10 Memories of the My Life's First Ten Thousand Days

Today (February 8, 2015) marks my 10000th day on earth. In this day, I would like to remember the 10 most memorable experiences I had in my life, which are worth remembering and sharing. Perhaps, only some of my closest friends and family members know about some of these events. However, I am making this post for others to know me better and perhaps get some inspiration and lessons from my experiences.

First 1000 days: September 23, 1987 to June 19, 1990
Early life in a very close-knit family

I only remember very little about this stage. It is expected just anybody else. However, I remember that this stage is perhaps the least complicated and most comfortable period in my life. During the day, my mother, father, grandparents take turns in taking care of me. Every need was addressed. They were present 24 hours a day. I remember they take turns in making fine gentle strokes in my back and hips until I fall asleep. As a result, I cannot sleep without anyone beside me. Others noticed that me and my sister were seldom heard crying since we were both at peace, given that almost all our needs were met.

Second 1000 days: June 20, 1990 to March 15, 1993
Development of Talents, Diagnoses

Many do not know that at an early age, I had inclination in arts. I even wrote once in an autograph that my first ambition in life is to be a painter. I even complete set of art materials at home. Of course, my parents and grandparents provided me those stuff. Until now I do have the inclination in arts, but simply I do not have the time. Moreover, I also had my first experience in theater arts. I first played Joseph in the story of Nativity in kindergarten school. Dancing was also developed on this period. Furthermore, my past time was lego and watching TV. I remember going to my grandmother’s house just to watch TV in a black and white set with bad connection. This lead my grandfather to buy our own TV set. Another thing interesting at during this period I was diagnosed having a benign tumor at the back part of my knee. My sister also had the same tumor growth. The tumor was removed several months after my sister got operated as well. In addition to that, at the age of 4, I was diagnosed to have ulceration on my gastrointestinal tract and was prohibited to drink acidic foods including soft drinks for a long time. This I complied for 12 years.

Third 1000 days: March 16, 1993 to December 10, 1995
Shielded Childhood

After finishing kindergarten school, I started going to a Catholic school. There my life was much shielded. School in weekdays, tutor in weekend and home. I did not have the chance to play with my neighbors before. My parents and grandparents made sure that I and my sister cannot go out from our house. They rent VHS tapes for us to see in the weekends. We do not have strict restriction in watching TV, because after class hours, we were obliged to finish all our assignments before going home. My mother accompanies us to school every morning, and delivers warm food for lunch; while my father fetched us from school late in the afternoon. They do this, in spite of the fact that our house is ten kilometers from school and few public transport vehicles passed by our house during that time.

Fourth 1000 days: December 11, 1995 to September 5, 1998
Awareness of Capacities, Weird Habits

In this time, I realize I have limitations that keeps me from achieving things. In school, I was simply an average student, trying my best to do all tasks presented to me. Even though I was underrated that time, I can say that in that early years, I realize I can do more and achieve more. I exerted extreme diligence in school. I gathered all medals, ribbons and certificates I receive to inspire me to do more. Every time, we have visitors at home, there will always be an opportunity to tell them my achievements. It felt good and became a vicious cycle of wanting to achieve more. Moreover, I started to have disturbing weird habits that continued even for almost a decade. During summer, after the recognition ceremonies in school by March, I stay at home almost in the entire 2 months. I only go out when enrolment period comes. In my idle times, I had a bunch of papers where I write so many numbers, which were randomly drawn and assigned. From there, I started computing whole day from morning until night time, while watching TV. More weird is that I make imaginary maps, where I named imaginary countries and cities on it, describing in details their imaginary resources and economies. In addition, I play most often alone with fire and sand. I gather boxes and set them in fire, while I watch. While I play outside in sand and mud, making imaginary kingdoms out of it, digging waterworks and building fortress around it.

Fifth 1000 days: September 6, 1998 to June 1, 2001
Sudden shifts, Worthwhile Lessons

Almost every need and want were met by my family. We were not rich but my parents see to it that when we ask for something, they are able to provide it for us. However, all of these changed when our primary sources of income were compromised, affected by the Asian crisis, several extreme weather disturbances, unnecessary expenses and escalating lifestyle. Literally, one day I just woke up my mother saying to me that we no longer have money to spend, even for our basic needs. This led us to cut down in expenses. I stopped going to my tutor, while parents stopped going to school to fetch us or deliver food. I started seeing life in a difficult way, such that I need to rely more on myself, rather than on my parents. Luckily, I took the experiences in a positive way and focus more in school. Even at an early age, I passed scholarships in the biggest university in the country – University of the Philippines for high school. Although, I could not avail it because even for travel and living costs, my parents can hardly cover it. I just have to settle for something less risky for myself and my family. I transferred from a private Catholic school to a public secondary school to cut down expenses. I gladly accepted the challenge and looking back I did not regret making such decision. The most memorable for me is New Year’s Eve 2000, where I and my family slept early because we do not have no food to serve for the celebration. It was a humbling experience for me. To make the situation worse, I was diagnosed having bronchial asthma, which I still have nowadays. My sister and father were also admitted to the hospital for amoebiasis and malaria respectively.

