My Life's Heroes
I, myself have my own heroes. The people that I am going to mention are chosen not because they are closest to me, because they literally took the steering wheel of my life and directed my pathway to somewhere else, in spite of the fact that I objected such action. These are the people, who unnecessarily went beyond the kind of understanding an patience in their respective roles in my life.
There was one time after graduating primary school, I was accepted in two scholarships outside my town in the most prestigious public school in my country. Ofcourse, I was excited for I was young and I know being educated in such school would definitely change my life and even increase possibilities of getting a good future. I was eager to go but not my grandfather. He will be the one deciding on our expenses. I felt sad.
After finishing four years in high school in a local school, which my grandfather and parents chose for me, I was accepted again in the three most popular schools in the country. I had scholarships in all universities, and the best of which is for me to be given the opportunity to finish medicine in seven years in the country's top university. In the same university, I was admitted to nursing, which only admits less than a hundred students throughout the country, they say. Only a handful of students are given that opportunity but my grandfather declined. But I pushed through. I went to the capital city Manila to enroll myself together with my mother. After five days of staying in the most populous and densed part of the country, I decided to go home without clarity in reasoning and followed my grandfather's advice.
My grandfather was correct. Now I understand. His wisdom reached the things that could happen today. He thought I was not prepared emotionally and mentally to face challenges. He waited for the right time. With what is happening in life, he proved to me I could get my goals still, even without doing all those things I wanted. When I was 25 years old, he finally encouraged me to go outside the country. I did not understand at first because I already had a stable job. But he wanted me to see the world in a different perspective. He was right. Now I appreciate my purpose in life and Oslo is a place that made me realize there greater things I could do for myself and for others.
2. MY MOTHER AND FATHER
Forgive for putting both them only in one section. But I think I could explain better if I do it in this way. Let me tell you about my parents first. My father only finished high school and my mother did not finished high school. They started working at a very young age. My father worked as a driver, utility, assistant mechanic and market/ ice cream vendor. On the other hand, my mother worked as a helper or house maid. Destiny made my father and mother meet at our present house where my father and mother were employed by my great grandparents as helpers in our store and our house. They were trusted that they were allowed to live in our house after they got married. And so, we, their children was also allowed to live and even was entrusted the ownership of our grocery store, which was one of the first few stores established in our city. They were also able to manage a rice farm.
It was not easy. My parents were not used to handling their money properly. Simply, their experiences in life did not prepare them for such sudden change in their financial status. They did not save and spent more. After few years of their management, the store was bankrupt and the farm was plagued by pests and hit by calamities, thereby, affecting the family's expenses. Worse, they had a rift with my grandfather (mentioned in number 1) making things worst. My parents wanted to go out of the shadow of my grandfather and somehow resulted for us to face extraordinary financial difficulties. Literally, food in the table was a problem and most importantly expenses for our education was ultimately affected for my grandfather would help us minimally. Moreover, the failures made my father more alcoholic, but luckily when he is sober, he is well.
Ofcourse, my parents are my heroes. When I arrived late from school project yet unfinished, they wait for me and even finish the project, in behalf of me for me to sleep. My father worked as a farm laborer for days, sleeping outside just to give us money for school. He was judged by the community as the person who does not pay debts, because he needs to pay for a meager tuition fee. I can not do their sacrifices for us. They faced shame, judgment and stress just to send us to school. This made me motivated to do good in school and excelled in my endeavours. Until now, I can not forget the times that my parents, I and my sister have to sleep during Christmas eve because we do not have food in the table to celebrate. Humbling, but my parents were there for us, not because they were our parents, because they wanted to prove to themselves and to others that people with poor background can achieve something in life.
3. MY SISTER
When I was young, I quarreled with my sister a lot. I though she was a growing villain of my childhood. We argue a lot on things. We totally lived parallel lives, it did not intersect in any point. Things changed when my parents experienced financial problems. She started talking at a different tone. We started discussing things for our family. We still disagree on many things, but we just stop them for we saw no point of doing so in the midst of our family problems. She became a silent mediator between my grandfather and my parents. Honestly, I did not see her as more important than my parents or my grandfather before.
Suddenly, things changed when she was in college. She got pregnant just before her graduation. Tradition dictated that she must marry the father of her child. So she did. She almost was not allowed to graduate because she will have a lot of academic deficiencies during the pregnancy. Just before the last semester of her education, she married while she had a 9-month-baby bump walking down the church main aisle. After 1 week, she delivered my niece. It was the start of the semester. Even though, she gave birth, she enrolled and was determined to finish the last semester to finish schooling. After a successful Cesarean birth, for two weeks, she tried recuperate and went back to school and fulfilled her academic duties.
As part of the starting family, she encountered marital problems and has affected her performance in her licensure examinations before being allowed to work. She did not make it. It was a sharp contrast from what I achieved. She continued and persevered and passed it the next time. Eager to work, she pushed herself to work. Amazingly, she was hired in a school and a review institution simultaneously. After having more marital and family problems, she decided to go abroad in London and went back again and became unemployed for 1 year. She decided to go work overseas again and decided to go Norway. Before she left for Norway, she had no idea what she is going through.
Now, how did my sister became my hero? Aside from inspiring me to do better, given the challenges she faced. She literally laid the pathway for me to follow. When she had difficulties in her licensure examination, she reminded me of her mistakes. It helped and I topped the national examination. The school and review institution also became my employers. She left these jobs, when she observed I am able to stand on my own. Whatever she did, I unconsciously followed. Suddenly, I disagreed with her upon deciding to go abroad. I opted to go to Middle East, not Norway, since I wanted to prove myself away for her shadows. Even with reservation, she agreed, however, she challenged me to pray harder than what she would because she really wanted me to go to Norway with her. I defied her and searched ways to go to Middle East. I failed, but I just did not give up. Suddenly fate backed my sister, she knew she was pregnant just before she travelled to Norway. Oh no! That was my initial reaction. I know it would be a difficult pregnancy for her because she chose to pursue still Norway. Just one morning, I woke up with the decision of going to Norway. My parents and my grandfather were supportive of it.
While my sister was in Norway, she was not able to work because she had bleeding episodes during the pregnancy. I was on standby because she will be the one to tell me when she needs me. Another sudden twist, my sister decided to give birth in the Philippines, giving me time to stay in the country and travel just before my visa expires. It has her advice and she was correct. Should I have not followed her, my life in Norway could be a lot different and more difficult. She prepared things for me and even showed me the pathway towards my present work here in Norway. She is extremely helpful, although I sometimes question her decisions and arguments, but at the end, I proved myself wrong and herself correct.
Lastly, I could not be the person I am now without these heroes I consider for my life. They became instruments for me to reach my goals and motivated me to aiming for the better. It is them that made me believe that things are possible when you just believe on it. Why should I doubt, when my heroes can help me with my goals directly and indirectly? They did contribute for me to be dependent to them, but they are also the one who pushed me to stand on my feet without their help and make decisions, based on the influences they have inculcated in me.