Saturday, April 29, 2006

Enough Pretending and Reverting Back to Who I Really Am..

It has been some years now and I have often wondered when I would go back to my old self, being silent, setting my priorities straight and aiming for success in my task oriented commitments. Well, while I do not decry losing these things when I started to build on my network of friends, after graduation, everything seemed like vacation time was over.

Now blessed with a new job, something easy since I know the ins and outs, and calling all the shots at that, well, I cant get away from the friends I left behind, and with my knack for helping out my friends in their times of need, I am always a call away. But as one of them told me before, I should leave some space for myself as well. Funny, but the same person is also no where in sight and avoiding me as well for one reason or another, but no complaints from me. I am not the type to nag.

Thinking about it for some time, I think its high time I tried to avoid them, well, I guess based on my other blogs, that I will be moving forward from hereon since most probably they would as well within the year when they get their diplomas as well. Sort of like getting a head start or so to speak.

The sign came last night I guess. Well, I felt I did not belong there anymore. I couldn’t relate and it was not pleasure I was looking for. On my way home I realized maybe its time I took on other matters like my own family and daughter of course.

Today I received several messages and I chose not to answer most of them. In a way, I employed a cold shoulder, since well, it was easier for me to let go that way. Well, that is life, and we all make choices. I guess mine is to revert to what I was once was, the serious and career oriented type of person who can live without needing to spare pleasure trips with people I thought were real and transparent. No regrets, but perhaps a bad ending to what I once thought was a good move.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

An Imperfect Day in Manila

Well, it’s a day where things could only get worst. A day I planned to spend with my mom and daughter turned out to be short lived as my car’s transmission conked. Well, having my Toyota Corolla 16 Valve for the past 3 years without giving me problems, the problem was forthcoming. Hard on the pockets, I had to have everything repaired the whole afternoon! Add to this, it was the day to give out the uniforms of the players for the upcoming Inter Village Tournament here in Greenhills, and there were 4 uniforms unaccounted for. My golly! What a day!

I ended up the day spending the night with my daughter at my favorite hangout near our place. Well, I figured I wanted to have some serious time with Vanessa. Well, we talked about how life has been treating us, the past, present and the future. I must say I was very speechless to hear the plans of my daughter, and I know she will do well. I could see the fire and determination in her eyes, similar to what I had when I felt the whole world was upon me when I was her age. Confused is only normal, and something that will help her mature faster. I am just glad to note that she is growing up responsibly and with a direction. As usual, I reminded her to take everything easily and follow her heart in all the things she does. There is not easier road to success other than to enjoy something you do.

As for me, well, double time on the work I left out today. Tomorrow is another day, and a day of busy schedules ahead. Ill be firing one of our helpers due to his cocky attitude and honestly, this is one case where I am not at all bothered by my conscience. I don’t want a person who doesn’t want to play with the team of dreamers and create mischief along the way. Many would say it is harsh, but put them in my shoes, they would probably say “I don’t blame you and its about time!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Chin Chin Power Bits Sports Drink is Here!

What a day! Tiring is an understatement but to have people act leisurely despite the presence of their superior, namely me, is something that prepares me for a day that will surely be forgettable and stressful.

I had two containers come in today and I must admit I was excited because the Chin Chin Power Bits Sports Drink had arrived! Unfortunately I was not happy with the labeling, lacking in glare and not attractive to the eyes of a buyer. Second, the posters I had made were not there…DAMN!

I wasted an entire day, directing people to make it fast and surely they will get an earful from me tomorrow. Good thing that I didn’t have Vanessa join me, otherwise I would have really been pissed. Add to this that I have been feeling dizzy the whole day, well because I am trying to cut down and lose some weight because I am not comfortable with my weight now. Hopefully after some weeks I will be back in form. Besides, I have a couple of leagues to play in AGAIN!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Annual Learning and Growth Activities

It is so frustrating once you achieve something and carve out a niche and then all of a sudden, the people who used to have that fire and determination in their eyes suddenly lost. Maybe went to their head? Or maybe a change of hear and priorities? Either way, I guess I should have seen it coming, especially for kids. You just cannot deprive them of maturity and change of priorities. Besides, I am in no position to dictate to them what they should do. They have to grow up one day.

