Thursday, July 28, 2011

So, maybe this is what it means…..

Life begins at 40.

Never really understood that. And of course, who in the right mind will feel alive at that age!. Or so I thought when I was 25. When I felt that I was on top of the world.

I still feel that way though – that at the age of 25 I had what I have always wanted: a job that I loved, and I was getting very good at doing it too. Cause my late father once said, find a job that you love doing so you don’t feel down when things are down at work, or even when you have to bend your back while doing it. And that time, I never felt any burden at all even when I had to come home at 9.

Plus, doing the job that I loved that could give me money to travel!. Ha!, never thought I would be that lucky!.

So at 25, I enjoyed my work. I travelled where my money could take me. I could finally learn to scuba dive. I could give some of my money to my parents (and my God that felt good too!). I could buy my own needs. And, I could finally think of the next chapter of my life: living alone in another country. Life, was great.

Then time flew. Suddenly, I was 30.

And still I felt good. I was never a person who carefully plan my life anyway so I was happy to find out that I was worth a position that I thought I would never reach till I was more than 30!. So I was ecstatic. Though of course, not being married at that age, was a bit of an annoyance cause I became like an alien in my mother’s big family. But I had other things going so it was fine. And God was good. Just before I turned 31, I met someone with whom 3 months after we met, we decided to get married. So, what more could I ask for?. Life was great, still.

Until, I reached my late 30.

I began to question a lot of things. Mainly about what was it that I wanted. What was it that I was looking for, really.

Career was never the thing to me. Cip always said that I should be very proud for becoming the number one person in the company where I worked in, at the age of 34. Relatively young, he said. But to me that never mattered very much. I was just (still) happy that I could do the job that I love. So positions never really mattered.

So what was it then?. I began to get restless.

What I knew I enjoyed very much at that time, was becoming a mother. Another full time job that I was (and still am) passionate about. And I guess I was among those few lucky people who could still juggle my life OK despite the fact that I had a demanding responsibility at work. I had a good partner by my side.

So, yeah, life was still great. But still, I was restless.

Until some months before I finally hit 40, I found what has made me so restless. Change. That was it. I needed to do something different again. To feel ecstatic again about doing something.

I looked back and was happy with every single fragment of my life. But during the almost 40 years, I only challenged myself once, to do the thing that I knew I would never fit in. To become the head of a business. Something that I actually dreaded.

God knew how I actually knew I would never enjoy the responsibility. And frankly, I never did. But I stayed on that job for 5 years. I have had my moments of happiness, as well as sorrow. And I learned a lot. But those were perhaps the toughest 5 years of my life. Because I had to fight with myself every single day. I woke up everyday saying, “I will survive, again, today”.

Why did I do it?. I guess it was the learning opportunity. And maybe I was also crazy. Crazy enough to bear the things that I actually disliked, just to show to myself that I was tough enough for the challenge.

Then it all had to stop under the name of a merger. I smoothly sailed again with another ship. Still doing the job that I love, without that huge responsibility.

For a while, I was happy. For a while, I thought this was it. I could still juggle motherhood and work well. I could still have my personal time. I could still travel. And yet, after a while, something bugged me again.

Life was becoming too easy. I faced challenges that were too familiar and yet, I could do nothing to change it. And I did not enjoy that. I wanted to be in the action again. Just like the old times.

And that was when I knew I had to take another huge challenge. To face something that I was always afraid about. But this time, I had to be sure that I again had people who I could rely on. And I guess again I was lucky to have found one.

So here I am now. A business owner. Something that I was always afraid of in the past. So many ‘what if’ crossed my mind every time I thought about becoming one in the past. And those ‘what ifs’ were very effective to stop my steps.

But now, it did not matter. As long as we plan it well, somehow I knew we will be able to make it. it’s just a matter of commitment and dedication. Well, not ‘just’, not easy, but still I know we have those.

And it so happens that all this happened when I hit my 40. And yeah, I felt alive. Actually felt more alive than when I was at 25!. I felt that my steps now are a lot wider. My heart a lot stronger. My soul a lot tougher. That I really feel that I can say, “C’mon life, bring it on, challenge me!”.

I guess, now I can understand what it means by that line. Now, I think I can relate to that feeling. The feeling of ecstasy, optimism and hope, that life has just started again. That this is a new era for me, an era of crafting a change that I know I am able to do.

And that feeling, I know will last long. Just like that spirit of 25 has brought me to this point. This time, I guess it will carry me to sail through to my 60s, or even 70s, if God still allows me to live that long.

(R I R I)

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