Looking Back before Moving Forward to 2018

Today, I can say that welcoming my 25th year wouldn’t be that bad after I have grown to know more about myself as well as the different things that truly matter to me. However, before I can move forward to welcoming 2018, there are a lot of experiences that I need to look back to as I reflect and finally put them out of my mind and my heart. This is me letting go of those moments for me to have space for new ones in my head and my heart.

June 2013 – early 2015

  • ESL work -> got burned out from it 😦

Right after graduation, there were a lot of experiences that opened my eyes to how different it was to be a student and to be a part of the workforce. I spent almost two years of my post-grad concerns focused on a job which challenged me a lot (physically, mentally, and emotionally).

This was the time I realized that I wasn’t that good enough to be working in this field, but I didn’t let that stop me from doing well. So, I studied, I practiced, I endured, and I became a better ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher than how I thought I could be. Though, there were still a number of times when I truly wanted to cry from exhaustion and just quit. Like why in the first place was I there? I wasn’t even a speech communication graduate; I chose writing as my major!

Honestly, for the first three to five months, I had always thought of quitting. Then, the kids came to the academy. I had to endure all the challenges and faced them head-on. I loved the kids, I loved how I was sharing a part of my knowledge with them, and I love how I was becoming a part of their growth as an individual. As I saw them improve, I felt that I needed to be there to guide them. This was not an entirely good choice, though.

In the middle of all those, the kids didn’t see how I had to spend extra hours in a day just to fit in their schedules. I had to exhaust myself to the point where I got too emotional already and it affected the way I interact with people at home. But, I continued until I couldn’t take it anymore. There was that realization that why the hell was I sacrificing all these hard work plus I didn’t have any benefits AT ALL. No SSS, no Philhealth, and others. It was simply me realizing my worth and how what I was doing could affect my future in the long run. So, I quit.

late 2015 – early 2017

After leaving my ESL job, honestly, I was a bit lost. I couldn’t find a job because I needed a break first. It took me like two months to start looking for my next job. But, with my experience and my then not-so-high self-esteem/confidence, it took me six long months to go out and finally land a job.

Now that I am looking back at that six-month-long break, I was simply not ready to face the kind of treatment and experiences I had before. I got scared. This fear gradually became frustration as I couldn’t find the “right” place for me. Even though I had some small writing projects in between, it was not enough for me to help my family. During those times, I still was the only one who finished a degree and I needed to support my two younger siblings who were still in college. But, because of those writing opportunities, I decided that maybe it was time for me to look for a job related to my major. With this, I became a web content writer and met wonderfully smart individuals who I shared more than a year with before the project ended in early 2017.

The months I worked typing words over and over became an outlet for me to reflect and see that I missed interacting with students. I missed sharing experiences and knowledge with them. So, even though my job already required me to finish 16-20 articles per day, I looked for a part-time work – here’s me going back to ESL.

jmasalgado (1)
I was starting to explore more. I was becoming more comfortable in my own skin.

2017

I enjoyed what I worked on in 2016 and continued with it until 2017. I learned a lot. I started expanding my social circle and decided to improve myself. I planned to take up my MA which I did and completed from January-May of 2017. [But, I think I might need to shift course] 

Anyhow, as I bid goodbye to my writing adventure, I searched for another online writing opportunity. But, I guess God wants me to really be in the field of teaching. I ended up with my current position now as an educator. However, before I got started there, 2017 was the year I finally decided to travel more. I stepped out of my comfort zone and wanted to see more adventures beyond my work and home (as well as school). I saw that it was beautiful. I wish to continue those in 2018.

I learned that through time and the different stages of challenging situations, knowing myself well keeps me sane. That there is still a lot I can experience, I can see, and I can overcome. I just have to look forward and trust the way life is leading me. After all, five years after graduating from college is still an early step in fully understanding my purpose here. But, I am happy to say that I am getting there, gradually.

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