I almost drowned last year in Boracay when I bravely (I’d like to think I was) snorkeled a little too far from where our boat was. Mike was heading back but I somehow (and thankfully) managed to shout his name and he immediately swam towards me to pull me in and save my life. Ever since, I got really afraid of going out in the open water by myself. I would only snorkel in the shallows with my hands touching the ground making sure I am anchored.
I refuse to go out there on my own because I don’t know what I might see or where the current might take me. All of a sudden, I became afraid of the unknown.
“Aren’t we all? That’s life in general. We don’t know what’s out there,” Mike replied.
Today is Mike’s last day at his new job after staying there for a hundred days trying to fit into the company. It was the same job that we’ve prayed for back in May this year that could give him an auspicious career growth only to find out that it wasn’t for him.
I know many of you are thinking that if the role is so promising, why leave? This is exactly what I asked him when he told me he doesn’t want to stay anymore.
There’s nothing wrong about wanting to earn a lot of money. We need money to live and that’s the plain truth. But as human beings, we have a tendency to become selfish and think about just ourselves; if I don’t get this job, I won’t have money to buy what I want..if I don’t do well at my job, I won’t get that promotion…if I don’t get ahead, my career will suffer.
I had my doubts at the beginning of our relationship. I never thought he had it in him to be the kind of person that would be so concerned about helping others (see his blog PEAKS, VALLEYS, AND TROUGHS). I always thought that whenever Mike is telling me he wants to quit something, he is just being whiny. Eventually I learned that he is just not like the rest of us. He has this growth mindset that yes, he needs a job to pay for rent, but also he knows that there is a better way of making a living that will not compromise his beliefs, time for his family, and his social responsibility to the world.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”—W. C. Fields
As much as I wanted to be the pushy wife like I’ve always been, I can no longer see him wake up at 2 in the morning having panic attacks and bring him to the ER because he can’t breathe. I needed to be the believing and supportive wife that my husband needs me to be this time around.
And as I was tying my shoes getting ready for my usual morning run, I boldly told him that he doesn’t need to worry about us, “the next job or role you take should make you, as a person, happy and fulfilled. Don’t think about the commercial value because I’m tired of seeing you go through the same cycle. And if you fail, you can always go back to being a corporate slave.” Which I really hope won’t happen.
I’m not sure if it’s because he’s getting older or it’s probably because of the books that he’s been reading but I have learned that my husband isn’t after the money nor title. He is hungry for learning, he wants to teach, he wants build a community where people will enjoy their work that it won’t even feel like it is work, he wants to feed homeless kids, he wants to farm, he wants to travel, he wants to cook, he wants to be there for our kids all the time and all of these will never happen if he’s stuck in a 9-6 job.
We don’t need more money, We need more time to do the things that we love.
I remember spending a day with my best friend, a freelance writer/teacher/artist, and she talked about how she’s enjoying her life and that she’s not tired or bored with what she’s doing. Her words exactly were, “it’s because I love what I do. My work doesn’t feel like a chore to me.” How many people do you know who can honestly tell you the same thing about their work?
This is also why I’m vigilant about homeschooling our kids. I want them to have their own identity. I want them to realize what they really want to become someday and actually become that. I don’t want them compromising their God-given talents for the sake of monetary value. As the saying goes, if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.
Meanwhile, the truth remains, I’m still scared of the unknown. I don’t have an answer as to where we would get our income in the next few weeks but is also a perfect time to depend on Him alone. I am terrified but at the same time excited to see how Mike will pursue his passion and help not just his own family but many others.
We are officially welcoming 2019 with nothing but high hopes, trust, and above all— LOVE.
PS., I’m writing this down so I can go back and see how we did it!