CPA Story: Of Fate and Faith

Years ago, during one of my high school closing ceremony I remember the guest speaker saying: “It is not about doing what you love, but it is loving what you do.” The speaker backed it up with his life experiences but I still can’t find myself to actually agree to what he said. To be honest, it was not very inspiring.

Fast forward to college, I found myself enrolling to a course I do not like, in a school that I did not choose. So why was I there? The answer was circumstances.

I was pretty smart and I actually felt a tinge of pride to be part of the best course program of our school – the Accountancy program. We were around hundred and fifty at first year and dwindled down as semesters passed by. It was an amazing experience to say the least – I don’t want to fail but I can’t force myself to really focus on my studies. My efforts in my studies was directly proportionate to my interest on a topic or on a subject. I was irresponsible but somehow I always manage to make it to the next semester. However, it gets harder and harder each time.

When third year came, the total population was cut in to two and so was my attention and interest. I started having doubts about this road that I was taking. It’s my future after all. The stress was taking a toll on me and my only distractions were my added responsibilities – which were me being the PR officer of the university’s chapter of Junior Philippine Institute of Accountant and being a part of the college’s publication. While other students ran away from them, I actually embraced extra curricular activities. They were my daily motivations in attending the university. The more I get better with my extra curricular responsibilities, the more I get more inconsistent with my grades. How irresponsible you might say. I know and of course I worry – I am after all, a poor student being sent by my poor parents to a university in hopes of graduating and hopefully with honors.

It was on the second semester of third year that I cried. Right after the final examination of my favorite subject, Practical Accounting 2, I knew I failed. The examination had this one big problem that comprised around 60 to 70 percent of the exam’s points. I was confident I could answer it correctly so I focused all my time in solving it – leaving all other problems unanswered. However, I made a little mistake along the solution. It was actually a simple and stupid mistake but it clearly was a turning point of my life as a student. If I fail another major subject, I’m out of the program.

When I thought about it, I was disheartened. Not because I really wanted to become an accountant, but because I will be disappointing my parents. I felt like I will bring shame to the family. I don’t want to fail because I don’t want to be compared with our neighbor’s son who was already an accountant by that time. With all my worries and fears, I imagined my future as a failure. I wouldn’t want to continue taking up accountancy. I will be taking up another course – the course that I wanted. If my parents won’t be able to afford it,then I will stop studying. In short, me failing will bring a lot of heartaches to my family.

When everyone in school including me thought I was failing – because I was really on the brink of failing – all I did was to throw my hands together with my worries and plans in the air and trusted God and the destiny He wrote for me. In a daze, I picked my books for my remaining major subjects and started to review for the final exams.

So what if I fail? So what if I won’t? Would it really matter in the future? I started asking myself about things that really matter in this life. If you failed doing something you really don’t want in the first place, will you call it a failure? If I don’t fail, then what? Nothing changes. My attitude towards my studies will remain the same. But I don’t want to fail just like that. I wanted to learn something from it. I wanted something meaningful. I didn’t want to tell myself I wasted three years for nothing.

I’m not exactly religious or anything but I really believe in God, our Father. Me, a mere human, will do what I can and He will decide what will happen. Because what really matters will happen if I believed that God wanted the best for me and all I have to do is to have faith in Him. When a human heart is full of confusions and worries, it’s best to let go.

So I prayed and said:

“If I pass all my remaining major subjects and be allowed to take the remedial exam for Practical Accounting 2, then I will graduate and will surely become a CPA.”

I honestly didn’t know how but I was certain that I will. Where did my confidence come from? From God of course. At that time, I didn’t want to fail for all the wrong reasons, which makes it okay if I actually failed. I told myself that if God will allow me to move forward to the next year level, then I am destined to become a CPA.

And He did allow me. Auditing Theory was my least favorite subject and I was almost sure that I will fail but fate is such a peculiar thing. My dedication to my extra curricular responsibilities was not left unnoticed by our professors hence, I was allowed to pass being the last one on the subject’s ranking. I then took my remedial examination and passed without problems.

More than a year later, I reviewed with the thoughts of passing. There were two only instances when my doubts plagued me. But the sweet prayer I utter on the times when I was down became my comfort. I wasn’t an outstanding student or someone who study a lot and I did not graduate with honors. But I believed in the path that God had paved for me. Months later, I became a Certified Public Accountant without much ado.

Again, I remember what the guest speaker said years ago and I understood why my teenager self disagreed with him. It is not about loving what you do. But it is actually doing what you can with whatever you have right then and there and believing that everything will be alright. You don’t have to forget the things that you actually love to do. Because those things are for you and they can wait.

I know I will not stop at becoming a CPA, I could feel it. But in order to be the one I’m meant to be, I needed to enroll to I course I did not like, study in a school I did not choose, meet amazing people along the way and become a CPA. And right now, that is what I am.

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About the Author

Maria Catalina Alaon
Maria Catalina Alaon
Catarn is an Accountancy graduate f rom the University of Northern Philippines. She passed the Licensure Examination f or Certified Public Accountants in October 2012. She worked as an Accounting Supervisor in a leading department store in the Philippines. She is a hiking enthusiast. She loves music thus, would sometimes randomly sing or dance to a song or beat she hears. Sometimes doing both. She often over thinks and procrastinates. She loves to read but not wide read, fairly dramatic and loves to write. She has deep interest in psychology and human behavior. Before she took the CPA boards in October 2012 until August 2015, Catarn was a part-time home-based freelance writer. Catarn is taking a new path as she is pursuing her diploma in Computer Science at the University of the Philippines-Open University .