And today marks Chapter 28! Older and hopefully wiser! When I was younger (i.e. teenager), I was never really that big with birthdays. It was just another day to get old and add another number to my age. But funnily, when I had a marathon of Charmed episodes again in my early twenties, that episode where John Cho had a guest appearance made me realize how important birthdays should be treated. It should be considered special, regardless how it would be celebrated because it marks LIFE, simple as that. And that forever changed the way I view birthdays.
I got really sweet presents as well! The first one was from Faye, who celebrates her birthday a day after me. She got me a Paris-themed weekly scheduler and its smell instantly reminded me of the books I used to borrow from the library when I was still in grade school (took me a while to put my finger on it!). I also got to blow a candle on a mini-chocolate cake from Mon. =D I know for a fact that he has already foregone the idea of giving me a full-sized one because I don’t really like carrying boxes around with me, especially commuting home. And in a not-so-surprising-move, I even put this small cake inside my bag. Luckily it wasn’t smashed when I got home.
Then entering our house, I was surprised to see my sister and nephew still awake. My sister gave me this beyond-cute cake, with my age and name on it, while JB handed me two personalized cards from him and Brie. He does that every year and I was ready to bet anything that there will be something astronomy-related in his drawing:
I had my glasses on, the telescope has the brand written over it, and even that circular tray to hold the different eyepieces was included. It was really thoughtful of him and that is the exact reason why I can’t always say no to this boy. He definitely has his ways, even at an early age. LOL
Last Wednesday, I went to that interview I was talking about in the previous post. I was told it would last from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM, which was a peculiar duration for such an activity. But when I had been informed later on that six people would be interviewing me, I stopped wondering (anyway, the last interview got finished almost at 7:00 PM, for a total of 6 hours). I arrived five minutes before 1:00 PM to their office in Pasay, because I got lost for a couple of minutes. I have realistic expectations coming in to their premises, compensation-wise or the workplace itself. I am looking for at least a volunteer position in a humanitarian organization after all.
My interview immediately started and I barely had enough time to compose myself for the first one. Each of the interview, from the person I would be potentially replacing, to the kind French staff (who conducted the interview in French with a moment’s warning), to the distinguished lady who has once worked as USec for DSWD, to the executive assistant, to the deputy executive director and finally the founder of the organization, all of them gave me good insight of what to expect. I jokingly compared the whole experience as the Pokemon League. Jokes aside, it was a very humbling and exciting experience to learn what the responsibility entails, to know the effect of the work will be to people who are affected by conflict and disasters, and to be given the opportunity to work in their organization. It came to the point where I got emotional (i.e. I cried, yes! Imagine? I CRIED) because I was so overcome with a lot of thoughts and emotions, as well as concerns and what-ifs.
Bottom line: I knew that I want to work in this sector in a long-term basis. It is something I have consistently ignored but finally confronting that “existential crisis” I was having has liberated me. Again, there are concerns, both financially and also the questioning of my capability (what if I won’t be able to deliver what was expected of me) but I’ll have faith that there must be something that I have to contribute to what they do. I came in with, again, a volunteer position in mind, but I was offered to work on something that has more responsibilities to work on — even more than the non-volunteer post that I have initially indicated. I am still humbled and it furthermore ignited that desire to move on to new challenges. I think at this point, a lot of people I know will be really baffled over the idea of “Bry, the social worker”, or “Bry from the NGO”, because I don’t really give off that vibe that I’m interested in the field. But I know deep in my heart, that amidst the hedonism and materialistic ways, I am capable of doing something with the skills I have acquired throughout the years.
Of course, it will be a phase full of uncertainty. Moving on from the doldrums of my everyday life and embarking on new and productive challenges, it will be difficult. I know that I personally won’t be able to totally let go of my love for, at least, dressing nicely or something similar to that, but I will definitely make sure that it will be in good taste and inoffensive (I don’t really need to specify why, I think). I still have until Monday to make a final decision and if money were not an issue, I would have said yes last Wednesday. But I’m a realistic person, aware of my responsibilities not only to myself but to my family. I am “80% yes” four hours ago, but after talking to one of my managers, trying to figure out the best for everybody’s interest, I am now “90% yes”. To hear that a consensus can be agreed upon, with me working even in a part-time capacity just to reconcile my conflicting interests, will definitely be the surest way to get that “100%”.
Anyway, this soliloquy has gotten quite long, but I’m comforted by the idea that potentially in two months time, I could be truly doing something that I love, using what I learned from graduate school on something productive and no longer turning a blind eye over the realities of what’s out there. Again, the lines “There’s only so much you can learn in one place / The more that you wait, the more time that you waste”, made more sense to me. If I were to postpone joining an NGO tomorrow, next week, next month or next year, the more the disparity in compensation would be pronounced, unless I try to do something about it as soon as possible It won’t be easy, but I’m indeed ready to jump given a workable opportunity for all parties.
HAPPY 28th BIRTHDAY TO ME!