CPA Story | Like a Phoenix, from the Ashes: A Journey to Becoming a CPA

Maybe we all have dying aspirations. And sometimes it just takes one person to believe in you again –willing to go the extra mile to get you there. Sometimes it just takes a single word to ignite the fire. Indeed, we all need to have that one true friend, that unconditional love of family and that stubborn belief in self to keep it all together.

It was a sleepless night. The joy was overwhelming. It was worth another try.
Being able to see that day coming and making the most important people in my life happy, gives me a different brand of joy. It was like the CPA title became secondary, I realized what truly made my joy complete. I realized the graceful feeling when I saw how happy my parents were. Suddenly, all that mattered was the joy of my loved ones. I thanked God for every moment of it –being with family and friends, savoring my sweetest success, by far.

I took my first complete CPALE in July 2014. This was after graduating one semester later than my batchmates. Gladly, I finished the extra semester which partially prepared me for the board examination. I reviewed at ReSA for the July 2014 CPALE. It was a long review. Unfortunately, like many examinees before and after me, I did not make it. I had conditional subjects and had a hard time letting it all sink in for a while. Eventually, I took my removal examination in October 2014. But before I knew it, I was yet to face another delay. I fell short on one of the subjects. I could have been given a single point but it fell short, so I could not pass. Not yet. It was really a bitter thing to think about. I did not want to see the disappointment of the people who believed so much in me. It was already bad enough for me not to be able to bring my parents during the graduation ceremonies. I thought I was not ready for another avalanche. All I ever knew about doing my best was all so clichéd. The bravest thing I can ever think of was to let it go for a while. Perhaps I need to unshackle myself from the things that deter success that may come in some other ways. Definitely, I’m going to go for it someday. I know it. But I’m always not so sure when I will be ready. Meantime, perhaps I need to take a break.

It took me some time rethinking. But later on decided to find a job, get busy and pause for a while from this pursuit. So I did apply for jobs while coping with my life’s seemingly greatest failure. I was employed for more than two years. True enough, going to work was an entirely different thing to do.

But still maybe, like everybody else, I needed to find that sense of achievement. The more I think about it, it becomes clearer what I really wanted still. I still wanted one last try before letting it go if need be.

However absurd, each discouragement has become my motivation. I believed it was not for nothing that I had to undergo a lot of challenges. Had I finished college and passed the CPALE earlier, I would have not wanted it more. I would not have strived to be better as a person. Some years ago, I have overestimated what I can do after finishing college. Looking back, I believe I have underestimated what I can do after such setbacks along the way.

I held on to it. Every night I would pray and sleep believing that God will provide for it. Though everyday I didn’t know when it will come. But I realized that everyday, God provided an answer. That God has provided as I started working. I enjoyed learning accounting, auditing and taxation in practice. To some extent, it gradually built my confidence to try taking the board exam again.

Agreeing to myself that it would be for the last time, I promised to make the most out of it. Just for the sake of moving forward. That whatever happens, there will be no regrets. After all, as Paulo Coelho quoted, if it’s still on your mind, it’s worth taking the risk. I tried to exude a positive vibe every day. I started from a completely different perspective. Day by day, I thanked God that I am already a CPA (although anticipating).

This October 2017, I finally took my second complete CPALE after attending review at CPAR. Fortunately this time, like many examinees before and after me, I passed. Being given the opportunity to take the board exam with a great support system has really been the true blessing. Preparing for the board exam without any stress, just faith and hope, has completed my armor. God took care of everything because it was His perfect time.

God said there’s a time for everything. Indeed, it is the only reason we could understand all of life’s vicissitudes. We all fail first at some point, but nevertheless, we become stronger when it’s time to win. An author once said, “Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength”.

Trust the process. Trust the wait. Each of us has our own cycle of growth. As the legend goes, like a phoenix from the ashes we rise.
Keep the faith. Always hope. Spread the love.
Stand up and begin again, to second chances.

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About the Author

Elizer Joy Valentino
Elizer Joy Valentino
Elizer is a BS Accountancy graduate from the University of Northern Philippines, Vigan. She lead their organization’s official student publication as an Editor-in-Chief. Elizer passed the October 2017 licensure examination for Certified Public Accountants.