Ice breaker

Almost 2 years ago, I finally had the time and means to renew my membership with the Toastmasters. The club played a big part in keeping me sane being alone and away from home, family, friends and the world I’ve known all my life. It took a while before I was able to write my first speech not because I had no time to do it or I wasn’t sure what to write. It took me a while to write because it involved Specific details about myself. I am not comfortable about it. I always thought the topic about myself is not interesting and irrelevant.

I didn’t want to reveal so much about myself because it made me feel vulnerable but when I finally finished the speech, it turned out to be a lot more Specific than I intended it to be – which in the end is not that bad. I think, sharing pieces of yourself to the world does not open yourself up to susceptibility; instead you are taking the first step to freeing yourself from doubt, conquering your fear and embracing a world of possibilities.

** (the speech)

Life is our best teacher and the people we come across remind us of the important lessons that life has to share. There are 3 boys in my life that reminds me of an important life lesson:  “We don’t always get what we want but we get what we deserve”.

Growing up, I was not very friendly. I hang out with those who are less noticed in class or sometimes just sit by myself during break. I was very shy and timid. It almost felt like I exist but nobody seem to notice. At a young age I knew I had to do something if I want to be somebody. Back then in grade school, the top 10 of the class is a huge deal. There were years when I did not make the top 10 and some years I did, ranking from 8th to the 10th. I’ve always envied Jeffrey. He’s not the typical geek in class but he’s always number 1, a legend. He was one of the popular guys, good at sports, a member of the dance club and outgoing. I wanted not be like him but to beat him. But ranking 10th in class for the most part seemed like shooting at the stars. We don’t always get what we want but we get what we deserve. I convinced myself that impossible does not exist. I pushed myself to do better in class. And so I studied hard, participated more in group activities, challenged myself and got good marks. True enough, by the end of 6th grade, I graduated first in class and was the only one who beat Jeffrey.

I transferred to a different school when I got into high school New classmates, new school, new uniform, new beginning. It was the perfect opportunity for me to reinvent myself and overcome being shy and quiet. I then met Oliver. He was a varsity player who has a great smile. We were classmates since freshmen year. Every year, a ballroom dance number is performed by each class for the finals. Each is assigned a partner for the dance and each year, I hoped of being paired with Oliver. In senior year I lost hope that it would ever happen. This isn’t the same as the Jeffrey scenario because there’s just nothing that I can do to make it happen.  I had a terrible allergy that Friday when the pairing was done. Perfect! There goes my last chance of dancing with Oliver at the prom. The class started practicing the following week but I was still feeling sick so my doctor advised me to stay home and rest. When I finally got back to school I found out that Oliver was away for some varsity training camp since that Friday of pairing and he just got back too. We don’t always get what we want but we get what we deserve. All those coins I threw in every wishing well that I come across with for the last 4 years eventually came true.

I was more serious when I got into college. My dad’s rule is no boyfriend till after college. I was a bit of a rule breaker and had my first boyfriend in 3rd year. He was a working student at my dad’s company and because I hang out at my dad’s office every day after class, we inevitably became close. The relationship did not last long as I found out that he was cheating on me. And so my first heartbreak led me to choose not to be involved with boys. I focused on my studies, finished my degree and took my licensure exam. I started working and met a lot of men but had no interest in them more than friendship. Every Friday after work, I would hang out at my best friend’s house and sleep over beside his wife and kids after a few drinks with our other friends. He would always talk about his other best friend who left town to study couple of years ago. He said that this best friend is graduating and will be coming back for good. My best friend introduced me to his other best friend, and his name is Bong. Soon enough we got close and he started to show interest on me. I never liked the idea of getting romantically involved with friends and I didn’t like him at first but I knew I had to take a chance in love again. I’m glad I did not let my fear make decision for me. He was worth the risk and the long years of waiting because he is everything I’ve imagined myself to be with for the rest of my life. Just when I thought everything is in its perfect place, my application to come here in Canada came out. Most of Bong’s past relationships didn’t last because long distance never worked for him. We don’t always get what we want but we get what we deserve. It’s been more than a year since I left the Philippines and surprisingly, he waited patiently for me. In fact next year after my birthday, I am flying to the Philippines to get married.

It is true that we don’t always get what we want at the time that we wanted it. But it’s also true that we get what we deserve if we work hard for it, just like how I beat Jeffrey; if we wish enough for it to happen, just like how I got paired with Oliver; and if we become patient and trust in people just like what I did when I met Bong.



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