Yesterday was the official end of my corporate employment. Today, I embrace my state of joblessness. This very minute, like every minute for the past 30 days, I look forward to the good things that I gut-know will come.
To borrow the term, corporate slave is what I was for nearly nine years. In between months, I attended parties, won awards, got promoted, and busied myself with volunteer work. It was a good life; I saw myself growing with confidence from a simple college graduate without honors to a communications specialist in media and public relations for a prestigious foundation, with honors.
Definitely, I was at the top of my game.
Colleagues were shocked to learn I resigned. They must have thought it was a prank since I handed my letter on Friday the 13th of September. For matters like this, I am as serious as a bedpost; one cannot just laugh or mock at something she has worked hard at for nearly four years.
What was the cause of the jolt?
My father owns a sari-sari store and a distribution business. He keeps saying it’s a small enterprise, and I never contradicted him. We maintain this modest store along the highway that my father proudly calls RNC Superstore. Nothing super about it, really, perhaps except that it has been in the family for nearly 30 years now and my father boasts of humble beginnings.
I grew up in and with the store. In fact, I am about the same age as the store. And I saw how my father toiled alongside with my mother to make it work to keep the family income afloat. Somehow, he did make it work—we have a cozy little house, we eat three times a day, and most importantly, his two daughters finished college and are now doing quite well.
Then my parents whom I have always regarded as a pair of superhuman ninjas, got sick. My father is particularly cagey about his illness. With blinding clarity, it finally dawned on me that they are not getting any younger or any healthier. As eldest who already had her fill of corporate experience, I reassessed my options and current scenario.
Shall I leave a secure job that pays well and provides manageable stress? Shall I be content with working eight hours daily in an office set-up for years and years on end? Or shall I quit it to embark something totally uncertain and leave half of my fate to God? Shall I be able to scrape some sort of decent income if I use my skills and work with different clients for different projects?
Eventually, after some reflection, I made the decision to leave. Somehow, the pit of my gut knew it will happen. The decision itself was, on second thought, not really a hard one to make (still, I was sad to go). Then, to my relief, nature conspired for my benefit—I received two freelance jobs (one is a huge online project and the other is writing) and I will be taking additional units of teaching load starting November.
It is definitely exciting and refreshing, this ability to take control of my time and be productive in the process. But majority of the time, you will find me inside our store, with my dad mentoring me on the rough grind of operating a small sari-sari store and a distribution business, hoping it will survive long enough for my own children to see and experience it.
In fact, I am sitting behind the store’s counter at this moment, writing this blog post, communicating with clients, and working as my dad’s cashier. The cashiering part brings back funny memories from so many years ago when my parents went to buy dry goods and I, as a 10-year-old, was so restless at being left alone in the house that I opened the store on my own and became a tindera for a few hours.
But that would be another story.
This time, I have new story unfolding with every change I give and every click that I make and every classroom meeting I facilitate. I invite you to join me as I take this new journey head on.