11 years, 11 months, 11 days ago


September 3, 2008 - December 20, 2009

Today, I will embark on a journey of reflecting more on my past using five key points. This will be unique in a way because I will go back to a certain period in my life. In this blogpost, I will start from September 3, 2008, exactly 11 years, 11 months and 11 days from now to about over a year later.

What was happening in the world?

During this time, Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States of America. Meanwhile, the world was severely affected by the mortgage crisis, which resulted in the bankruptcy of big real estate and investment companies. Several governments and stock markets showed signs of impending economic recession.  Later on,  swine and bird flu pandemics affected many countries, including neighboring China and my home country the Philippines, while HIV/AIDS and cholera claimed a lot of lives in Africa. In Asia, there was the melamine scare in milk products, while piracy has been a problem in the waters of the horn of Africa. In Europe, people are concerned about the South Ossetian War, and there have been disputes and diplomatic conflicts following the declaration of Kosovan independence from Serbia.

What was happening in the Philippines?

In the Philippines, 34 journalists were massacred in the island of Mindanao where I come from, just a few months before the national elections the following year. This massacre led then President Arroyo to declare martial law in the affected province. Manny Pacquiao knocked out Oscar De La Hoya, which was considered that time as the Dream Match, and the following year, defeated the British boxer Ricky Hatton. During this time, the Philippine capital Manila has declared a state of calamity after the devastating Typhoon Ondoy. The 25th Southeast Asian games hosted by Laos was also held during this time. Noteworthy, Corazon Aquino, the popular figure of the 1986 People Power revolution died at the age of 76, on which her death somehow aided in catapulting his son Benigno Aquino Jr. to be the next president of the Philippines.

What was happening to me?

This time started with preparations for my nursing licensure examination. I felt the pressure of excelling among over 88,000 examinees. Never before had it happened that so many new nursing graduates took the exam. I literally waited for the result for almost three months. On February 20, 2009 early in the morning, it was confirmed I had the sixth highest score in the entire Philippines. That achievement opened a lot of opportunities for me. I was offered to work in the university and a private nursing review center immediately. Here, I realized I have the passion to teach. From an introvert, I became more open and social when conducting lecture discussion. In addition, I started gaining hospital experience and began my Masters degree in nursing simultaneously with two jobs. I felt I was gaining confidence both as a lecturer, clinical instructor and a nurse.

Three words to describe that period

Optimism. Transformation. Endurance.

I was an optimist about things. I exuded this both personally and at work. Life has shifted 360 degrees. Not long ago, we were struggling to make ends meet. Suddenly I was earning way over the average in my city. I got the chance to be invited as a speaker in several educational institutions. More people got to know me. I was more social than ever. I was literally transforming inside out. However, I have to keep with the busy schedule. At 22, I was working more than 70 hours a week. I literally had no rest day. I just have to endure a whole day of work, without almost rest, and prepare until the wee hours of the night to prepare for the next day both for work and school. I almost had no time to be at home with my parents and family. I was literally sleeping, eating and working, but I was satistified.

What had I learn?

"It is all in the mind." I always highlighted every time I got the chance. Everyday before the licensure exam, I was thinking of making good. I was imagining a good life after. I was feeling blessed even though I still have not received anything yet. True enough, I achieved an extraordinary feat. I was very lucky that time. I realized our mind makes things difficult for us. It is also conditions how we act; and the eventually the consequences of our actions, and our future. At this time, I confirmed that hardwork pays off, and that hardwork and grit helps anyone come out from hardship. Not long before this time, I and my family struggled economically. Several months, we had no electricity at home, while I was going to nursing school. My sister struggled, got married and had her first child before this phase. We were meeting a lot of challenges, then suddenly a much needed break came during this period. I felt very blessed being able to help my family in a significant way.

Lastly, 11 years, 11 months and 11 days have passed. The American election is again fast approaching, and the world again is suffering from another pandemic, Covid-19. The Philippines is also affected by this. Manny Pacquiao is presently an elected senator, while the Aquinos have lesser influence in the Philippine poltical arena than before. Personally, I no longer do lectures, although I miss doing it. I am working as a nurse and pursuing studies. I am still a busy person but I know now how to relax and be sociable. Today, I can say I am more of a realist than an optimist. I still believe that the mind directs our actions. However, I see more the value of decisions, than just our thoughts. It is us who decide what to act, not our thoughts. Moreover, I work less than I did that time, but still way above the average. Before, I was earning to help my family. Now, I am working to build a future for myself, in my new home country, Norway. Therefore, I hope and want to live as a full-pledged citizen of Norway. πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡―


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