comes a time when the universe
opens itself for
just a few moments to show us what’s truly possible.” – Dylan, 2:22
In 2010, I met Lorna after her sister Emang – who’s also a college friend and classmate in nursing school – referred me to her for a Manila Standard writing stint. I had no prior print writing experience or a suitable university degree. But Lorna took that step and many others after that.
Five years later, Lorna referred me to her friend Carla, who was View Magazine’s editor. View’s Pampanga issue was my first magazine feature. Today, I write for several print publications including The Village Connect, Travel Now, Locale, and Business Mirror’s Tourism section, which Carla also heads.
As 2016 opened, Carla sent me to Lakbay Norte 5 as Business Mirror’s media representative. That trip changed my life. I met writers from various publications, and travel writing opportunities arose. I also met people from Northbound Magazine – a quarterly travel magazine by the North Philippines Visitors Bureau, a non-profit arm of NLEX that also spearheads Lakbay Norte – who appreciated my work.
Last January’s Lakbay Norte 7 was my third time to participate. This time, no longer as a media outfit representative but as Northbound Magazine’s editor-in-chief.
Months ago, when Martin – Northbound’s favorite photographer – said he wanted to meet me to discuss the prospect of me helming the magazine, I had doubts. “I have lapses. I am not editor material,” I told him.
Yet, here’s what I have: a printed issue of Northbound Magazine in my hand, with my name in the staff box. This is a magazine that I only used to hoard from gas stations and hotels and read while daydreaming.
In my 20s, I often regretted that I didn’t get to pursue creative writing in college. I blamed my parents for “forcing” me to finish Biology and Nursing. I didn’t even think I’d be writing for print. “Look at me. Now 26, still an underpaid receptionist with no byline, no closer to the dream of writing for newspapers and magazines.”
But dreams do not really take overnight, do they? I am 34 now, and it took me six jobs and over 10 years to find something that I want to do for the rest of my life. Each struggle is necessary to see the value of those dreams and the circumstances surrounding them; to appreciate the people that helped make them possible.
It’s all clear now. The universe pulled strings for me to be able to study nursing, so I would end up where I need to be. So that I would meet Emang, Lorna, and Carla. So that I would be in Lakbay Norte. So I’d have this job.
To have this job is a big leap. It means that when you stop blaming others and start accounting for your own fate, things will fall into place. It means I took the right direction when I decided to be a freelancer. That motherhood is not a stop sign that halts dreams. And that if we can dream it, we can certainly make it happen.