Sixth 1000 days: June 2, 2001 to February 26, 2004
Realization of the complexity and diversity in life

In the whole period in the secondary school, I got to realize the diversity of the community. It was the first time for me to meet people of different backgrounds. I met the sons and daughter of one of the most influential people in the city, while I also got to mingle with those who less in life. During that time, I realized the importance of education, as a great equalizer in the society. Many also challenged my faith since I met the sons and daughters of church leaders in other religions. I had a good grasp that in life, we just need to hold on what we believe and what defines our personality. Moreover, I also got to chance to represent the city and my school in different competitions in sciences, mathematics, history and other fields. These experiences have given the confidence to achieve more in life. However, did you know that my daily allowance was only 50 pesos (less than 10 kroners). More than one-third of that is allotted for transportation expenses. Almost half for food for lunch, while the remaining expense is for my savings for my projects and personal expenses. On the brighter side, my teachers were noticing my so-called intelligence. Hihi. I was not attending my regular classes because I represented my school and my city every 2 weeks. I also earn from these contests. All the money goes to my parents. As a consolation, I got to travel free from the neighboring cities. That was exciting.

Seventh 1000 days: February 27, 2004 to November 22, 2006
High Hopes and Dreams

As I enter the university, I was very optimistic. I had three scholarships backing me. These are enough for me to feel secure. I did not pursue going to bigger university due to lack of funds, even in the presence of scholarships. The problem is no longer about addressing unnecessary expenses, but the problem lies on meeting ends meet every day. I remember we have roughly 200 pesos (less than 50 kroners) daily for the whole family and all education expenses. Because of this, even with various scholarships, there was a time that there was a threat that I could stop schooling. Luckily, there was a person looking for one full scholar in the school. They covered almost 80% of all school expenses, without expecting any return afterwards. This was better than three scholarships, which covers only about 60% of the expenses, with the expectation of very high grades every semester. The most memorable experience I had during this period is that for almost one year, we lived in our house without electricity, because we cannot pay our bills. I used candles and other alternative light source for me to study well. Do you know why I chose nursing? Because it was ranked number 1 among 25 courses after an objective evaluation using a tool I made for it. My other choices were BS Mathematics and a degree in biochemistry. I chose primarily nursing to help my family and resolve my shielded personality by improving my social skills in the course.

Eighth 1000 days: November 23, 2006 to August 18, 2009
Living a life, which is both simple and complicated

The last two years in college can be compared to a roller coaster. I consistently topped my batch, which resulted for me to get the highest academic honor in the school. While I was showing exemplary academic performance, I and my family experienced the most turbulent years of our lives. My sister had to give birth and get married. There a lot of uncertainties during that time. I was as if walking in a tunnel. There was even one time, I cried in front of my clinical duty mates, because I can no longer emotionally bear the burden of the problems were facing. However, this all paid off because I topped my licensure examination after several months of review and land a regular job afterwards. Most memorable in my review is that I was trying to balance a relationship problem with the aim of topping the licensure examination. That was history and all those heartaches yielded good results after.

Ninth 1000 days: August 19, 2009 to May 14, 2012
Passion as a Teacher and as Nurse

This stage was the start of my working career. I started working in a university as an instructor after I topped the National licensure examination. This privilege is not given to everyone. For the first year I was working almost 75 hours per week. It was very tiring. I felt passionate about my work. I also had the chance to help graduates in the preparation of their licensure examination. I was trying to balance two to three jobs at the same time. Furthermore, I was completing my Master’s degree and performing administrative duties as an assistant to the dean. I was sleeping only three to four hours every day. I simply do not have time for myself during that time.The most memorable for me was on December 2011, when more than 100 graduates, who were my students in the review classes for licensure examination almost drown to death, because a flash flood has hit the area where they were staying. Fortunately, no one died. However, this event has challenged my religious beliefs after a high-ranking priest in the town rejected our personal request of prayers to our students. Another influential priest even tried to put the blame on me of what happened, even though it was merely an accident. All of these have changed my outlook in life. I even came home one day, crying in front of my parents and asking them why priests acted that way, totally opposite from a caring compassionate image everyone is expecting from them. They are humans I know, however I can say they acted nearly inhumanely. I cannot share details of this, but this has led to make major decisions that changed my life indefinitely.

Tenth 1000 days: May 15, 2012 to February 8, 2015
Travel, Blessings, Challenges and New Beginnings

I can say the current period is the hardest to summarize, but the most enriching of all. I started traveling outside the country. I became more independent and more comfortable with my work in the Philippines and embarked in a new journey in Norway. I even passed and topped another licensure examination, which totally different from nursing. In my opinion, I think my Norwegian experience marks the uniqueness of this stage. It was filled with ups and downs, and perhaps it will continue to do so. Many would think my life in Norway with my sister is very easy and comfortable but it is not. It is very challenging, especially we are in the process of learning a new language while ensuring a stable regular job in the country. Aside from that, it is quite difficult to adapt with the culture and facing the threat of depression, as well. What others do not know (I assume) is that before I went to Norway, I left people who made me feel so special. On the other hand, I took some risks for myself in return. However, I need to leave and I am very sorry for doing so, but I have to take these steps for my future. Unfortunately, I was not so good in taking care of the communication lines between me and them, such that I ended up hurting them. I still do not have the courage to even talk to them, since it was my mistake. Time heals but the future is still uncertain. I just hope for the best.
Here are the most memorable events, but there are some, which unwritten. However, as I read this post every now and then, this makes me smile, knowing how far I have traversed in my life. It was not easy, but something that I got valuable lessons in life. In the next 10,000 days in my life, I vow to dedicate all gifts and capabilities I have to others by helping unconditionally, and initiate actions to make myself happier. This I hope and pray for God to grant me.


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