Well if there is any consolation, it is similar to preaching. Every year, a new face, a new player shows up to take the place. My reward? Well aside from reaching out and broadening my network, it gives me a chance to help out younger people in their steps towards manhood, not to mention becoming a part of their lives, regardless if this is good or a bad experience for them.

It is two weeks away from the opening of our annual inter village league here in Greenhills, San Juan. This is the most disorganized league I have ever handled, is it me or maybe the people are no longer looking forward to it. Anyway, this year may perhaps be the last one, and next year, well, hopefully I will be fulfilling the political duties I am groomed to undertake. Anything can happen…

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Being The Best You Can Be

There will always be yardsticks in life, and comparing ones self with that of others can never be avoided. Such can be seen in sibling rivalries, competitive activities and even in professional undertakings. Trying to outdo each other in any way that they can is simply expected.

Various factors can be considered, and sometimes the level of accomplishment will always vary. The satisfaction that most people would get may not meet the ones set, since it is a given that the bar that is set is always high. But then again, everyone is gifted in a different way, and while these standards may not be enough to meet the ones that are expected, the expectancy level from the individual’s point of view will always be varied and should earn the utmost respect as a sign of professionalism.

Well, for aspirants, the only way to step up is through experience. Not minding people who may not look so highly on people lacking in such, time will come for them to shine. This applies to both personal and professional undertakings, where people will always have a share of disappointments at one point or another. But then again, rejection can be used as a source of power, a weighing point in being able to stand up and improve. With this, the people who consider themselves on top of the world will have to be more cautious, since the longer it is to get to the top, the harder the impact will be when your time will come. For the conservative people, simply staying put, assessing the situation and stepping back is the safest way. Who knows, these may be the next stars to banner appointment, something that may come as a surprise to all ambitious individuals of today.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Padlocking Treasured Memories and Wishful Thinking

I look at the stars, recall the past, well, some maybe memorable and some forgettable for that matter. Life has its ups and downs and no matter how I look at it, the saying is true that people just cannot find the satisfaction needed for them. Love, money, and power, these are the basic things that most people would die to have but seriously, this is impossible. Having one or two of them may be possible, but the underlying factor is on whether you will be happy with them.

Think of it, how do people who have money define happiness? They can buy anything in the world except love or a person who will truly love them for who they are. On the other hand, people who are closely loved by many would usually no have the money to finance all their needs, and would usually have to earn and work hard just to satisfy these needs. The verdict? Well, if man was created to have it all, then what purpose would he have in this world? What would he strive for?

Most of us dream of having everything we can imagine, a close family, a house, luxury cars and a good professional career. But reality is, I have rarely found nor heard someone who had all of this without hang-ups. This is not to discount such possibilities, but perhaps the closest that a person can get into is when they are close to closing the book in their lives. Life offers a lot of opportunities for people, and to take on all of them at the same time is simply unimaginable. I have tried, being a good husband, good father, successful worker in my field of Information Technology, a good son and brother, and most of all a valued and good friend. During these times I thought I was a success, but I was wrong. Like I said, love and money won’t play good music together and that was the case when I lost my wife to someone who could give her the things I lacked, attention, love and demands. There are no regrets on why this happened to my life, and maybe there are awaiting opportunities for me, most of which I am not really expecting.

I would be stupid not to admit that losing someone you have had for the past 14 years does not affect me, but even if we had our misunderstandings, memories will always be there and those 14 years are not something to throw away. The longer a relationship goes, the harder it is to accept that it is finished. But as I told her before, wherever she is happy, I would understand. For some reason I do not know why the idea kept on playing on my mind, well, I guess I got my answer and well, even if I had known earlier, I would have not interfered since I keep my word.

If there is one thing that was a turning point is that my wish when I was in my 20’s that my daughter would come back to me at some point in my life, when she would already know right from wrong. That wish came true and it came at the moment I was able to finish something I had longed to finish, my MBA degree, something that I had delayed for long. The setup is different and taking if from Vanessa’s favorite quote “I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference!” When I first read that on my 36th birthday, my feeling was unimaginable, something that cannot be explained. I never thought I would see someone put a quote for me in any way, something no one has ever done ever since I was into relationships. That was the greatest gift I received this year, and I just ignored the rest.

