This is quite an unusual task for me of ever having to describe myself to someone or to a group of people in writing, such task which I have done on most of my first days in school way back then (although some of it were recited to my new teacher and classmates). To me, it is my first time of my first time, and during my first time…
Before I get to quantify and lay to you how I was able to come up with these “first times” of mine, I will first introduce myself in a simple and comprehensive manner I know, that is the friendly and pleasant way.
I am a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Letters at one of the colleges around university belt in the Philippines. Sad to say, and now I came to realize that I took the wrong course because all it gave me were thick volumes of books with no illustration on its pages, endless debates over something that can be settled through simple “paper, scissors and stones”, and the art of having to argue by maneuvering and finding my way out through the loopholes and weaknesses which my proponent possesses. So deeply engrossed with the skill, I took it in defending myself amongst the older members of my family. It was always my parents who became my “practice dummies” since they were the one who were always at “the other side”. I was later more engrossed with my skill that I took it and converted the same into actions. Considering my young age, it somewhat made me more aggressive and more selfish. And these actuations had landed me on the forefront of the most precious, extravagant and unimaginable job a young and idealistic youth should ever have: being a father. My mom always told me to always be optimistic on everything so I can safely say, without disrespecting her that, I got married and had my child as early as less than a year after I graduated from college.
I had always longed for a challenging life. That life which battles my instinct and my ego so I guess God was all ears on me when I wished that thing and He was too generous that time that He gave me one, which I consider to be one of my “first times”.
|the 'wheelchaired man'|
Having a family at an early age was definitely an odd event in my life, though the same taught me well to be responsible, more caring and more understanding. And while most of what I’ve learned is already been innate, I still craved to the beauty and temptations of the “dark side”. Because of my early exposure to “life”, I saw the offerings and the benefits I could gain. I was eager to undergo all the “first times” in my life. From socializing and interacting to almost all kinds of people, I learned how talk effectively with them, I gained their ways and absorbed almost everything that this world had to offer. In short, I became a selfish monster who knew nothing else greater than me. Few years had passed since I went into the “dark side” and have learned to embrace it without having to forget my morals and spirit of goodness; that the “switch” I did finally took its toll on my selfish soul.
At exactly six o’ clock in the evening last June 6, 2008, I experienced another “first time”. I suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. Test results said that some of the arteries in my brain got busted up brought about by an 8cc blood clot on one of my brain arteries. I was, and, is currently, paralyzed. The left part of my body – arms and legs cannot feel a thing. After a week, my “first times” in life all happened. I painstakingly underwent Physical Therapy every other day, and have been doing the same exercises that I learned since the “stroke” stroke. Now, every single day in my life is more of a struggle than a challenge, that which I dreamt of having. Every “first time” is a true victory for me, and that includes my own personal victory of having to do and learn almost all the skills of a normal person. From my first move in transferring myself from my bed to my wheelchair, my first time to stand without any assistance, my first step, my first trip to the bathroom, etc. I once again enjoyed and savored every victory and milestone that I made while recovering from this fatal illness.
I am now submitting myself to the test. This is the test which every man must face in the course of their lives. It is the test when you face yourself and there is no one that can help you nor conquer your fears and admonitions of failure but yourself. And I know that facing these challenges and struggles with a heart will make me a triumphant “first timer” in the end.