It’s my first day back in the office since I started to work from home three months ago. I’m actually excited to go back. It’s true after all that sometimes, you just need to distance yourself from something in order to realize just how much you love it. Several months ago, I was this close to quitting this job because I thought it was a dead end job and I was convinced that I was time to move on. Three months later, here I am, excited to go back and loving my work like I never did before.
And it’s not only because of the major reasons, like the fulfillment I get from it, or the pride I feel for being in public service which, they say, should be the true badge of an iskolar ng bayan. It’s also because of the small things that I love about this work, such as the way it allows me to spend time on other things that I love apart from the law and how it enables me to go home early and rest as much as I want to. I love the fact that Robinsons Manila is just three tumblings away which means that I can shop or do errands or go to the parlor or watch movies any time I feel like doing so. I love the chapel nearby which allows me to hear mass at lunchtime and find solace in the middle of a hectic day. I also love the people I work with— laid back, ordinary government employees with simple joys and aspirations, and who care for me without any pretense. I love my boss who relates to me in a personal way and who’s the first one to encourage me to aspire for greater things in my career. I love how we all wait for the next bonus to come, how we all enjoy some down time when our boss is away, and how we all band together whenever our office is besieged by unfair comments by the media. I love the DVD and banana que vendors I pass by every day, not only because of their merchandise, but also because they remind me on a daily basis that some people have tougher lives than mine and for that, I should be grateful. I love how, in my own small way, right here in my tiny corner, I am able to make a difference in the lives of others through the decisions that I write. Best of all, I love how this work can actually set the stage and be the turning point for greater things for me and my career.
It doesn’t take much to understand why I’m staying in this job even if doing so means foregoing all the perks that go with being a corporate or a law firm lawyer. I admit that I suffered from culture shock during my first months in this job as I had to adjust to a life without a secretary, my own office, let alone my own phone. I had to learn to do the stuff which the messengers from my previous office used to do for me, like buying lunch, paying bills, and lining up for hours in the bank. But in the end, it was all worth it. The only part I hated (and still hate) was having to exchange my suits for my office uniforms, but even that is a small price to pay when I consider the entire picture.
So after three months, I’m back to this work which I love after all. I realize now that in-between typing Wherefores and drafting Resolutions, I’m becoming a better lawyer and an even better person by the day. When I first signed up for this job, its lone attraction was that I can go home early and that I don’t have to work on weekends anymore. It turns out, however, that that was just one of the many perks I would be thankful for in this job several years hence. Working here was never part of my plan. It could be God’s instead. Which is why I’m convinced that sometimes, the things we don’t plan for turn out to be what’s best for us after all. And every day, this wonderful job of mine reminds me of that.