Thursday, February 28, 2013

License to Freedom

Six years overdue, I finally received the shiny card granting me the privilege to responsibly and safely operate an automobile. Several trips on days with much unwelcome rains and endless waiting in pointless, disorganized queues resulted in my name printed on a Restriction Two, Condition A non-professional driver's license.

It was a license to a new freedom.

As I was driving home with my mom, she told me how careful I was since now, I had a license to protect. Before, I was driving under a student license -- lawful consequences of my actions had little weight on my shoulders. But now, things are much, much different. Each and every missed red light is now against my name. Each yield sign driven without pause can put other motorists in danger because of me. Every lane change without a polite signal can cause much unneeded stress because of my lack of discipline.

She was right.

As I patiently waited for pedestrians to cross, I suddenly became fearful of driving. There are so many things to be aware of all at the same time. There are so many things that can happen that can cost lives. There are so many responsibilities tied to driving, and I am not so sure I like them all.

Gently stepping on the gas, I firmly held the steering wheel as the car moved forward. I have received not only a license to freedom, but a license to do things I have never done before. I am no longer just a passenger. I can now steer my own vehicle and bring it to places it has never been to.

Now, I can follow all those uncharted roads in my life because for once, I have proven that I can: the shiny license bearing my name has given me freedom to believe in myself.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

An Opportunity Found

A few days ago, a very unexpected mail from my practice manager found its way to my tediously organized inbox. I didn't quite understand the subject line and honestly thought I was wrongly included in the mail. Filled with curiosity, I clicked on the link and read the contents.

It was a mail stating I was chosen to be a lead of a new project and was slated to train in New Zealand for two to three months. The first thing that entered my mind was to which label should the mail fall under, because it was the first time I had received such.

It was an opportunity that so few people in the office receive. I wasn't happy; rather a complete feeling of being torn overwhelmed me. My heart began to race as the news started to sink in. My hands became clumsy as it shook uncontrollably. I managed to reply to her saying I want to talk to her about some concerns regarding the new project. After nervously sending the reply and swallowing the tension as hard as I could, I waited for her response, and soon enough, it came.

Hours after the email, I found myself sitting inside the workspace of my project manager. I told her that I was feeling anxious about the new assignment, that it wasn't what I wanted to be. After two years in my company, I have finally found what career I wanted to have. I told her that it would be such a loss if I turned down the golden opportunity to train in another country for a couple of months, but I then I doubted if I would excel and step up in the new project since it laid outside of my sphere of interests. She told me that I shouldn't be disheartened, because I have already set my goals, and the offer wasn't aligned to what I wanted to become: an expert in the business technology knowledge of the airline industry.

In her experience and in a true programmer's words, she shared to me that an opportunity not chosen is not a missed opportunity when that opportunity is not what one really wants. The feeling of resentment comes from the fact that it was a big offer for someone like me. But I realized a deeper sense of guilt will take root in me if ever I decide to leave behind what I love doing just for the sake of not missing an opportunity.

That mail I received was an opportunity for me to stand for what I wanted and desired to be.