Daily Prompt: The Road I didn’t choose to travel

Manhattan Slkyline at 6:39pm Saturday, July 6DAILY PROMPT: Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.

It’s uncanny how I can probably pick five things to write about given the topic above, but not all of them are apt for publication.  Some things are just too personal.

But the big “what if” I can think of which I can easily write about, I would say, would have to be my decision to leave Manila in 2000 to start a family here in New York.  It meant leaving my family, friends and career behind to take my chances here in the so-called land of milk and honey.  It was a big step for me because I had never thought about living here in the US ever — and I was not exactly in a bad place where I was career-wise back then. It was a life choice that had to be made, and that could not be postponed.

I remember weeks before my scheduled departure, the Regional President of the company I worked for had called me in and asked me to postpone my departure for a few months so I could assist in some projects, but my papers were in. How can I justify postponing getting married if the intention was to leave in the end?  He did not tell me that they were already given a deadline by the head office and were making a last pitch to keep the company in the Philippines.

In the end, staying wouldn’t have made a difference, and my decision to leave turned out to be a wise one. My company was bought by the company I left to join them. There would have been a lot of bad blood and retribution.

I hadn’t stopped to think about what my life would’ve been had I not left Manila in 2000 until this blog prompt made me stop to think about it.

So where would I be if I had stayed in Manila insread of making the jump to New York?  After 13 years here in New York, that will need a lot of  “predicting” and “surmising”.  Life would have been very different from what I know now.  I would be a totally different person in many respects and still the same one I was 13 years ago before I left.

The biggest difference would be I wouldn’t have my son — perhaps I’d have a child or two, too, but it wouldn’t be my Angelo.   I wouldn’t be as close as I am to my child or children as I would have help raising them with a nanny.  Here, I know every inch of his body and every nuance of his personality.  Ours is a very close relationship that I think is unique to where we are situated.  Here, I get to hug him and hold him and serve him every meal he has at home.   We hold hands when we’re outside the house and he cherishes me as much as I cherish him.  Now that I’ve been a mother for 9 years, I know that that role has defined me and my life choices at this point in time.

I wouldn’t be as I am into crafts and personal art because life in Manila woldn’t have made the same space for such personal pursuits.  Maybe I would be blogging, too, but more for monetization and not with such a personal slant as this.  I’d probably be writing professionally under my own byline which had been my dream after I wrote all those press releases for the companies I worked for.

I would still be in Corporate Communications or public relations perhaps but in a different slant — instead of being a client being serviced, perhaps a company servicing the client again like I did when I started out in the field.

All these what ifs that lead to nowhere in reality.  The point is I chose to go where I went, and I am here now.  We often find ourselves dwelling on what ifs but I have not had the chance to look at this big question until now because I really have had no reason to.

I treat my life choices as defining moments that shaped me into the person I am now.   I have learned to go with the flow and to make the most of what I’ve been given and what I have.  Age has a way of mellowing us down and stopping us from making otherwise impulsive moves we might have been prone to take if we were younger.  When life treats me well, I give thanks.  When I am defeated, I just bow my head down and close my eyes.

Life has been good.  God has been good to me.  I have been blessed in many respects.  I have always been one to look on the good and count my blessings rather than dwell on my failures.  Although I have not always succeeded more so with my biggest failings, I keep trying.  I have not given up and will not give up.

I have gone too far to do that.  So I keep plodding on… on the road that I chose to travel.

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