I’ll Fly Again

This is the full text of my Basic Speech Project No. 3 – Get to the point, delivered on May 19, 2016 at Club Filipino, Greenhills, San Juan

Spreading my wings again as I look up to the sky
I’m gonna fly again and I’m gonna fly so high
It’s been so long since I’ve been here on the ground
It’s been so long and now I’ve come around
I’ll fly again, feel the wind blow against my hair
I’ll fly again, I’ll take my chance and this time I’m gonna win

I wrote this song in 2008, a few months after my wife “went home.” When she left to prepare our place in heaven, I was so down, lonely, and I felt so alone. No, I did not sulk, locked myself in a room, nor isolated myself. I continued living. I needed to attend to my children.

But there was no drive in me. I was like a boat without a sail and I was just letting the ocean drift me away.

speakerI was 40 years old, a professional and yet jobless. I was practically living on subsidies from my family and friends. You can just imagine how flat my ego must have been. My self-esteem was so low, but I did not even care.

What I was doing then was write… I was writing poems, songs and blog posts. One evening while I was playing with the guitar, the song just came out. Perhaps there was something within that wanted to tell me I needed to pick myself up, and this song was the wake up call for me.

I was determined to stand up again and pick up where I left off. However, it doesn’t take much to discourage an already discouraged person like me. Two employment rejections were enough to make me feel unworthy. They called it overqualified but I knew the real issue was my age.

I continued blogging. I found a way to make money online. It was not that much, but it was able to keep me afloat. Online, I gained friends and influence. Slowly, my self-esteem was coming back. I was even voted as one of the emerging influential blogger in 2009. I landed 3rd place.

This had me motivated again. I thought I found my calling, and once again I was singing my song. I can fly again.

We all know what they say about motivation – it is just like a deodorant, its effect doesn’t last long so we should have it often. This is so true in my case, and I am referring to motivation. Once again I was demotivated as fewer online opportunities came and the hype of winning the influential blogger contest wore off.

I continued writing. It has always been my outlet.

I published my first book in 2011. With a successful book launching attended by the city mayor no less, you would think I have arrived. Unfortunately, it was just a one-night stand, as I would like to call it. With no more books available and without funds to print more copies, I reverted to my old self.

flyI can go on with more stories but basically that’s how they all have been – a roller coaster ride. One minute I’m all hyped up and ready to take the world, so down and discouraged the next. I cannot stay motivated. What’s wrong with me? Am I really the loser I thought myself to be?

As I looked back at my life, there was one thing I noticed – yes, I fell down a lot of times, but every time I fall, I also got up. I never stayed down. I realized… this is life. This is not just me. It happens to the best of us! And it doesn’t matter how many times you fall, how hard or how often you fall, as long as you stand up and do not stay down. Which I did! I should be proud of that!

With a newfound zest brought about by this discovered love for public speaking, I feel motivated once again. I’m convincing myself that I can actually be good at something. I know I might feel unworthy and be discouraged again along the way, but I have you my Toastmaster friends, to push me when that happens.

This makes me believe that I can still dream. My timeline is not yet done, I can still bloom. It’s never too late.

This may not be just my second wind. It could my fourth wind, fifth wind, or my fiftieth wind for all I care, but once again I am aiming to be something, and once more I am singing… spreading my wings again.

 

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