Ten Years After was the name of this place we used to frequent as law students. It is also the place where I am at right now.
My blockmate Vina posted on her Facebook that it’s been ten years since we graduated from law school. Just this weekend, I had a 10th anniversary reunion party with friends from my prayer community. With these two recent events, I realized that it’s been ten years since I made two major decisions that changed my life forever: First, that of becoming a lawyer, and second, that of becoming a faithful Christian. Which is why I’m flooded with mixed emotions now: happy for the kind of person I have become. And sad for the very same reason.
I won’t be self-deprecating by saying that the past ten years just passed me by without me having anything to show for it. Although I can name a hundred places, jobs, and states of life I would rather be in right now, I will be the first to claim that I have been blessed immensely the past ten years.
One major blessing is that ten years after, I can now say with conviction that I like who I am. That I now consider me as the best version of myself. And that I no longer feel apologetic for being this way. Modesty and all insecurities aside, this is me ten years after I became a lawyer and ten years after decided to seriously follow God: smart but not to the point of being intimidating, funny but not annoyingly funny, confident but with a healthy dose of self-doubt, kind but not to a fault, spiritual but practical, hopeful but realistic, ambitious but grounded.
I’m both happy and sad with this realization about myself. Happy because I can see that I’m a balanced well-rounded person with just the right amount of rough edges in my character. Sad because I know I can be more. I know that because of certain issues that I have with myself, I have limited my potential. And I can no longer bring back the past ten years during which I could have worked on being more than what I am today.
But then considering how I was ten years ago, I’ll also be the first to concede that who I am now is much much better. Although there’s still so much to learn, so many places to see, people to meet, weaknesses to overcome and plans to fulfill, I only have to look at the past ten years to be convinced that I’m on the right track. My frustrations may be as many as my joys, and God’s blessings as plenty as those He withholds, but I still know that where I am now cannot possibly be God’s last word on my life. I want to believe that where I am ten years after I’ve decided to follow Him pales in comparison to where I will be ten years from the time I write this. The past ten years may have been slow but they were steady. And I remember now that ‘slow but steady’ is one other phrase that’s been used to describe me.