I Am Not My Job: Why I Left Cebu

When I was living in Cebu city, I could only afford a small room worth P2,500. It had a teeny tiny closet and was poorly ventilated. But hey, it was the price I had to pay for solitude. I didn’t want a roommate but I wanted a location downtown, somewhere crowded and busy. I thought I was in a good enough situation.

This didn’t last for long. I studied in Cebu thinking that it’d be my stepping stone to fashion design. And perhaps it is! But when I was pushing a 9am-7pm job 5 days a week, Cebu disappointed. It wasn’t the land of dreams I expected, though it wasn’t a nightmare either.

Somewhere between the barely-there salary and my shopping expenses, I stumbled through each day with a growing restlessness. I can’t imagine that I’m the only one who felt that way. Everyday, I saw people burdened with more problems than me, yet they seemed contented, relaxed, lenient.

I assume that I’m part of the generation who struggle with low-starting salaries because we bothered to finish our college education. That I’m one of the “young creatives” who somehow lose track of their passions blinded by job frustrations, bills, and age.

There was an alarming period when I couldn’t sketch a simple gown. No matter how determined I was to draw what was on my mind, I couldn’t put it on paper. What was so simple to me when I was 16 became so challenging at 22. I knew I wasn’t on the right path.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a serious love/hate relationship with my job. I loved going to work and being part of a team. I enjoyed the challenges of our company projects where I, in some way, had a voice. I learned a great deal about the Internet industry, things that I’ve never cared to know about before. I met people who’ve influenced my life in a big way.

But those weren’t the reasons I came to Cebu, and they’re definitely not the reasons why I’ll stay.

The allure of writing articles that go unnamed and unread lost its appeal as quickly as a newly snuffed candle. I could no longer bear writing words and ideas that didn’t carry my name. As vain as that sounds, I did want my voice to be “my” voice, not from some unnamed corporate worker sitting at a desk who had enough funds to outsource. I couldn’t stomach writing and pouring all my brain juices out and having it critiqued at the end of the day by someone who had lesser training on grammar and literature. It sounds arrogant in the extreme. My articles were far from perfect, I knew, but my pride got in the way.

And so I resigned. I decided to leave Cebu and figure out again where I should start next. 😀

The world of fashion is still so foreign to me. Right now, I don’t even have a clue how to thread my sewing machine LOL But I do know this, I’ll forever regret if I don’t try to follow my dreams. I’ll hate my future family, my future husband and children, for getting in the way of my ambition.

When I try and give it my all, I’ll be content 50 years from now knowing that I did my best (yeah yeah, cheesy).


2 thoughts on “I Am Not My Job: Why I Left Cebu

  1. Hi,
    True your ending did sound a little cheesy…but don’t we all sometimes 🙂
    How long did you work there?I’m not in the fashion industry but I know that to truly advance in the creative industry you need to “serve” the experienced and mades! It’s great that you’ve met people who have influenced you and the growth you’ve attained before your resignation – you should probably get a job at a bigger agency and start something on your own (on the side) or go all bold and start stuff on your own (comes with a lot of risks, but none you can’t overcome). What about Manila, won’t that give you more options?
    All the best Miss.

    1. omg hi Jay! 😀 i definitely need to learn more about the fashion industry by really immersing myself in it, maybe as an apprentice or something. for now, it’s not enough to support my lifestyle so i still need to set my priorities.. thanks for these tips though, i’m really considering Manila but i hate traffic and “baha” so there’s that.. LOL 😀

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