Here’s something I was pondering upon in Cagayan de Oro last month.
What is success? I am surrounded by family members who, by the world’s standards, are pretty successful, I would say. My mom is retired but she was a valuable “employee” in Jardine Davies, Inc and Hawaiian Philippine Company (previously affiliated companies) for collectively at least 30 years. My brother has been one of the brilliant IT guys working with Chikka for at least 6 years. My brother’s wife is an advertising genius who gets offers from big companies left and right. In Cagayan de Oro, my aunt is a successful pediatrician. I’m 33, so she is at least 30 years in the business. She gave us our shots when we were kids, and now she’s giving shots to her grandchildren (Danae & Noelle). My uncle is now a successful resource speaker, after years of being a successful “employee” in Magnolia (imagine all the ice cream we had all those summers in Cagayan!). My cousins, as I have mentioned in my previous blog, are co-owners of Crocs Cagayan de Oro. They have been in business for more than 5 years (they gave Danae’s first, well her 2nd, 3rd and so on haha, Crocs) and it’s still going strong. They’ve even managed to open another store called Bliss, which is also doing quite well. My dad’s brother is a surgeon in the US, my aunt a retired nurse, and my cousins a doctor and a business consultant. So does one have to have a career in order to be successful? Or to work many years in your company or field?
Everyone I mentioned above has the financial freedom to pretty much do whatever they want, or at least save up for it more easily than many — buy a car, buy land, buy the latest gadgets, buy branded clothes, shoes & bags, travel abroad. Not only that, the money they have comes from their hard work. Some may have been handed down to them by their parents, but they also work hard for what they have. I’ve been wondering, imagining what it must be like to be like them. Not that I want everything that they have, because each one is different from the other, and so am I. But wouldn’t it be nice to have financial freedom? To be financially able and ready for almost anything? I would love to be able to travel with King and the kids without having to stress about how much it’s going to cost. I would love to be able to renovate our home to suit our needs without having to think about how we’re going to come up with the money. I would love to be able to hold small dinner parties for people without thinking of the budget. I would love to be able to change my wardrobe completely so I don’t have to worry about not having anything to wear (okay, this one’s completely selfish haha). I would love to be able to bless King, my kids, my mom, my in-laws, our relatives, our friends or maybe even complete strangers without thinking twice about how it’s going to affect our finances. Could the amount of money you have or are able to spend be the measure of success?
If career and money are the measures of success, then let me tell you, I AM A COMPLETE AND UTTER FAILURE! But then, how come I don’t feel like a failure? Because I am not. Because I am 100% certain that I am doing what I am called to do. Just as I am certain my family is called to do what they are doing right now. A good example I can give you is my cousin Baba. She’s actually a doctor. She graduated from UP College of Medicine a few years ago. So why on earth is she running a business instead of practicing medicine with her mom? Well, she honored her parents’ wishes and tried it just in case it was really meant for her, but after many years of studying and then working in the medical field as a researcher, she discovered that being a doctor is not her calling. She has no passion for it. She found one of her passions in business instead.
Surrounded by family whose accomplishments are pretty great, you could imagine what kind of pressure I must be experiencing seeing that I am not like any of them, and especially that we are leading in the baby-making department. So do I feel bad that I don’t have a career I can call my own? NO. Do I feel bad that I have to depend on King for money? Not really. Do I feel bad that I don’t have the funds I wish I had? Well, sure, there are times I do, but I get over it and remain hopeful. Why? Because I truly believe I am where God wants me to be — at home with the kids. I get to be a full-time “housewife,” to be a full-time mommy/teacher/nanny/playmate, to be a minister to God’s people, and to use my creativity in each role that I play. It’s tough, tiring, frustrating, time-consuming, energy-draining, and yet it gives me the most joy, the most fulfillment, the most excitement, the most peace. It is my passion. And what’s amazing is, even though I do feel pressure sometimes when it comes to finances, nobody in my family actually pressures me to be someone I’m not. Nobody tells me I need to be thinking of getting a job so I could have a career and some extra money. Nobody tells me that my husband earns too little, so I should be helping him financially. Why? Well, aside from not wanting to interfere in our affairs, I believe that they too see that this is what I am really called to do and they see that I am actually good at being a stay-at-home mom. Even my dad, when he was still alive, never questioned my decision to stay home. Besides, I think he knew that I was never the type who could juggle too many things in my life haha. He always told me I had a one-track mind. Thank God He showed me what my priorities ought to be.
So what is the true meaning of success? For me, success comes in doing what you love and what you are passionate about. Success comes when you are doing what God designed you to do, where and when He wants you to do it. It’s not about the money, whether you make any or not. It’s not about a job title, or the years you’ve put in being in that position or company. It’s about fulfilling your purpose, and right now, I know I’m fulfilling mine. God may reveal to me new things, new purposes for my life in the future, but for now, this is it. And I am happy. I am at peace. 🙂