When I was in grade school, I wanted to join our speech choir. More than half of the class were part of the speech choir. I would watch my classmates rehearsed every school day. I did not understand why I wanted it so bad. All I could remember everyday I would ask my teacher if I could join. I was very persistent like a die-hard suitor who would never let go until there was a finality of no. My teacher would reply, “We’ll see.” And my hope grew big that eventually I would be part of the speech choir. I had no memories of being disheartened or discouraged.
I was just a kid. I was too young to have puberty issues on body image, allowance, crushes, honors. I had no idea what self-esteem meant. I just wanted to be part of the speech choir. I did not try to look for reasons my teacher did not handpick me to be part of the speech choir. Maybe she thought I could not afford to buy the costume or she just did not like me. The reasons were not clear but I did not bother to know why. The only thing, that was very clear to me, was that I wanted to be part of the speech choir. I kept asking my teacher until it became part of my school routine.
One day, my teacher got so annoyed. She did not give me the usual friendly reply “We’ll see.” My presence felt like a head louse thriving on her head. It was as if she wanted to scratch her head and just get rid of me. She told me she would let me join if they would be needing more people.
I forget how it happened. I just remember I was with my classmates performing the Frog Singing School. Our group won the interschool competition. I would not have celebrated the victory of my classmates if it were not for my eagerness to join the team.
Looking back, I can’t believe I have that kind of guts to ask my teacher everyday if I can make it. I find it embarrassing. I had no inhibitions and fear on asking my teacher. I did not even question if I really deserve to be part of the speech choir. I did not question the criteria of my teacher or did I have what was required. I just wanted it hard enough, the way a five-year old boy throwing tantrums, forcing her mother to buy a candy.
I wish I still have that kind of courage and determination that never doubts, never fears. It was not even a big dream or life-changing event to aspire for. I could have just let it go, the way we let balloons and kites leave us, the way we let our coins fall on a wishing well. But I was just “makulit” and simply interested.
This reminds me of a blog I read days ago. In the blog of Mark Manson, he shared that instead of asking “What do we want in life?” We should ask, ”
“What do want to suffer for?”
“A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.”
“What determines your success isn’t “What do you want to enjoy?” The question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?” The quality of your life is not determined by the quality of your positive experiences but the quality of your negative experiences. And to get good at dealing with negative experiences is to get good at dealing with life.
There are some things we really like to have. It is not a question on how much we want something but it is how much are we willing to give up or to suffer. Sometimes, the question should be like, “What are things worth begging ?” What are the things you are willing to lose your pride just to get it? When rejection knocks at your door, it steals your pride and sometimes gives you a token of humiliation.
Sometimes you just have to wear thick face to get it.