When I was about seven or eight, I decided to become a fireman. Then again, plans always change. I stopped wanting to be one because of the first time I actually felt fear for my life and the welfare of my family. The hour was after dinner, when the lights in our house suddenly went out, and I could hear people from nearby shouting different things.
As I looked outside our home, I saw a huge flame burning the house that was on our street. For the first time, while seeing an actual house fire, I felt great fear and panic as I saw my mom grab everything from our underwear to my school uniform and put it all into the trunk of our Nissan Sentra. In the end, the firemen put out the fire, but I do not think I can still handle becoming a fire fighter since I was not really a brave kid and up to now, I still need a bit more courage to face danger.
When you are not brave, life is hard because of all the bullies you will encounter, which is why during my early pre-teen years I wanted to go to the United States, and become a professional wrestler like the Undertaker or Stone Cold Steve Austin. People regard these men as wrestling legends. There was a time when Triple H, a really big bully back when I was fond of wrestling (although I still am today), always had the World Title and would beat up anyone with his posse, until other wrestlers would appear out of nowhere, and beat some sense into all of them singlehandedly.
Through my persistence, I saved my idealism, despite growing up as a fat kid (and I still am fat today), but I still had my doubts that my dream of becoming a wrestler would come true. I mean I could barely afford the World Wrestling Entertainment action figures, so how could a boy like me end up in a wrestling school and make it in the big league?
I tried to be more practical with my dreams because right around high school, everybody knew what they were going to be; a chef, pilot, businessman, farmer or a lawyer. I thought to myself, “I need something that I can learn to love and something that I can do long term when I finally land a job.”
I decided that I wanted to be a chef. I wanted to be a chef because I love eating, and I want to cook for myself and for others who want their food cooked in ways that reminded them of home. I eventually learned how to cook from watching professionals and found that it is not all fun and games once you step into the kitchen because of time pressure, experiencing the stress of taking special orders and many more.
My plans never went the way I wanted them to. Currently, I am an Organizational Communications major; my friends who had the same passion in eating and cooking ended up going to great and expensive culinary schools.
Why did I suddenly give up on my culinary dreams?
Well, I have not yet given up completely. I just wanted to be practical by taking up Organizational Communication. I wanted to try the program because of its diversity, and it seemed to be the practical choice for me since I know that my plans for making good food may still change in time, which they did.
What really changed my views on what I wanted to become, and what I hoped I would be was the incident that happened during the last day of the 2010 Bar exams. For those who do not remember, there was a grenade explosion, just outside KFC. I was just a few meters away from where the explosion occurred, and my initial reaction was to run away from the site, even though it meant leaving behind my bag. I was scared and I panicked. I was out of character because I am usually calm, but for that single moment, I felt something new, as if that moment changed me.
After that tragedy, I sat down and thought about what just happened. Tears ran down my eyes as I remembered the innocent people getting hurt, and my incapacity to help. After that day, I felt like I knew myself better. I discovered that I am not as brave as I thought I was. I was weak, but that was fine with me because it made me realize that I needed to work on myself.
Dreams are not just about professions, they are the things what would make me a better person. It may sound like a cliché, but I cannot fathom becoming a successful person without any personal maturity and a sense of solidarity.
From then on, every time someone asks, “What is your dream?” I answer differently each time because frankly, I am not sure of what I want to be since my real dreams will always be close to what seems impossible.
It is funny to think that at 18 I still dream like a 10-year-old and continue to hope for them to come true.
I learned that to fulfil my childhood dreams, I still need to dream even at an older age. The most difficult part of being a dreamer is when you think of giving up on what you aspire to become. I am not saying that one should be obsessed or delusional about his or her dreams, but I say, “You need to set a goal that will inspire you to keep you going so that you will always enjoy the journey whether it turn outs to be a good or bad experience.”
So what lies ahead in the future I hope for in my heart?
I am busy with my studies for now, but I know that someday it will pay off, regardless of a few stumbles across terror professors and subjects, life is going to be a challenge but hey, you might be reading these sentiments from a future WWE champion.