My name is Hanna Pauline Biona Nicolas. My parents told me that my name was derived from a character in the Bible by the name of Hannah who had her son named Samuel, only they did not prefer my name to be spelled the same. The Pauline, however, was what they thought as the best name ever by that time, except I always think of Pauline as such a girly and admit it, a cliché name for girls and I really cannot help feeling a little peeved by the idea.
Just like every other child, my very first education was under the guidance of my mother. She thought me how to read and write. Consequently, I started my formal education when I was four-years-old at the Valenzuela Christian School as a kindergarten student. The school is minute in size and student population, but in the same community and under its premises, I have met my first ever friends. Their name was Janselle and Coleen. It was at the same year when I earned the Achiever of The Year Award, my very first honorary award, during the recognition ceremony. I used to remember that my dream to graduate with flying colors started when I had my own taste of success due to hard work. However, this life marathon is still far from the end. There were still a total of freaking eight years to tedious school works before I engage myself to my preferred career in life.
My high school had a lot of fun although I can’t get to hang out with friends, for example, at the mall or anywhere they want because my parents won’t allow me yet. Sometimes, I think their own discipline measures were a far cry from others. However, I enjoyed my high school life and live it to the fullest by being active on social organizations, participating in different oral delivery speeches, joining contests and even undergoing rigorous training through being an officer in our school’s Citizenship Advancement Training or known as CAT. I also engage myself in our school’s different organizations like Filipino, English, Math and Science Clubs, Anti-Drug Abuse Council, Performing Artists for Christ in which we train lower-yeared students for leadership and other skill enhancement workshops. I also joined our basketball and table tennis varsity teams as we compete with other schools along Valenzuela for pride and glory.
Time really flies so swiftly. But if, for one second, you think I was already loaded with confidence or it being secured, you’re thinking wrong. I was still me who feels like I am never going to get out of my comfort zone. It was at that time when I was near to being a college student. Where should I study? Where should I take an entrance exam? What could be the perfect degree for me? Would I acquire some friends in college? Would I be able to adjust? Would I be able to do this? I must admit, I find it hard adjusting to a new world, to a new community where you know no one. I was used to small places where I know and I’m friends with only just a few people. Imagine, I stayed in the same school for twelve years, which gained me the loyalty award, and all of a sudden, I got to face a whole lot different world. It was hard though but thanks to my newly-found friends.
A very famous saying of David Frost says, “Don’t aim for success if you want it, just do what you love and believe in and it will come naturally.” Before I graduated from high school, when I still haven’t made up my mind, what to pursue in college was something that led me to so much confusion and indecisiveness. My life decisions, during those times, were tested as I entered another chapter of my life when I really needed to break the shells that hid me from the outside world. When people ask me what I opted to be, I always consciously reply, “Anything, as long as I will get to be the boss.” And then, I will ask myself silently, “What do I really want?” Thanks to David Frost, I already have the idea in my mind.
Flashback to the days when I was still a child, the first profession I thought I would pursue was definitely not something that would cost us an arm and a leg. A few years later, I told myself that I will be taking up nursing since that was what I think my heart desires. My mom countered that I can’t even look at blood. And I realized that maybe, just maybe it really wasn’t for me. My dad’s opinion matters a lot, he only needed to be a saint and I will worship him. With my confusion and curiosity that keeps on killing me, I asked my dad, “How about a dentist, Dad? So we can be of the same profession?” He did answer me with the most touching words only he can provide. It was not just a yes or no. It was an advice to follow not what I need to be, but rather, what I want to be.
I still remember that it was few weeks before graduation and I was asked to produce a speech for the commencement exercise. I was looking for quotations to put up in my speech, when suddenly the quotation aforementioned caught my eyes. And from that moment, I knew, I wanted to write. I wanted to express. I wanted to inspire. I was never a professional when it comes to writing, but that ‘what you love’ phrase, I know deep within, pertains to writing, and I can say that that was why I took up Mass Communication. I can’t stand living with regrets once or if I barked up the wrong tree. The reason why I’m saying this is that, sometimes, you just need someone to look up to or someone to serve as your inspiration to not just push you to move forward, but to move forward with a goal at hand. It was at that moment when I realized that sometimes, it pays not to worry so much about where I rank, but rather, I should think about the joy I get with what I do. Settling with my passion, injecting enthusiasm to whatever I do, soon, it will never be impossible to achieve success.
As of the moment, I am still striving forward and aiming towards a bright future for me and my family. All I am thinking is the importance of knowing my limitations, my capabilities, and my passion so I will have my directions to follow. I do hope you could do the same. Don’t forget those who have fought with you on your battles because whether you like it or not, a significant character can’t simply be gone on the next chapters of your book.