Is there "LIFE" after teaching? Part II The second encounter (happy and sad)

A lot of things happened in my life after my first taste of one of the noblest of all professions. I spent 2 years (1993-95) in Taipei working as a private nurse in a military hospital. I learned a new language, Mandarin which I thought then was difficult to learn just like what I speak now most of the time, Dutch but because it was spoken every day, made it easier for me to get used to it.  I learned how to cook Chinese food which became one  of my favorite cuisines in the whole wide world.

I’ve met the father of my daughter Isabel soon to be born in 1999 whom I thought was one of the good things that happened to me and will last for the rest of my life. Went abroad again for 2 years with Isabel’s father. Went back to the Philippines, lived a domestic life, got pregnant while managing a small business. Had a difficult life while pregnant and a broken heart after Isabel even turned 3 months. But nothing in the world can replace the joy and happiness I felt when I delivered the youngest of my 2 children.

I was overjoyed and decided that I don’t even need her father to make me happy.  I can live alone raising my children and derived happiness just with Justin and Isabel beside me. They were all that matters to me. Yes, I was every now and then very lonely and feeling hurt and empty but most of the time survived and fought those predicaments and ended up winning and happy. I experienced working in the sales and marketing.  I had luck too in this category which harnessed even more my communications skills and interpersonal relationships.  Added to that, I was also working part time as a massage therapist and was able to maintain a pool of clients.

It was somewhere in the year 2003 that I’ve met a friend during one of our seminars in sales that paved the way  to my next encounter as a trainer. It was a newly built caregiver training school in Sta. Isabel San Pablo City with a branch in Quezon City, Philippines which aimed to send graduates abroad particularly the USA.

I had an interview, did a teaching demonstration and was hired, given a module to teach and a schedule and begun again my journey to what I loved doing, sharing my knowledge and skills to a particular group of people dreaming to change their lives by learning how to do the art of caregiving. It was a small group of mixed professionals again wanting to go abroad as if that was the only way known during that time  to attain a better life.

My students and I had a very good relationships. Inside the classroom it was a teacher/student treatment but outside of school we became good friends. We had so much fun both during the learning process but likewise after that. We had encountered some problems at the San Pablo branch that we have to transfer to the Quezon City branch but  we held on and we made the most of it. There were people who betrayed the trust and kindness of the people whose intentions were to help these aspiring students effect a change in their lives.

The owners of Caregiver Resource Center Phils, Inc. were some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met in my whole life. They have supported all of us especially the students during those not very pleasant times. They are very kind, supportive and even if they are well-off they are very down to earth. They have helped me in so many ways. Up until now we contact each other and kept our genuine friendships.

I served them as a trainer of CRCPI for a year. It was another great experience to be able to teach a group of individuals the different aspects of geriatric nursing or caregiving. At present, some of them have applied what they have learned, they have successful jobs related to it, in abroad working and the rest of them ventured into entrepreneurship or advanced in what they were best at.

After that, I was hired as a clinical instructor at one of the Colleges of Nursing in San Pablo and taught there for more than 2 years. This experience even made me better at what I do. It was also during this time that I have to combine it with being a student again taking a master’s degree, the Master of Arts in Nursing.

There were beautiful and sad experiences that happened during these years which probably will every now and then ignite what I felt every time I reflected on what had happened in my life in the past.  Or sometimes when it was the topic of conversation with previous colleagues and friends at times when we see each other or get together once in a while. Was I probably just being kind, naive and not very assertive of my abilities and capabilities back then that I was  being used? Or did I let it happen because I have nowhere to go or that I didn’t have a choice at the time and just accepted what was being offered and never bothered to question anything? Was this situation being taken advantaged of?

Why did I feel that way? Firstly, I was the only one given a monthly compensation when everybody was paid per hour.  Then, I was at the office every Saturday and eventually found out from the secretary that I really don’t have to be there because it wasn’t really necessary since I wasn't paid for it. There were some few more that it's better left unsaid. You probably will feel sorry for me. :) How can I be so naive? Or should I say "stupid"? Or maybe I probably deserve it? Or maybe it was not at all the intention? It's not very important anymore, but whatever the case maybe it has taught me a valuable lesson and made me realized a lot of things about people and life.

On a personal note however, I was treated well by everybody, my colleagues who became eventually my friends, and especially was well respected by the student body. Most importantly, I never regretted anything because in one way or another it helped me became the person I was at my last encounter with this profession. And lastly, I was grateful that I was given that chance to do what I am passionate about, connecting to people and sharing with them a part of me.

Is there "life" after teaching? DEFINITELY... and it was even BETTER.

To be continued.... :)


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