Here Or There?

Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.

– Tony Schwartz

Have you ever been in a point wherein you question absolutely everything that’s happening in your life? Well, of course you have. They say everyone experiences a moment when they don’t know what they want, where they’re going, why they do the things that they do, et cetera, et cetera. But being the person that I am (a visionary), I always thought that I’ve kept my life well-together the whole time. I always knew what I wanted since day 1, I always say the right things to get to the right places, I’ve seen myself in where I want to be. And I’ve lived in the sweet scent of success through my daydreams. I never thought that someday I’d be moping around unhappy with the decisions I’ve made. Growing up, I have been surrounded by people who belittle my ambitions and think of me as folly. But my parents raised me to shut my ears from all that. They’ve always been supporting and encouraging me to go after what I want—to never look back on people who bring me down.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can be great.

— Mark Twain

I only have two goals in life, and that is to be so successful that I’d be able to help EVERYONE in need. I don’t ever want anybody to feel the way that our family did whenever we went to ask for help—turned down. It has really hurt our pride and sense of self-importance every time this happens. Life hasn’t been a roll off a log for us. We’ve lived in four different homes and moved from Cebu to Bohol and back to Cebu again for the past decade, our family grew in number, and challenges never seem to miss knocking on our doorstep. During this time, we’ve sought help countless of times. And it was also during this time that we discovered the people who would stand by us through good days and bad. It surprised us to know we’d find more family in our friends. I know how it feels to be stuck in hopeless situations, and my family’s lifestyle have urged me to grow up too fast. To understand things beyond age, and to measure life in the yardsticks of adult years. That is why I work so hard in everything that I do. I don’t fool around and flow with absurd crazes.

Sometimes when things are at their worst,
in the long run, it can all work out for the better.

This can be a time for reflection,
to look at where you came from
and to visualize where you might go from here.

The hardest times can be
blessings in disguise.

Often it’s those times when
one opportunity falls through that
you are led to a better one.

– Carol Howard

My second goal is to live in the heart and beauty of life itself. I want to immerse myself in literature and art. To dance in colors, and still wake up in sunshine through the rain. I want to paint, sketch, sculpt, design, read till my heart’s content, write everything I think and feel. I want to travel back in time through the immortal words of authors and brushstrokes of artists. I want to see the world as it should be—good and divine.

But today, as I was reading some issues of EJ | USA, certain topics like entrepreneurship, volunteerism, and multimedia and digital arts caught my attention. I realized that people are doing the things that are fulfilling and worthwhile for them. They’re passionate with what they do. May it involve business and management, performing, creating, or whatever. I hope you know where I’m getting at… Yes, my degree program. Engineering. Of all the things! I’m already in my third year, yet I can’t seem to find any love for it. The only reasons I’m still here is because I dream to revolutionize the Philippine economy through engineering works. I want to improve the environment by supporting the sustainable energy movement, and going green with construction. And most of all, I want to be able to build, not just houses, but homes. I want people to feel that they have their own space; a place they can be comfortable in, that’s affordable and yet still middle-class living.

So here I am now, writing about how baffled I am on what I should do. My goals and passions aren’t riding along the same track. I want to be able to make a change, but my love for all things aesthetic and literary are telling me to give them a shot! Ugh, I don’t know! Most adults I ask advice from tell me “Oh, that’s just a phase.” “You’re just afraid of the uncertainties of the future. That’s why your mind is raising all these obstacles.” “It’s a test of courage, to see how far you’d go.” “Don’t waste time on art, it’s not a practical career opportunity here in the country.” “Continue being a Civil Engineer, and just make art and literature a hobby.” If it is just a phase, well it’s lasted for almost more than a year now. And no, I am not afraid of the future. On the contrary, it excites me.

All these advice are deafening, to be honest. I don’t want to make any impulsive decisions, and I wouldn’t want to disappoint my parents who work ever so hard for us. Especially my dad, who has big dreams for me. But I also don’t want to spend my life dejected and wondering “What if I tried, would things be different?”

Sometimes, I just want to jump out of the blue. Sail strange seas, as I say. I know that people will definitely vote for my degree program because it’s what’s “realistic.” But they don’t know my heart as well as I do. I know this isn’t just a phase because I usually easily grow out of things. I don’t feel the need to be overly-attached to things that are intuitively unimportant in my life. You see, when I’m listening to our Mechanics class, or Dynamics, or Surveying… I actually don’t have any problem with it. I can understand it just fine. But over the past few months, mid-class, I gradually find myself making sketches and daydreaming instead. Basically my notebook starts off with sines, cosines and tangents, and seemingly ends in couplets, and pictures of lakes and cherry trees.

What should I do? My reasoning seems to be very obscure. A little sense of direction from anyone wouldn’t hurt me. Anyway, I just needed to let this queer feeling out of my chest without having anyone look at me in a very critical manner. So yeah… that’s that.

Ever felt the same way as I did at some point in your life? 


More about Alyssa Molina

A 19-year old bibliophile who sees the glass half full, and sails strange seas.

7 thoughts on “Here Or There?

  1. Kiersten

    These are genuinely great ideas in about blogging. You have touched some pleasant things
    here. Any way keep up wrinting.


  2. Andi

    As they say, follow your heart. It is very simple yet complex. First is you have to have a support system (family, friends, and some cash). The reason for the support system is that, not matter how challenged or stressed you are, there will be people behind your back to push and cheer you. Next is you have funds to support your calling. (ex: if you love art, you have to invest in things where money is involved like workshop, tours, real-time experiences, etc…) If you have these plus your determined heart and mind, you can pursue what your dreams are. Yes, it is hard and obstacles are always there. But you have to keep moving forward and hold on to your support system to carry on.