With my situation right now, separated but not annulled, is something that most women would not accept and I am aware of that. There are girls who have come and gone, most of which I could understand. It hurts to know the reason but well, that is life. I just have to move on. Add to this that due to my numerous injuries from engaging in various basketball tournaments, have limited my means for regular exercise and I am slowly growing fatter, something that has contributed in people not wanting to be seen with me, even if they deny it. Hey! Looks are still what people go for, and sad to say I don’t have that anymore and well, I just turn my back and wave goodbye. Don’t want to mention names but these people would know who they are. Good luck to you and hope you find the person of your dreams. I couldn’t care less and at least this early, I can tell the type of personality that these people have, and even if it worked, it would not last long.

I have moment of loneliness and blankness. I remedy them by turning off the lights or cruising along the roads and listening to my favorite relaxing tunes “The Love Affair Piano Theme” by Ennio Morricone. Why do I like it? Don’t know, brings back memories I guess, and perhaps in the way the movie went, how I wish I would get to experience the same thing in due time, with Vanessa to witness it of course. As to whom I want it to be… I haven’t the slightest idea…

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Path Towards Fulfillment and Success

In my opinion, the best days in the life of a person would be his teenage life. While this would largely depend on how a person is brought up, the transition stage towards maturity to adulthood is the best way to enrich the entire learning process. Having an actual hand on experience, mixing ambition and life experiences molds a person into becoming a mature and independent person for him to be able to tackle life’s wonders.

Along the way, there will be misconceptions and disbeliefs but then again, these are part of the learning process. Building on their confidence, and using their sound judgment to separate the worthy friends and allies from typical users is something that anyone should learn. While there is no harm in providing trust to anyone whom they get into contact with, the price of being rejected or being torn down will always be common.

The path of anyone should never be scripted. For the people who want to see them fall, well, it will still depend on the person on how he is able to cope up with the challenge. Worthy or not, no one can lead their life to perfection other than the person himself.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Beautiful Mind and A Confused Heart

Keeping my mind busy and doing a lot of things simultaneously will truly get my thoughts to good use. Maybe this is why I opt to be hyperactive and take on work as much as I can. There is not question that I am still mending the pains of what has transpired for the past months, not to mention the sudden aloofness of people who I respected and liked so much. I just take them in stride, adding them up to experience and realizing the proper weight they have in my future. Sad and demoralized, people make choices, and I guess I made mine.

To love again is not among my immediate priorities. I am afraid to love again and made a fool of again. I couldn’t care less of not having someone around other than Vanessa. She is all that is left from a once promising life I thought I had. To start all over again with someone new seems academic at this point.

Some one pop the question, would I have plans of marrying again? Would I love again? I ask myself the same question everyday and the answer is thin line of emptiness. It doesn’t seem to be important right now and majority of the people I admire at one time or another, even if they deny it, would be better off with someone who can give them less complications. I envy these people, even the not so great friends I have. I may excel in work, organizing, sports and business endeavors but like most people, you simply cannot have it all. Maybe this is why I don’t give love much thought anymore even though I must admit, I look and think of someone I wish would be there to once again open my eyes to lifetime partnership.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Basketball, Victory and Goodnight?

Tiring Day! I spent practically 12 hours taking care of the basketball team and doing my duties for our barangay. I was at the basketball court since 12 noon, and helped in managing the team since the opening is coming soon, actually, 2 weeks! Now I really need to cram!

Well, this is something I love to do, and something I vowed to accomplish. I owe it to the kids to build on the sports programs that I have set for the village, and hopefully this will be another banner year like last year when competition was really close and fun. No thanks to some friends who backed off at the last moment for one reason or another, I find myself doing the work even for the other villages! Politics and personal problems geez, its one of those times where people are hard headed and don’t get along.
Guess who is caught in the middle AGAIN! ME! For Crying Out Loud!

Well we won handily for our 3rd straight win in the Mayor’s Cup Tournament here in San Juan.
Impressed with the Midgets Team since I have challenged them to do better because they are the defending champions!
Help from the players in creating a dream team to allow the players to participate in the tournament.
A weird text message from someone who I have no idea of why she suddenly sent me a SMS message on my phone. Well, sweet as it was, she is one of the persons I am trying to avoid. No more heartaches and disappointments, no room for them right now. She has enough friends without me. Harsh am I not? Can you blame me? I have misinterpreted people for many occasions and I choose to stop and move on. It won’t matter to her anyway even if she would know.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Choices, Decisions and Farewells

It is not secret that I am going aloof to some friends. I have chosen to move on and well, leave the past to where it is. We all have to make choices, and whatever the decisions is, it may eventually lead to farewells. Hard at first, but there may be a lot of factors, like love, security and happiness. Remember, happiness entails sacrificing, and this includes people as well. Even if you think you were close, well, that is all there is, thinking you were close.

