GROWING IN STILLNESS

I am the person who is not transition friendly. You see, when I entered college, my first week was spent crying whenever I get home because...

I am the person who is not transition friendly. You see, when I entered college, my first week was spent crying whenever I get home because I miss high school and my friends.
When I graduated college, thank God, there’s no more crying; however I was faced with “What now?” and “Where to go from here?” questions.

I applied for several companies, got almost hired but there’s some circumstances and problems in the schedule and locations, so there’s no choice but to turn down the offers, applied again and then heard nothing. I stopped and just concentrated for board exams. 5 months after, I searched again, to no avail. Then I decided to postpone looking and focused on my reviews. It was a total play of my emotions, confidence and self-esteem.



Not knowing what you want to do and not knowing the purpose of what you’re doing will sure pull you to an existential vacuum. And I sure did experience it. I viewed my situation like I am printed in a jigsaw puzzle. Waiting to be found, waiting to be placed in her exact position.

The board exam came and I was able to pass. Again, “What now?”. Opportunities are coming my way but I kept on turning them down. “What now?”

I looked and felt like a goose placed in a crowd of swans — out of place, confused and terrified of the real world.

It was one of the mundane afternoons that it dawned on me and I saw the silver lining of that season.

It was the best period I’ve ever been through.

It is a common belief that one learns a lot of things while they are travelling but few actually realize that you can also acquire lessons in stillness.

***

Our house was under construction for quite some time that left me with no choice but to spend most of my days sitting outside unless I want to get high with the smell of paint and inhale the unbelievably thick dusts everywhere.

Who’d have thought a person can gain so much wisdom just by sitting outside their house?

Aside from people who were more concerned in my career than I am, during those times, I conversed with people of all ages who truly inspired me and had me pondering. I was able to interact with 1 year olds, toddlers, adolescents, middle aged and even talked to grannies and grampies.



Through the one year olds I learned how to be fearless. I was taught how to not think twice and just dive in the moment. If it harmed or hurt you, you can cry and approach some help then move on and enjoy again.

Toddlers helped me work on my patience. They are being toddlers and there are times when you can’t handle them but I am blessed enough to be able to learn from them.

There’s nothing more amazing than gaining knowledge from your parents and other people at their age. This season helped me to be a lot closer to my parents and entire family. It comforts me to know their battles growing up; how they were able to surpass every challenges and transitions. It added to my imaginary list of shoulds and shouldn’ts now that I am on my way to being an ‘actual’ adult *creys*. I also learned how to value money and how to work on things that I want to have because of the carpenters who worked here in our house.


And of course, who can beat the wisdom from our grandparents? I truly appreciate the old Filipino saying, “Papunta ka pa lang, pabalik na ako.” (“Hindsight is always wiser than foresight”). I love hearing their experiences about success, failures and love advices. To tell you honestly, I can’t recall the times my grandmas (siblings of my main grandmas) warned me about men and marriage. It inspires me to focus on my career for now and have a love life later.


***

It also amazes me that whenever I go out, I find myself talking to strangers.

While having an unexpected long period of waiting for my friends at 7/11, during the 15th of November, a woman asked if she can share a seat with me. I nod then focused on what I’m doing. It is as if she’s only waiting for me to stop what I’m doing for her to start a conversation because after pausing from drafting my blog launch post, she initiated a talk.

She asked me if I don’t have classes which I eventually replied with “Graduate na po ako.” (“I graduated already”) and a slight laugh. A reaction of disbelief was what I received. (and what I’m expecting because I get that a lot) and from there, our chat went deeper until we started talking about faith. The difference in religion was never an issue. We just talked about God and His wondrous ways. It was glorious.


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After a rather tiring day from attending an interview and dropping by to my Alma matter for our yearbook, I headed straight to the bus station to go home. I thought it will be just another ordinary ride. But it is not. I woke up from my nap due to the chatters of the man beside me — around his late 50s, I reckon — and from his colleague.  They were talking about politics, the government and all of its epic failures. I know it is bad to eavesdrop but their voices are loud it is unavoidable not to. I was entertained the whole bus ride. I love how they reminisce their times when they are still young and just starting to bid hello to the mad mad mad real world. I gained a cent or two from them. It doesn't end there though. The man beside me asked me if what I was holding was a yearbook. I said yes and he was amazed of how early it was released (I am too). Then he started asking me if I was already working and what my course during college was. I mentioned that I took up the board exam and he congratulated me when I informed him that I passed. He shared some of his experiences too during his times. When I reached my stop, he shouted another congratulatory greeting.

***

That season has taught me how to reach out to people and to work on things about myself that's needed attention. So I realized we don’t need an enormous scenario or a big deal situation for us to grow. Because sometimes, you just have to use what you have and relish where you are. Growth can be found even in the area of being still. Most times, we let the situation block our thinking. Hence, we contemplate that we are not where we should be. But do not fret because you are where you have to be. God is preparing you to the next level of your life.

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All posts and photos are © Elaine Vidal unless otherwise stated. For collaborations, sponsorship and other concerns, you may contact me at waytogoelaine@gmail.com.