My husband was seriously engaged watching an old movie on TV recently when he suddenly started laughing. It turned out the outfit of characters in the film reminded him of his childhood dramatic play of “grown up.” I briefly glanced at the TV screen to get an idea of what he was talking about. As I watched, I saw a black and white movie from the 1960s, a period where wearing conservative clothes and hats were the norm. Women then were wearing long coats that were knee length, while men’s fashion imitated Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando. My husband revealed that when he was still young he watched TV a lot, and copied what he saw from the actors. He recounted, he would usually play with his dad’s Fedora hats, business jackets and ties. He would carry his own brief case and pretend to be a Private Detective on the job. Little did he know that while he was playing investigator – wearing jacket with sleeves hanging out and tie reaching down his knees – his curious mom was closely watching him. One day while he was busy going around the house portraying his favorite role, his mom, who couldn’t help herself anymore, posed the question: “what are you doing, son?” Without batting an eye, our lead man answered with all earnestness, “Hold on, Ma. I have a big case – no time to talk.”
True enough, decades later my husband handled hundreds of different cases in his chosen profession. He was able to realize the character he played as a young boy, and became his dream unknowingly. Until the day he shared his story with me, who would have thought?
I guess this is what they call subliminal affirmation. It is not what you dream or hope for, but rather what you believe you can be, for whatever the mind can perceive, the body can surely achieve. I must admit, this incident mystified me. Believe it or not, it has been in my mind since my husband related to me his funny revelation. One thing is for sure, I did portray a mother role in my childhood dramatic play of “grown up”, but what other roles did I play? – I am still doing a mental inventory: tossing, turning, twisting, squeezing, and squashing my gray matter until a flash from the past will be revealed to me in detail. I certainly need to recall them though, for it may be my BIG lead to a dream job that I have been trying to realize for myself. Hopefully, one that trips my trigger where work seems like play.
Only by much searching and mining are gold and diamonds obtained, and man can find every truth connected with his being if he will dig deep into the mine of his soul.~ James Allen Quotes from As a Man Thinketh
I dedicate this blog in honor of our 2nd wedding anniversary
“There’s a cure for success-stress syndrome: Surrender!”
Reading Kristine Kathryn Rush’s* compelling theory about success made me ponder for a while. I guess she was right in saying that success is more complicated than failure, for its meaning is quite subjective and very much dependent on who is giving the definition. While the dictionary usually associates success to social standing and wealth, often than not, it carries a more personal meaning that is deeper than we might imagine.
For instance, I know that I made my husband panic the other day when I told him that if I had my choice I would rather work part-time. Not that I am tired of working, but I feel that this arrangement would allow me to spend more of my energy playing my role as a homemaker: taking care of the house leisurely and attending to my husband’s needs without being grumpy which is usually caused by stress. I thought it would be a perfect role – at least for me. After all, since we married late I imagine this set-up would help us compensate for the lost time. However, as agreeable as my husband can be; he strongly felt that my wishful thinking could be a waste of my education, personal self-fulfillment, and perhaps would be interpreted by some as being slovenly and idle.
I cannot blame my husband for his view. I know that I literally bribed myself to finish writing my thesis paper for my Master’s Degree; rewarding myself with a trip abroad once that last paper was done. It was a no joke proposition! Not only was the research process tedious; but my reward to myself of travel also drained my bank account to the max. But who cares? Receiving the well-coveted title was like walking on the moon. Nothing can beat that overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. To me, it’s a BIG time success!
But here’s the thing. People change over time, and so as their outlook and definitions of things. I look back on my prior career in the Indonesian Embassy, and after being surrounded for 15 years by powerful men and women while I was serving in the diplomatic mission, I can honestly say that my education has served enough a noble purpose for at least one lifetime.
If you’re wondering if I have always thought this way? The answer is no. As a matter of fact, on the contrary, in 2006 I was enticed by my ambition to expand and advance my career opportunities. At that point I never thought of wanting to work part-time, or placed my education on the back burner. When I found myself being offered a teaching job by a charter school in Nevada, I started dreaming about the American dream. I put all my energy and resources on the table just to secure a US working visa legally, and combined them with prayers. Every night I would religiously pass the church before going home; I would kneel down on my knees and with all earnestness begged God to give me a visa. However, despite my persistence, my prayers didn’t seem to strike a chord. Heaven remained still; there was not even a sign: no thunder, no lightning, and – yes, NO Visa came.
But it may be true that it is when we are broken to pieces and torn apart that God takes us into His loving arms and makes us whole again. It was in the midst of my debilitating pain and disappointments that God orchestrated His great plan for me. Without a working visa consuming my mind’s attention, I was able to turn my focus to my God’s greatest gift – the man, I did not know, He was preparing for me. All the time I was healing my broken heart, it was my long time American friend who was consoling me. From friendship, our relationship evolved to love, and it did not take long for us to pick up God’s message. We got engaged after months of seriously dating and a year later, instead of receiving just a working visa, I was granted a wonderful husband and a Green card. Now everything makes sense. The jumbled puzzle pieces have all been put to places, and now I understand why I have to go through a failure. God’s love is magnificent. Sometimes He allows us to go through some setbacks so we can let go of our “cheap” desires and receive more of His great blessings.
Looking back, I realized that success happens when we step in faith and align our plan with His. As the bible says, “commit thy ways unto the Lord: trust also on Him. And He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:5.
* Kristine Kathryn Rush, Success, kristinekathrynrush.com
GLIDING TO THE FINISH LINE!
I remember watching the Figure Skating Competition of the Vancouver Olympics last year. The performances were truly breathtaking; they just blew me away. I could not believe that at very young age, many of our athletes have already accomplished so much. I saw figure skater Mirai Nagasu of United States bled her nose after a stunning performance. She was just amazing with all her glides, flip jumps, and toe loops. It was almost like seeing her fly.
While I was all glued on our TV screen watching Mirai in the ice rinks, I wondered how many times have I also glided and flip jumped in my life. In my two years stay here in the US, I know that I also have experienced going through a bumpy road to get where I want to be professionally. My nose has been in books endlessly, so to speak: taking courses after courses; sitting for exams after exams; and submitting applications after applications. It was a long process. However, with faith and strong determination, I was able to make it. Early this year, I received my eligibility to teach ESOL K-12 from Florida Department of Education after successfully passing its Teachers Certification Exam in ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages). Likewise, just recently I received my Voluntary PreKinder teaching credential after completing my Early Childhood Development courses at the St. Petersburg College.
True, the experience may be less deadly considering that I didn’t have to literally throw myself on the air and land my feet on the ground unscathed, but I thought it was all the same gliding, flip jumping – and yes, nose bleeding, the way I was called for to do so.
I am sure for the athletes, the awards and honor truly mean a lot. But to me, who didn’t risk the same kind of life threatening danger, just to reach the finish line, knowing I do and give my best, is indeed more than enough.
I believe I can fly! My Tip:
Receiving a degree or license from the Philippines or any other country does not automatically mean that it has the same equivalency to its counterpart in the new country you are residing. It helps to have your credentials evaluated by a reputable organization, such as World Educators Services (WES). http://www.wes.org/index.asp