One day, when I was still in college, I found myself sitting just outside a classroom. I can’t remember the date. I remembered faces. I remembered how a group of students waited for some announcement that will somehow determine their future. I remembered how the world stopped for that one dreaded period of time. All faces were blank with little to no life. My face was one of them. I avoided eye contact because it worsened the feeling of desperation I felt which I saw across the crowd of eyes minding their own business. Then came the announcement. Then the tears. Some were because of joy, others because of disappointment and failure. It lasted for a couple of hours but it felt like eternity.
At that point, I realized that the path I took towards success was more than just a path. It was more than just a road you take to cross the bridge towards a better life and a better future. It was an experience. It was an explosion of emotions when you stumble upon roadblocks and when you take a wrong turn. It overwhelms you when can’t keep up with others taking the path with you. It engulfs you with desperation when you loss control and breakdown along the sidewalks. It’s what life throws at you as if to say ‘Here’s a taste of reality’.
But I can’t give up. I won’t give up. I didn’t give up. I took all the experiences in. All the disappointments, failed expectations and the belief that somehow the struggle will be going away and the road will clear itself when you just try hard enough. But it never went away. It stayed, and it held me back.
I wanted to be the best. I wanted to finish at the top. I wanted to be the person looking ahead and leading the pack. But the reality was I never came close to that dream. No matter how hard I worked and studied, I still didn’t finish strong.
We all went to the same rigorous routine of going through thick books, sleeping late at night, facing fat problems that required the keys of our calculators to be pinned down relentlessly to arrive at answers that are not within the choices and hoping that what you solved and answered in some random reviewer will come out as the same problem in a graded exam. I missed those days.
The struggle to cope up with each grueling lesson seemed like climbing an endless stairwell where each step becomes heavier and heavier after taking a dozen. And it gets a lot heavier when the top is nowhere to be seen. Each step counted for it brought me closer to where I wanted to be. Sure, the struggles held me back, but it fed my hunger to keep pushing and to keep looking up towards my goal. I persevered through tight schedules, unbearable deadlines, sleepless nights and exams that squeezed my brain out. For the better part, all became worth it as I earned my one-way ticket towards taking the licensure exam.
I was now months away from claiming my license as a certified public accountant. But those months came to me hard, landing gut-wrenching blows to what I established as a concrete foundation to take on the exam. It cracked. It was a mess. I’ve depended on the belief that I can to this if I just read enough, answer enough and go to the review class and listen. That belief blew by me within those months. The doubt rushed forward like a raging bull eyeing a matador with the intent to kill. I thought I had it all figured out. I guess it was still not enough.
I thought that the foundation I built with the technical aspects of the profession would be enough to go through the exams and pass it. I clinged to the idea that knowing most of the twists and turns of accounting and auditing standards and principles would take me to where I’ve always wanted to be. It didn’t work out that way easily. It somehow burdened me when I can no longer take in all the information. I grew weary each day. I’ve learned that feeding the mind should be supplemented by feeding the heart. That’s the hardest part. Learning the profession is way easier than loving it. And loving it required commitment. With the commitment came the unending pursuit to take the title of being a certified public accountant.
Then came the realization. It took a while, but it came. What I learned in the previous years, both the technical stuff and the stuff in between, the foundation I built to conquer the licensure battleground, cracked in so many ways because it had to be filled in with pieces that eventually led me to become a professional. The emotions that got stronger, the hunger that was always fed with the dream to succeed, the struggles that made me work harder and the love I had developed for the career I would take filled in the cracks of that foundation I’ve depended on.
I embraced the feeling of happiness, disappointment, failure and relief, fed my hunger to be better and pushed myself past the struggles. These are the things that held it all together. These intangible and yet somehow visible experiences filled the cracks of my established foundation of technical concepts. Earlier before I took the review, I thought that these experiences were just stepping stones that dressed me well on graduation day and for the most part of the review before the exams. But they were more than that. These experiences held together a foundation built inside the classroom, made it stronger and gave way to my CPA license.
Let all the experiences engulf you. Let it all in. Embrace it. Learn to love it. Your mentality will only grow stronger each day. Keep your commitment in pursuing your dreams burning and never back down from any hindrances that may come at you. Keep it all together, give it a touch of faith and prayer, and go on your way towards that elusive title of being a Certified Public Accountant.
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About the Author
- Goldwin is a Certified Public Accountant. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Accountancy at the University of Northern Philippines. Goldwin is currently working at Sycip Gorres Velayo & Co. under its Assurance service line. He is an avid fan of mystery/thriller books and often reads one when there's nothing else to do. He loves a cup of good coffee anytime of the day.