I was unsure on whether to make a post that talked about my life so far but as I mentioned briefly in my about page, everyone has a story worth telling, so this is my story so far.
THE EARLY YEARS
The older I get, the harder it is to remember the early years. From what I gather, I was super high energy, couldn’t sit still for very long, and loud. A little different from what I am like today. My parents enrolled me in a bunch of different activities from an early age. They say it was to see if I had any special talents, but I think it was just a way for them to keep me occupied for a few hours.
Piano, ballet, Hawaiian dancing, baseball, basketball and swimming just to name a few of the activities. Turns out I did have some natural talent in sports, the one that I gravitated towards most was basketball. Probably the worst choice for a Filipino as we don’t tend to be very tall but for some reason, we all love basketball.
From an early age I was always playing sports and being active. That’s probably where my love for fitness began, hooked at an early age. I’d have to attribute a lot of that to my father as he was always active too and he always took time to play with me growing up.
Other than sports my time was mostly spent reading comics or fantasy books, drawing, playing outside, watching movies or cartoons and playing video games. I have an older sister who I played with from time to time, but I mostly remember doing my own thing.
In school I did pretty well academically until after Gr. 8. I was put into an experimental advanced math class and was allowed to bypass science 10. That resulted in me almost failing Chemistry and Math and having to retake them the next year to boost my grades. What a waste. Guess I wasn’t as advanced as they thought in learning.
In terms of career, my father always wanted me to be an accountant (he is one, obviously) but I always said from a young age “I’ll never be an accountant”. The two things I really wanted to do was either be a professional basketball player, or be the next Stan Lee and create comics.
My mother always told me “There’s no money in drawing, don’t do that.” Thanks for the vote of confidence mom. Killing dreams here, killing dreams.
Safe to say I had a decent basketball career all the way up to end of high school. My downfall was being taller than average at an early age and playing in the post through my playing years. If I had to do it again I’d play point guard from the beginning as at 6’1 that’s the only position I’d have a chance a playing. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say.
After high school I went on to university. The goal was to transfer into business and get a business degree but after repeated efforts to get my GPA high enough to transfer failed, I ended up pursuing a degree in economics. Why? Well because that’s where all the failed business transfers end up, obvs.
My best subjects had always been English, writing, or Kinesiology. My hardest had always been economics, accounting, math or computer sciences. You’d think I would have chosen to focus on my strengths but I guess I like a challenge?
In the end I did manage to finish and get my economics degree. How I did I don’t really know. Economics was hard as hell for me, especially with all the math involved in higher level courses. Safe to say I was glad to be done and get the heck out of there, but what now?
More school of course. Fresh out of university and into accounting. Wait? Hold on. But Paolo I thought you said you’d never be an accountant? It’s funny where life takes you sometimes isn’t it.
Maybe it was all the subtle nudges toward being an accountant from my father, who knows. Whatever the reason, I went to do a post-grad diploma in accounting with the hopes of becoming a chartered accountant (CA) afterwards. The process of becoming a CA was to complete the prerequisite courses, have a degree, get hired by a CA firm, then complete the CA courses and pass the exam to get designated. Piece of cake right?
The hard part was getting hired by a CA firm. Thousands of candidates looking to get placed into a set number of positions. That coupled with the fact that I finished my diploma in accounting and was looking to get hired in 2008 (stock crash/recession) did not make it a great job hunting environment.
Through the course of a year (during and post diploma) I attended every networking session and applied to all the firms. Despite applying to well over 100 places, I could not for the life of me land a job.
In the end I had to give up my pursuit of becoming a CA and pursue a Certified General Accounting (CGA) designation instead. This was a bummer because if I pursued a CGA from the start, I could have achieved it probably 5 years earlier. Hindsight again.
It still took me a while to find a job. The one job I didn’t want to do and avoided was doing accounts receivable. I’d do any accounting job except for that. First steady job I could get, obviously entry-level accounts receivable (AR).
Throughout my life I’ve had a lot of different jobs, from washing dishes, cooking breakfast, selling shoes, counting cheques, folding clothes, scanning boxes, warehouse receiving, to a job that had me dissecting owl pellets. Just to name a few.
One thing I always told my self was that every job is an opportunity, no matter how big or small. There is always something to be learned. My job in AR was no different. The company where I worked in as AR was a Jean clothing company. For a job that I didn’t really want, I ended up staying with them for 5 and a half years.
In that time I moved from an entry-level AR position to senior accounting position and satisfied all my work experience requirements to complete my CGA. The pay was well below average but it got me to where I needed to be.
Working there also helped me find a new sense of fashion. I went from owning 1 pair of jeans, to owning over 50 pairs by the time I left. Probably need a new raw selvedge pair of jeans now that I think about it but I digress…
I also ended up making a few great friends, and actually ended up meeting the love of my life through the friends I made working there. Funny how the job I didn’t want to work led me to so many great things.
From there I went on to get a job as a tax auditor and that’s where I’m currently at. It’s great so far so I’m excited to see where this career takes me.
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND
Luckily with my career finally on track, I have the time to pursue my passions fully in my free time. In time I hope to turn my passions into a career, it might take a while but I’m invested in the journey itself.
So what’s next? Only time will tell. My love for writing, fitness and creating has never gone away. It would be great if passion and career went hand in hand, but that’s often not the case. In time I hope to turn my passions into a career, but that will take time.
As the story goes, the one thing I’ve learned is that life is unpredictable. Sometimes the things you don’t want to do end up leading you to exactly where you want to be. It takes time to learn about who you are and what you want to do. From a young kid wanting to be a professional basketball player and the next Stan Lee, my dreams really haven’t changed that much. I still want to do fitness and tell stories, and I think that part of me won’t ever change.
This blog was born out of that need to create and desire to follow my passions. Where it goes from here only time will tell, but I’m excited to see where this road leads.
Hopefully sharing a little bit more of my story will help you feel more confident in your own journey through life. Now that you know a bit more about me I think that’s enough talk for now. Hope that wasn’t too much of a bore for you! Till next time.
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