Being the youngest of four daughters I grew up, needless to say, as a daddy’s little girl. My father being an entrepreneur somehow meant that I needed to be one too when I grew up. True to form, I graduated with a Management degree in 2009. With so much fiery confidence, I thought I was on my way to conquering the world. Five years’ worth of professional questionability and personal failures though finally made me understand what adults always say about kids being too idealistic. I realize now that that fiery confidence was nothing but naivety because despite the twenty-six life years under my belt, I am still as clueless as clueless could be.
The existential questions, therefore, keep cropping up. What is the purpose of my life? Where am I headed to? What am I supposed to do? Where do I belong? Have I made any correct decision in my life at all?
I find that there are two ways to at least begin to tackle these hard-hitting questions – to read and to write – and through all the Malcolm Gladwell and Stephen Covey books and all the submission attempts at the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Young Blood, I continue to realize that I should be humble enough to accept that I do not know everything– that there is so much left to learn. I can barely understand myself, how much more the world?
At the same time, by learning about the world, the varying motivations and values, the reasons for a person to wake up and go to work every morning, the purpose of skills and communication, the connectedness of people, and the differences in the choices that we make all reveal something of myself to me. Learning, therefore, is nothing but a tool to understand the self. Without the willful desire to learn, my mind becomes decrepit and I become somewhat out of the “humanness loop”.
In my quasi-adult life, learning goes way beyond books, grades and sounding highly articulate during intellectual conversations over an afternoon latte with a colleague. It means reacting to every new experience I encounter and never forgetting the previous ones, and taking all of these things that I’ve learned in order to thrive and rebuild my identity. There is so much left to learn, even when it comes to the self.