There were some people I considered close. Some which faded when I finished my studies. Far or nearby, you can immediately feel if the friendship is meant to grow into something fruitful. But non-communication, responses or anything that is very much different from the days before is already a sign of something wrong. It is a known fact that when people fall in love, friends take a back seat. I am already used to this, and my usual action is to just back off and disappear for a while. Why push for something where you will just cause trouble. It is better to just shut up and keep mum on the matter.

Tonight, I was invited to two parties. I refused to go to both and just said I had already other commitments. Truth is I didn’t, I just didn’t feel like going. Some of the friends I am referring to are there and to go to one would be unfair and raise eyebrows. The first one is because the person is there, and well, I am not a good pretender that nothing is happening as to why the person is avoiding me. I mean, like why spoil a gathering when there is friction or where I won’t enjoy right?

I am slowly going back to my normal life, quiet and simple. I am not much of an outgoing person, and that is proving to be evident. I love to help people, but other than that, well, retreat and surrender to anything. I’d rather keep a low profile, walk in the dark and just see who will need my company and assistance in the long run. By company I mean, someone who will accept me for who I am, love me for who I am and need me for who I am. I said it before and I will say it again, I do not believe in forcing someone into something that she will not understand wholeheartedly. Sad to say, that person was someone I was going to see tonight. Farewells are best said by no shows and quietness. I guess I did just that and finally put an end to anything that was bothering me for the last year about her.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Poison of Money cured by Ambitious Children

Surprisingly, gone are the days of nobleness and loyalty. Yes money can buy anything right now. No legal issues involved. Think about how money plays its role here, you give out money to spend for a grand wedding, you spend money to impress people, and you also spend money to resort to legal cases as annulment, legal separation and maybe divorce if it was existent in the Philippines.

Today, handling things should disregard emotional effects. Once you let emotions come in, you will automatically lose. Wearing a poker faced mask, well some people have no problem in it, especially when they are able to buy the relatives and people around. The modern day hero, simple, and reserved who believes in aiming for heights the traditional and professional way would choose not to follow and get himself entangled to a web of mischief and uncertainty, adding woes to an already emotionally stressed track record.

Well maybe not all is lost. A promising future, advanced knowledge, friends around (well maybe not all the time, I can only name three immediately), and a burning passion for success and fulfillment. All other than this, well, they mean nothing for now.

Will I marry again? Not now for sure. Life is complicated enough as it is and having my daughter adjust to a new partner may not be fair. Regardless if she denies it, it is still different being with your real mother. But I am proud of my daughter, although a little bit off track at times, she has proven to be a better person under my tutelage and that alone is an accomplishment. In time I know she will truly learn the meaning and value of life. I just want to see the day that she does so. Perhaps that would be the end of the chapter of my life, a golden one at that, for no one would be more happier, than a father who was once tagged to be irresponsible yet through the accomplishments of his only prized possession is a trophy larger than all my medals and trophies put altogether. Mission Accomplished! --- A matter of time and growing up…

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

True Great Leaders, Politics and Honor

It takes a great person to admit his guilt, bow his head, and slowly stay out of the limelight. This is one thing that most people have a hard time doing, especially people who have been accustomed to a certain lifestyle or have been empowered. The reason? Shame? Afraid of Humiliation? While it is true that such may be evident, it is something what will have to be faced eventually. There is no escaping such things, and continuously fighting for something that is obviously pointless will lead to aggravate the situation, not to mention the credentials of the people. Unless of course they are likened to some people who are in the local political scene of this once great country, from the president down towards the political figures, may God have mercy on their souls. It is better to have a clear conscience than cheating people. Oh did I say cheating people? I got plenty of those from my personal life to the social life. Well, life goes on for me and while they may have put one over me, sad to say, I couldn’t care less.

I have a mission to fulfill, and till my last drop of blood and sweat, I will abide by it. I know I am no superman, but maximizing the effort for all my aspirations, these are only for a certain extent and not to aim for worldwide fame and fortune. I am already blessed with a good daughter and family, three best friends coming from different educational ventures, and the rest, well, I don’t know for now, maybe eventually they will be closer to me.