    I am not a college graduate, I only finished 3rd year college and stopped because of financial problems. I’ve been working for years now even until today and I’ve only started pursuing my travel & blogging goals because I recently had my support system. I’m on a budget travel but at least, I am moving and getting there on my goals. You should start early so that you can reach there early too. 🙂


    1. Alyssa Molina

      You’re right, Andi! It’s funny how things can be such a piece of cake and a tight knot at the same time.

      Support systems are very important. I have the most wonderful support system, and that is my family. 🙂 I guess that’s why it’s also hard for me to pursue what I really want because I have to think of what’s best for them too, not just for myself. Yes, art is quite an expensive venture. Heaven knows how hard it is to be a self-taught artist, that’s why one must really invest in proper education and exposure to it. There’s no doubt to my determination, I just feel like time is catching up. And I fear that I may be too late to make my dreams come true if I don’t decide now. 🙁 Obstacles are no biggy, I just try to stay optimistic at all times! 😀

      I have experienced stopping school for a while because of financial problems too. That’s when I really had the time to clear my mind on what I want to do in the future. But of course, one of my apprehensions go back to the old adage that it’s gonna be hard to find a good career without a college degree. So I went back to school once our problems alleviated. But I’m glad that things are working out for you! You must be one of the people they call the “lucky ones.” I’ll do my best to juggle both profession and passion as much as I can. And yes, to start early as well!

      Thank you for all you advice, Andi! 🙂 Good luck on all your travels. Godspeed.


  3. Richel V.

    I already graduated college and I still feel all these! What I want is a job that will allow me to travel, freelancing, volunteering, etc. But I’m doing an 8 to 6 job coding. Do I regret it? No, not really. What works for me is that I still do my daily job that supports me and my family. On the times that I am officially off the clock, I work on my passion. I blog. I travel. I socialize. If the opportunity arrives that maybe travel blogging or full-time blogging can support me, I’ll go for it. But for now, I’m okay with it being a side-project. So I won’t be burn out with my office job and I still have the chance to work on my passion. 🙂


    1. Alyssa Molina

      Yaaas, I feel you! 😂 If there was only a way to do what we’re really passionate about and make money doing it too! Sometimes, the horizon just seems scary, you know?

      Wow, coding. I had a 3-unit programming class last semester, and man… it was so frustrating! Codes just aren’t my thing. I can’t imagine doing it 8 to 6 for five days in a row… Good luck on that Richel! 🙂

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. It’s quite relieving to know that I’m not alone, and that at some point people can actually relate and counsel each other on these matters. I really appreciate it. Continue doing what you love <3


  4. Augustin Ra

    What a very relatable post, Alyssa! I couldn’t take away myself from your situation. I’ve been there and maybe I still am. My relatives pull me down and they even tell my mom or my grandma since I was a kid that I won’t be finishing college so I proved them wrong by earning scholarships since grade school and until now. Did you know that I was so happy when I was going to pay my tuition fee this month because I got a discount for being a Dean’s lister and on Friday, I’ll be having my second round of interview from an international scholarship? So wish me luck! Hehe! Anyway, people has a lot to say about us, good or bad but it’s up to us if we let those things define us or not.

    I guess, experiencing hardships in such a young age was a factor for me to be mature beyond my years even on how I handle my money back then. I still can remember when I was in second grade that I’d use my school allowance as a capital for a business. I sold stickers to my classmates. My grandma would even ask money from me and I told her that it had 100% interest. Hahaha! It was funny of me to be a business minded person even though I was just eight years old.

    I used to be an Accountancy student and now, I’m a Marketing major. I thought Accountancy was for me because I dreamed of being a corporate lawyer and it was what the people wanted of me like I did the right choice for choosing it. Throughout the years of studying Accounting, the sleepless nights didn’t make me happy compared to my sleepless nights as a Marketing major. My Tito even dragged me down and told my other Tito that I became a Dean’s lister just because my program is an easy one than Accountancy. I think every program is difficult but it becomes easy because we’re too damn passionate and in love with it. Right? Although, I didn’t mind him as long as I’m doing this for myself and not hurting anybody, then, I’m good. 🙂 Now that I’m a Marketing major, it opened to a lot of doors of opportunities that I’m forever grateful of. That’s why 2016 had been a good year for me.


    1. Alyssa Molina

      Congratulations on all your achievements, Augustin! 😁👏👏👏

      Things are never easy, but I guess it’s always good to remember that they never stay hard as well. It’s so much pressure when people are pulling you down, but it’s all really worth it to stand back up. Everything will always be rewarded, and it’s even sweeter when you’ve earned it through your own hard work without relying on people too much and taking shortcuts. I was a really shy type of kid back then, so I don’t think I could’ve handled business the way you did, and at such an early age if I must say! Though I’m very thrifty, and during rainy days savings do come in handy.

      Lately, I have been thinking things through instead of musing around dead-end possibilities. I could always go for Engineering and think about the bigger picture; I don’t entirely detest it anyway. Maybe one of these days I’ll have fun with it. I made wonderful friends through this degree program after all, I should be at least be grateful for that, right? I couldn’t agree with you more on doing things for ourselves that make us happy as long as we’re not hurting anybody! Why should we be repressed from this luxury? 🙂

      Thank you so much for your thoughts, Augustin, and I wish you an even more wonderful year this 2017! 😘😘


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