talk about in detail. I think, in retrospect, I could, but not right now as I’m living it―I want the burden to be just mine for now. It’s like the conversation I had with my younger brother when I first told him my plans―he was itching to tell someone else, and I was like, “Why? You don’t need to. It’s no big deal.” And he was like, “YOU ARE GOING BACK TO SCHOOL AGAIN. That is a big deal!” Me: “I don’t want it to be.” I actually regret a little that I’ve tweeted some school-related stuff over the past few days cus now it’s like…everyone has picked up on it and is asking me about it. I was certainly less squirmy when this was just My Big Secret (The Internet Has No Idea). Now it’s not a secret anymore, but I still don’t wanna make such a huge fuss about it, ya know?

Just five things:

  1. I think some of you may have questions running in your minds. But what about―? But what happens to―? But why will you―? But how about―? Surely you can’t―? Are you not worried that―? Let me tell you this: All your questions, I’ve already asked myself a hundred, thousand times over. I’ve asked myself questions you haven’t even dreamed of. So I am well aware of all the things that seem wrong and could go wrong in this picture, and I am also aware of all the other options that “make more sense,” and yet my answer is still that this is the thing that feels the most right in my heart.
  2. I am so thankful for my friends! Like, gosh????? I spent a long, long time feeling like I was the only one who believed that this is the right thing for me, a long time talking about it to people I respect and them looking at me like I’ve gone insane. There were way too many people whose first reactions were, “Really? Are you sure?” and I was used to that; I was used to having to reassure myself that I’m sure. But now I’m kind of finding out who the people who know me best are, because their primary reactions were all, “OMG I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!” with All Caps and No Buts. I cannot. I seriously, seriously love you guys. You get it. (What did I do to deserve such wonderful friends???) (Also, was I really so obviously miserable before? LOL)
  3. I won’t chuck my medical technologist license away. Obviously. Wherever I go from here, that’s always gonna be with me. And love serves, still.
  4. I don’t wanna name names here, but the professor who interviewed me as part of my enrollment process did wonders to my self-esteem―he was one of the very few people who listened to my story with a huge goofy grin on his face. No skepticism or judgment―just amusement and encouragement and maybe even a little bit of awe. “This is such a unique case!” he told me, laughing at the absurdity of it. “I want to help you out!” It made me feel cool. Like what I was about to do is ridiculous, sure, but it’s also awesome, and I’m capable of pulling it off, ya know? He’s now my Programming teacher and as early as now I already know I chose the right university to enroll in!
  5. I know people on the Internet always advise that you should follow your heart and do what you love and all that, but I think they forget to say that it’s not something you’re entitled to. It’s not a right. It’s a privilege. I think it’s such a first-world thing, even. Most people don’t get to do it because of the difficult circumstances they’re in, sometimes even circumstances they’re born to, circumstances they can’t change even if they dreamed of it. Their problems are so much worse than just “Am I happy with my job?” So when a door happens to open for you, maybe you could call it destiny, but you should also count yourself extremely lucky. I mean, it takes money. Resources. Opportunity. Most people don’t have that luxury. So as for me, I take none―NONE―of this for granted. I know I am one lucky bitch to even be given a second chance. There were a million ways for it to go wrong, and just one way for it to turn out right for me, and it still happened, and I am beyond grateful. I know that a lot of money is being spent on me, when I should already be in fact done with all of this. So, really, when it rains the best of blessings, may it drench my kuya, whose generosity I don’t even know how to repay, and my parents, who supported me in getting my first degree and my professional license, and who are still willing to put up with my shit despite everything. You are saints. “Praise the bridge that carried you over”―you are my bridge.

Finally… I know I need not justify myself, but this was something I read recently (from a romance novel actually, haha) that ultimately pushed me over the edge:

“You see, there are two kinds of people in this world, son: those who can live quite happily without passion and those who were never meant to.”

I was never meant to.