I’m grown up (surely Ninang!). Am I who I wanted to be? Are you who you said you would like to become? What did we want to be when we we were small? Are you still hoping to “grow” up? I am. 🤓

“Pag laki ko gagayahin kita! (When I grow up I’ll try to be like you)” is a popular quip given as a complement to someone who succeeded or was awarded for something noteworthy. The irony and funny thing is, this is usually mentioned by an adult himself. This I suppose is either an extreme expression of admiration, an attempt to be funny to cover up a hidden frustration, or a true blue dream and aspiration to become (despite age and limitations!) like the other. When I grow up I’ll be a popular, much-loved TV actress and personality (!)– that’an attempt to be funny to cover up my hidden frustration (it’s not too late Ninang!).

Doctors turned missionaries at 59.. Academician turned real-estate investor at age 51 (Taikichiro Mori), advertising and media person writing her first cookbook at 50 and becoming a celebrity chef (Julia Child).. figure skater and journalist turned fashion designer at 40 and becoming world’s premier women’s designer (Vera Wang).. housekeeper and farm laborer turned painter at 78! (Woah Ninang!) (Grandma Moses). . Actors turned politicians (Nooohhh! Let’s not judge Ninang. 🤔). It’s never too late to change careers. It’s never too old to “grow up”. (http://www.businessinsider.com/successful-people-who-made-a-big-career-change-2016-4). What do you want to be when you grow up?

My eldest daughter is soon going to college. And depending on the school is the course she applied to take- Biology, Architecture, and thinking of a Math course last night. I remember applying to different schools and for different courses as well- BS Biology, Medical Technology, BS Math. Will I be a doctor, a doctor (twice considered as I sensed my parents wanted me to be a doctor– “actress mommy, actress!”), or an actuarian. My math teacher in highschool told me I should be a Newscaster. He said he can connect me to his friend. Another highschool Math teacher said I should be a social worker. Hmmmm.. what are these math teachers telling me?!?

I want to take up a Masteral degree. I want to get a PhD. I would like to do researches. I want to publish an academic and non-academic book. I would like to do further studies on echocardiography. Is it too late to be an electrophysiologist? I want to cook (c’mon Ninang!). I want to teach students. I want to train trainees. I want to be a wise, effective, always compassionate church and health leader. I want to be a stage mother. I want to be my kids’ personal assistant. I want to be my husband’s secretary. I want to appear on tv (relentless Ninang!). I want this. I want that. What does God want?

I want to be everything for everyone. This really leads to frustration, disappointment, anxiety, and, not rarely, confusion.

What does God want? Submission. Surrender. Peace.

Apparently, what we now want to be as grown-ups is much more complex than what we wanted to be when we were little. And one question to ourselves may be able to put things in their simplest, proper perspective which can give us peace, as it gave me: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I remember having all these wants-to-be in my head and feeling trembly and on edge. And this question calmed me down. (This is actually the reason why I wrote this article; which by some kind of reason got lost when I first wrote this piece.) Fast backward I know I’m happy just being able to drive a car like Mang Tino (the UCPB company driver who really impressed me with his driving skills). But really, I’m happy just being a doctor now! And I’ve got family! Someone actually fell madly in love with me (oh yeah! Oh yeah! Aha! Aha!- dancing with hands doing the circle thing).

Though I thought hard. What did I really want to be when I was growing up? And i was reminded of that moment when I thought I knew for sure who I want to be. (No daddy, not president of the world which I also told you before). I vividly remember, riding a bus from the university going to the province, looking at the window, crying, convinced, ready to deliver the news to my parents. I came home deep in the night, woke up my parents, and told them “Mommy, Daddy, I want to be a nun. I’m sure. I’m absolutely sure.” They told me to sleep and that we’ll talk about it in the morning. We never talked about it. I was unsure the following day.

Fast forward. I guess what I was absolutely sure about was to have an intimate, personal relationship with God. And as a born-again Christian I have never been more sure that I am what I wanted to be. Growing as a grown-up– where God leads, to what God wants (for He knows and gives what’s best for His children!).. one day at a time. 😊

– Ninang Growing thoughts

“Many are the plans in a mans heart,
but it is the Lords purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)

In Psalms 37:3-6:
“Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

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