A partner you say? Hmmm. Tough question, but if I were to answer that at this moment, still nothing and I guess unless I feel that magic of having someone outside my daughter again, I guess it will remain that way. There are some around, but they may be summed up to show different calculations and misconceptions, hence if they feel the same way, I will know if it was really meant to be. One thing more, I do not want to presume anymore and just want to plainly be myself

Changing Times, Changing Guards

Accepting defeat, living on your own and facing the worst, these are the problems I have chosen to face. I should have known better than to ask for help from people I thought would be able to help, but regardless, I already knew beforehand that I had an uphill battle to which I am ready to face. Even some years back, I already expected this, always wanting to do things my way, facing them in the manner I deemed fit. Not even a superhero can have the guts to face these problems alone, both mentally and psychologically. Besides, they have their own problems, and much as I do have my own, I still manage a simple grin or smile to hide them away.

I have been carrying a load, I still reminisce about old time my daughter and I had a complete family. But money does change everything and who can blame anyone from enjoying life by resorting to even the immoral deeds. Even if I do have a hard time, knowing I am living a clean life and doing as I was educated is enough for me to be proud of. Most people of today would not value it as much as I do, but given the chance, I would want to stick to the conservative life and pray that these people would stay away from me.

The world is full of users. It is hard to trust anyone you have not tried and tested. Friends will be there but for how long. The valued friends will remain, and in anyone’s heart and mind, they will be able to know. Even if you have 100 friends, only one-tenth of that is sure to be true to you. The other are just there purely to tag along, but to consider them and open up to them your secrets, well, think twice before doing so, because sometimes, worst enemies come from allies that you thought could be trusted.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Inter MBA Awards Night 2006 and an Angry Angel

T’was a night for recognition. All the school I had played against were there, host UST, San Beda, Asian Institute of Management, arch nemesis De La Salle University (which happens to be my former school in college by they way) and of course my school Ateneo Graduate School of Business, the over-all champs. My only reason for being there is to share the night with my co-athletes and mingle with my friends who participated in the other events. I played in Bowling and Basketball, both champions in their own events. Being a member alone is already a fulfillment for me.

My best friend Blue Viray was there and we talked about various things, including current issues about the bowling team and future undertakings. Everyone was in a jolly mood. I was until a close friend of mine called me and became upset that she was not informed. I made the proper invitation in our Yahoo Groups but as I found out, she never accepted the invitation for some reason. Hencel, more than just a dear friend to me if she only knew (or does she?), was among the first ones I invited into the group, making it a lot weirder why she did not join the group. Her great boyfriend is not good buddy of mine, someone who despises me so much for more reasons than one, one of which was knowing I tried to court her girlfriend late last not knowing they were already on. Add to this that I made the basketball team and he didn’t all the more made him uncomfortable, but unlike him, I have been through many battled and even if I did not make the team, it wouldn’t be such a big deal geez. Charge it to experience. I was only invited to try out, but I did not set my hopes high like him.

Anyway, back to the party. I was surprised that I found myself receiving the basketball championship award for the school. The council president had to attend to something so he asked me to receive the trophy on behalf of the school. I was flattered of course, since for one, I was never instrumental in anyway for the team. I was content with making it to the team and nothing else. I suddenly had a dandy idea! I asked the whole team to come with me on stage to receive the award since they more deserved to hold it than me.

When our team was called, I led them to stage, receiving handshakes and high fives from UST players whom we fought in the finals. We all stood tall and received the award, something meaningful for the school. I was just glad to receive it for them.

What really gave me the sense of fulfillment was the fact that I was part of the team that regained the crown we lost last year. This is my last year with them, and being part of something important to them, and receiving it on their behalf was more than honoring. I have decided to retire from basketball to allow my injuries (hamstring and groin injuries, firsts in my entire playing career!) and focus on my writing and professional work. It was a year worth remembering and surely next year I will continue to support Ateneo, not anymore as a player, but as a loyal spectator in the stands! For Hencel, well we already talked and ironed things out, but as I told her, she is the LAST person I would not want to be with on such a special night. If she was there, I would have asked her to join me in accepting the award as well, since I am not known to hog the limelight for people who are more deserving than me. Congratulations Ateneo Graduate School of Business…. It has been a privilege indeed!

