Everyone wants to move forward. On to the next thing all the time. Looking at my own life, I guess that’s what I’m doing now: moving forward. I’m not exactly what sure what path I should take but I know that I have to get there. One of the first step of moving forward for me this year was to resign from my work. About a month has passed and I used to wonder not if it was the right decision, but was it really moving forward?
Last October 10, I visited my former office in Pasong Tamo, Magallanes to get my back pay. I had mixed emotions going back for a lot of reasons. I was happy visiting to see how my old officemates were doing. They’ve grown more than merely officemates to me and I actually became friends with most of them. Though there was a sense of excitement, somehow I felt anxious and worried. I was worried how things have changed since I left. Were there new people? Do they still see me as the same? I left the office about a month or so ago with a purpose, a dream, and for sure they’re going to ask me how my journey was trying to achieve that dream.
Going to the office, it was kind of reminiscing how I took that same route over and over again for the past 2 and a half years and now I’m going there for a different reason. All the while, I was feeling stuck in that routine of taking the same way going to work, getting there before 9, turning on my computer, doing my job, etc.
True enough when I got there, it was really nice seeing familiar faces. As I’ve said earlier staying in the same place for almost three years is something. From the security guards and utility people, it was comforting to see them and ask them how they were.
My area, office 3, is located at the far end of our office. You would literally pass all the other departments before you get to office 3. It was a perfect chance to go through each of the people there and just say hi. My first stop was of course our HR department. My main reason for going back was the money the company still owed me. I have to be honest, seeing the papers indicating how much money I’d get was uplifting. I don’t consider myself a shallow person who’s just concerned with money, but it was sure fun seeing that amount.
My type of work in the marketing department had to utilize a lot of people from all the different types of departments from the company. From the warehouse, customer service, retail, store planning, corporate and sales, creatives, and the marketing, there was a feeling of unity, well at least for me. We all had the goal of making profit and each one was needed in fulfilling that goal. It was also in my personality to be curious about other people. In my stay there, I got involved in people’s lives knowing who they were and what there dreams were. There are also a lot of older people there and it was interesting for me to see how they were working not just for themselves but also for their families and loved ones. I have to admit most of the time there was selfishness on my part thinking solely about my income and my career and yet I see other people waking up everyday to make ends meet for their families. So going back to my type of job that deals working with a lot of people, I got really involved with them and that’s why I’ve gotten to know them personally.
It was really nice seeing friends faces again. To be honest, the group of people in the office is the closest group I had since I left college. I had a lot of group of friends back in college but after? Not really. This was only my second job and even though many have come and go in the office, I still consider them close. Maybe it was the nature of all of our work wherein we can get so busy and stressed that you can’t help to group together and be close. I remember during my first two years that we had a very disciplined boss. It was like martial law. Looking back she was a terrific person who was very knowledgeable about marketing but she sure was strict as your worst teacher. Given that boss, my team and I had no option but to ban together and work as a team. Through time and experiences, we worked as one and efficient as you can possibly dream of. When our old boss resigned and no immediate replacement, the team and I were able to keep our brand afloat. Though there a bit bumps and bruises along the way, we stood our grand and did the best we could. We knew the ins and outs of the business and of our office so we were more than capable of working as a unit. I miss my teammates and I wish them all the best especially know since it’s the Christmas season and work is just overflowing. More than my immediate teammates, there were also those who I got to know. Some of them I worked for a project or two while some I was just fortunate to have known. I also miss them.
There was also a fun and yet semi-embarrassing moment to alleviate all this cheesy talk when a friend, Joey and I saw each other. Fun because it was nice seeing her again and a bit embarrassing because everyone in the office knew she had a crush on me. It was a playful reunion and got a few teases from the others. We’re good friends actually before and even after everyone knew.
Talking to all of them and telling them how I was gave me peace. As I’ve said earlier, I had a goal and mission when I left them and my visit was a reminder I have to complete it. I’ve never been a fan of merely resigning or quitting on something without a purpose. I left my work because I had to follow a dream as cheesy as it sounds. And talking to my friends about my dream gave me inspiration to pursue it. Every now and then, everyone needs a few words of encouragement right? It was like a small nudge to keep going on this path. To be honest there were days during the past month when I felt stuck and depressed, but seeing them the other day gave me hope.
When I was about to leave that night, it actually rained so hard. It must have been the typhoon or something but I was fortunate enough to ride with a couple of my friends out of the office. Well, fortunate enough until we found out it was flooded on both sides of the road and we were stuck in traffic because there was no one else to go. Some of them actually jokingly blamed me for the storm. We tried going into San Lorenzo Village without a sticker knowing that it was only our chance to get going. Luckily, one of us, Guia, knew someone from the village so we got in. We had to wait for Guia’s friend to come get us because we might not get out at the other exit gate. So we were stuck inside the village for a couple of minutes. It was pouring outside the car and all five of us inside with only a bottle of coke and a pack of cornick. Not exactly the kind of night I hoped for when I thought visiting my old office right? In the end, we were finally able to get to a restaurant and finally eat and drink. My friend Errol and I decided that we deserved a Macallan and so we did. Nothing beats a man’s drink. Later on that night I also had a good and long conversation with Lyza. We never got to work together since she was from a different department but I’m glad we got to know each other this year. It was one of those deep conversations after a long night of drinking. It was fun, refreshing, and a perfect way to cap off the night.
When I left the office back in late August, I had a dream but a clouded one. I’m sure of what I was going to do and sure that staying in the office was not the right path to me. At the same time however, I was clouded because I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. Just like any other man at my age, no one really knows what they are supposed to do and here I was trying to take on that challenge. After a night at my old office and seeing my friends, I know I made the right decision. In a world where everyone is struggling to find their place and trying to know what future lies ahead of them, I learned to look back and embrace my past knowing this could be the way to achieve my dream. So in the end, it might not just be moving forward, but also remembering where I came from.