“Magiging maganda para sa iyo ang 2008. Ayon oh, otso. Naku yayaman ka! (2008 will be good for you. You see this eight? You’ll get rich!),” said the fortune-teller. The eight she was referring to was the 8 of diamonds which showed up from among the pile of cards I picked from the deck. It was 2006.
I won’t deny it. I am a Catholic and I practically grew up in active service in our Parish community but “knowing” the future is something that tickles my fancy. I especially love it when seers would tell me that I’d live a good life and that I’ll be successful someday. At least, there’s always something good to look forward to.
This particular “reading,” however, didn’t excite me as much because 2008 seemed too distant then. And more importantly, I was seriously considering Religious life that time, which meant I won’t be living a life that’s focused on getting rich and successful, an “otherwise” to her prediction.
2007 told another story. I was deemed unfit for the Religious life and so I had to reconfigure my life again. I tried to go back to the classroom but I was led to work in my present company instead. It was a year of letting go and opening myself to new engagements. The biggest blessing for this year was my regularization–a first in my work history.
2008 was a good year. One of the best and most memorable so far. Five life-defining moments happened. None of them I expected to happen so soon.
The Curious Case of the the Pox. Well, I didn’t expect this one to happen at all but the experience sent me to the desert, like what prophet Hosea did to his wife (I will take her to the desert and speak to her heart). In that desert-like experience, I stood face to face with my God and He showed me what really mattered in life.
Promotion. More than affording me life with better conditions, I think it was very significant because it was an acknowledgment of my contributions to the office, which ultimately translates to contributing something significant to the mission of providing education to young ones from less than privileged families.
Moving out to a new apartment. I wrote about this before. I told everyone how happy I was because my family and I will finally break away from the extended family household set-up we had for 28 years. We moved to a place which we could call our own, where my mother is queen and my father is king, where we won’t have to go up and down three flights carrying buckets of water for bathing and dishwashing, where our family could live a life that is closer to the one we always dreamt of having.
Return of the comeback. I got elected as the new President of our Parish Church’s Lectors and Commentators’ Guild in November, a few days after Barack Obama’s historic election as President of the United States of America. Not that I see my election as historic, this was in fact my second time to be elected as the President of our group (the first one was in 2003) but the timing was a good reminder for me to have big dreams not just for myself but also for others. His attitude towards working with people from different backgrounds challenged me to once again evaluate and try a different leadership perspective and style. This second chance to lead a good group was for me a blessed opportunity.
Christmas Home Alone. We were supposed to celebrate Christmas with our maternal relatives in Tarlac but with the so many things I had to do in the Parish, I skipped the trip. Being alone is something that I’m used to but being alone on Christmas day is a new variety. As I was ruminating on the drama, however, a bright ray of light shone on me. A very close and dear friend and his family, upon learning of my plight, offered to adopt me for as long as I wanted to stay with them. Another variety. So, I attended the midnight mass with them, shared in their noche buena feast, and woke up on Christmas day in their lovely home. It was as if my family weren’t away.
“Magiging maganda para sa iyo ang 2008…” The fortune-teller was right.