College Day Hepatitis and Marital Issues

I remember my bout with Hepatitis A during my college days, I was about to graduate and I really abused my body as far as nightlife, alcohol and cigarettes were concerned. I wasn’t married yet but I had a cute angel called Vanessa from my former wife. I must admit, it was these times I was not yet as responsible as what people would say a good father was. I aimed to finish my studies despite already being delayed for two years and prove to my estranged wife, family and especially myself that I can accomplish this so they will not look at me so low. As it seems, my unfortunate in-laws would have no high regards for me, calling me a failure and putting me down all the time. My ex wife would call me a nobody, since I had to rely from my parents and grandparents for support our baby and all I could give was a measly P2,000.00 support per month during that time. Times were hard, and it went to the extent of her parents pushing her to look for someone else, a tycoon who owned one of the largest car companies in the Philippines to this day.

Frustrating and down as I was, I just set this occurrence aside and made it my driving factor. It was at this time that only my mom understood what I was going through and all I could say then, I would get over this dilemma some day. But if there was one thing I somehow managed to wish was that once the time comes and my baby would be a lady, she would come to me. Or at least I believed in that personally.

I remember the time when I would see them on weekends, slowly; my daughter would be growing up. I had hard feeling towards my ex wife but not on my daughter for I knew she was not aware of what was going on. Besides, like me, kids would usually go with their mothers when their parents are separated. I just enjoyed these moments with a heavy heart, contenting myself being happy with the situation.

At school, this indeed affected me. My total focus was not there. I kept on thinking of my future, both personally and professionally. While I excelled in some subjects, I also had my share of letdowns. I soon found myself being addicted to alcohol. Every night I would drink an average of 8 bottles of beer, regardless of where I was. I drowned my sorrows in alcohol and smoked till my lungs would give. Suicide? Nah, maybe I just wanted to see how far my health would take me. Sports was still there for me, being the athletic person I am.

It was on a day where I emceed a seminar when I started to feel strange. I felt dizzy, not having any appetite and all I wanted to do was drink liquids. At first, I thought it was just out of being too busy so I didn’t really mind it. I drove home and just prepared a jug full of iced tea to get me through the day. I still barely had the appetite to eat. I just went to bed and slept.

I woke up the following day feeling a lot weirder. I was really not feeling up to it, but yet I rose from my bed and went to attend our usual afternoon basketball game at the village. I could barely keep up with my friends. After 4 games, I became weaker and I immediately went home, catching my breath and immediately slept. The next day I couldn’t really get up and felt weaker and weaker. My mom checked on me and asked me why I was not eating for the past 3 days. She called my dad and they immediately brought me to my aunt who was a practicing doctor then at De Los Santos Medical Hospital. After a series of tests, it was confirmed that I had Hepatitis and that I had to be admitted. It was my first time to be admitted in a hospital and I must say that it being the first time, I had mixed emotions. I was wondering how it felt to be in a hospital. The experience made me accept that being hospitalized was very uncomfortable as it was.

Among my visitors was my best friend Byno, my grandparents Alfredo Nicdao from my mother’s side, and Amado and Demetria Yalung from my father’s side. And of course someone whom I least expected came because my mom told her about what happened, my estranged wife. I was never a man known to solicit pity but her presence indeed was surprising. She returned to singing in night clubs, something I really hated and well, just went with the flow. I have no idea if Vanessa knew about it, but she was too young then to understand. She was only 3 years old back then. It was at this time that we decided to get married, something I only found out now was a wrong decision.

I never knew the real reason why we got married, but in a way I am glad since my daughter officially went under my name and today she is with me. She is all grown up and reaching that stage where I made that drastic mistake. Everyday I remind her to make the most out of her life, enjoy and don’t rush into marriage to avoid what I went through. I owe it to my daughter to enjoy her life and make sure she does not go through what I went through, because anyone who would ruin her life at my expense will get what is due to him at my expense as well.

For me? Well, I haven’t really tackled my personal life to this day. Having someone is still not registering on my mind and my immediate goals is to save up, give my Vanessa a good education (She passed her 3rd Year without having to take summer classes! A big sigh of relief and making me proud and stomping over the people who did not believe in her!) and once God permits, get our own home. I believe I can attain this without asking help anymore from my parents. It is best they just concentrate on my other brother and sisters since I am not known to beg for help. I would rather help than be helped. Besides, asking for help and then finding out they would help my younger siblings is something I would rather not think about. Then again, that is another story…