New York, USA -- "The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." - Steve Jobs
Acquainted, I stood up at 1st Avenue with enough self-will and confidence to step inside the most influential building of my 20 years of existence. The familiar facade that spreads throughout the east side of New York -- it was just how our Ambassador-professors described it.
Childhood for the misfits
I was fortunate to have found friends who were adventurous and bizarre enough to explore the unexplored -- no matter how crazy it was. We made a chemistry lab, studied different languages at the streets, played Quidditch with a broomstick that we snatched from our living room paired with a matching twig-wand and even re-enacted the British monarchy with royal banquets and weddings at the age of 13.
The main favorite for us was, the general assembly of the United Nations at our garage. We were definitely a bunch of weirdos but I would not accept anything less than weird. Away from the technology, we were left with our imagination instead. After 8 years, we were still in touch and we brushed up on the crazy crap we did.
Child's play vs reality
"If it weren't for my childhood, I will never know what I would want in my life."
You see, all of these were timely and relevant. As a kid, I was a boy of many dreams. I wanted to be an inventor and follow the footsteps of Edison and Tesla. I memorized the table of elements at a young age. My elementary classmates were always laughing whenever I present them with a new cleaning solution that included a bunch of household chemicals such as hydrochloric acid and efficascent oil. I remember when my science teacher once dared me to remove the stain at the wall. Only then she will believe on my inventions. The whole class would huddle on the corner and anticipate while I apply the solution and secretly scratch and rub on it too. As it slowly disappears, everyone was screaming like crazy and there I was with my hilarious grin -- and the reeking smell across the room.
When I got into 3rd year in junior high, I learned to hate Chemistry and Physics. I realized that it was just not for me hence dropping the big "scientist" dream.
When my childhood friend visited the Philippines last year after being away for many years, we reflected inside a cafe and asked them to write three things that they've enjoyed the most in our childhood.
One wrote "garage sale" and the other wrote "mini lab activities." as their top 1. What I wrote was my all-time favorite, the UN General Assembly; as it was obvious since we did it consecutively for 4-5 years. Some of them realized that they would love to pursue business because of the garage sale we did years ago while the other wanted to work at NASA or perhaps specialize on pure mathematics because it peaked their interest while they were young.
One hated when we did C.A.T. (Citizen Military Training) in front of our houses but today she's now a CAT officer at her school. It's funny how we've realized what we can and potentially do in our life. Now, it's basically doing the things you love as a child and just doing it in a different setting such as the workplace per se. It's about the perspective of how we view things.
Note: What three things are you truly interested in? Write down the three things you're very interested in and map out how you can create a career out of it. If the economic value is low, how can you innovate to uplift its value? Are you able to dedicate 10-15 minutes everyday to brush on the things you love? Why or why not?
The ones who truly do
I remember vividly that we built a United Nations podium from carton boxes and reenacted the Security Council together with the kids from the block. Of course, I was speaking gibberish french while carrying the flag we made from art paper. We've asked the younger kids to pretend to be our mini-interpreters and had them simultaneously interpret our speech. I forgot whose idea it was but probably came from me. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
We were seen by the oldies of our neighborhood as crazy and probably a bad influence to our younger friends. Some parents made it a point to avoid me at all cost while some just saw us as kids doing what we have to do. Yet who would've thought that we were living our dreams and aspirations at that very moment?
Reenacting everything as a kid made me realize the "dos and the don'ts" in life. It made me realize the person I've wanted to be. For me, that was the start in knowing the more complex and competitive UN.
Few months ago, I said to myself "I don't know when or how I'll go to the United Nations, but one thing's for sure: I'll be there."
I carry the still energy of the thousands of influential people who stood at that very podium; making me feel like I've reached my dreams. But then, I will never feel successful if I don't see my own country rise from the ashes. My only resolve is to be a diplomat and serve the very land that raised me. I don't know when or how.
But one thing's for sure: I'll be there.
Special thanks to my mentor during our college days, Ms. Glady Brojan, who is now assigned at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations. I happened to be at the chamber beside her and it was an honor to see the daily life of a Filipino diplomat. "It's both glamorous and tough work. Especially in New York, everyone gives their 100%" she said. Ate Glad gave me a UN Teddy bear as we parted ways to remind me of the dreams I continue to live for.