So writing about this particular story made me missed a lot of things... I missed the times when we had to look for ways on how to create programs without having computers... I missed the times we lined up in the ATM machine with my fellow classmate scholars to get our allowance... I missed the times I had with my ex-housemates... I missed the times when I had to sleep under my office table to finish the development on time... I missed the times I had with my girl friends who have their own families & career to focus on... I also missed the times when I can freely share these ideas, thoughts, and feelings in a series of threads to a friend... regardless of time zones.
This story made me ponder on these times... so, this is what I wrote:
Out of the 4 characters in the story, I could very much relate to the character of Haw... not that I am Haw, it's just that I'm not Hem (not totally). Though, I can understand the feeling of Hem, however, in general, I am the more optimistic type of person. I grew up with less privileges than most, so I learned to adopt to the ropes of life. Resourcefulness is my first lesson. I relate myself to Haw because some of the situations that he has experienced, I also experienced myself. And the doubts that he had, I also had with me.
Looking back on my past experiences. There are a lot cheeses and Haw moments. I graduated in a way that most will say with flying colors, therefore, so much is expected of me. Like everyone else who graduated, we have such huge dreams... a big nice house, having your own office (with your own minions) and a lot of money... well, and sometimes part of that dream is a prince charming.
I'll tell you about the little cheeses along my way... My first job was a teacher... I just took that job because I need a setback for a while. Earn something before I moved to bigger heights. I enjoyed it, something that I actually didn't expect. After a semester, an opportunity opened. I got to be able to work in a software development company that is based here in the city. During this time, I tried to get as much cheeses of experiences that I can get. Since our client is in Manila, logistics favors us to also move there. It was not an easy decision since I'm really attached to my family, but it's something that I feel I should do to get to that main cheese. We had a great team, some of which are even my former students. I grow, as a professional and as a person, with them.
However, things change as we already know. I can observe that changes is happening but I didn't do anything at the beginning. One thing that is holding me back was the people that I worked it. I see these people grow and now I'm leaving them there. And letting go is something that is not easy. But change is something that you yourself should act on. I was unhappy, therefore, I need to move on. One of my greatest fear was that “what will people say?” “will they think I was failure?” I realized that I was thinking more of them rather than of me. And I realized further that the dreams that I made was the “generic” dreams of most people, especially those who are still starting out on their journey. I'm not saying it's wrong, but it can be a good starting point in the maze.
When, I got back, a project that is bigger and more social-oriented awaits me here. Again, something that is unexpected. We get to develop modules for the out-of-school youth... we get to teach students that have never touch nor seen a computer. These projects also include some travels. I get to see places that I have never been before. I was thinking ,“Why wasn't I able to do this when I was in Manila? Where every other places in the Filipinas will be accessible?”. Simply because I was busy and consumed with my current cheese that I was afraid to loose it. My perspective of cheese changed. Instead of looking at the more material things, I was able to find fulfillment in the achievements that I see in other people because of me. No matter how little it is.
So, did I finally get my cheese? A big house? Well, I have my own room now... with my own bathroom. My own office? I have my own table... and my own laptop. My minions? That's easy, I have my students. Money? Well, I don't have money... not as much money as I imagined. But my money is not the reason that I gain more friends... nor it is the reason of the knowledge and skills that I have now.. it didn't gain me my bosses' trusts. I don't have much money... but (not to brag) I was able to be an audience with the Pope (Benedict)... experience snow... walked with my boots on the cobbled-street of Venice and Florence... AND ate different kinds of actual cheeses... lots of it... more cheese than I ever ate in my entire life. And mind you, I even witness how to make an actual cheese.
Well, I still have fears. But it's not anymore holding me back from making decisions that are new to me... i.e. from discovering more cheese. And I believe that this training will be one of those big cheese. But unlike Haw, now, I have people who will made that journey with me along this current maze.
This I heard from a speech: There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That pot of gold that you will see in front of you are the gold coins that you picked up on that journey at the end of the rainbow.
What is your big cheese now?