Have you ever thought of how your parents came up with your name? People usually call me “Aiah,” but my real name is nothing close to it. I’d like to share the story of how I came to appreciate my real name more. And then maybe, I shall reveal my real name at the end of my story.
Since I was young, I always imagined myself being on stage, especially since “Aiah” means “Shining One.” I didn’t know how that was going to happen, or what I was going to do when that happened. The irony of it all is that in my family, I am the shyest. I don’t like talking to people or starting conversations. But I have always had dreams— one was to be a successful professional in the industry of Information Technology (IT), and the other was to be on stage sharing my success.
I grew up in a Christian home where my parents taught me to trust in God always. I believed that no matter what happened or where Jesus took me, I knew I could trust Him to guide me according to His will.
In the year 2012, I graduated from college and started to apply for jobs. While applying, I imagined myself getting paid and getting all the things that I wanted, like paying for my own food, getting my own place, and getting my own car.
That year, I got my first job as a programmer, but my salary was not enough to help my family. I had to resign because of this. For my second job, I was hired as an IT Instructor by the university where I graduated from.
This was my first stint with some sort of limelight, since the bulk of my job entailed that I speak in front of people. After that, I had an opportunity to apply in the business district of Makati. I got accepted and left my teaching job. But after two months, the company I was a part of shut down.
I wasn’t able to get a stable job for the next 5 months. However, it was during this time that I played drums with a band. We didn’t get paid, but it was exhilarating to play music. I started asking God what path He wanted me to take. I wanted to earn money, but I also wanted to play. I knew I couldn’t do both. It was also at this time that I felt I was being a financial burden to my family.
To make matters worse, something terrible happened around November of that year: I broke a small bone in my knee. I had joined a fun run where someone pushed me to the ground. I was devastated because I could not play the drums. Furthermore, finding a job was daunting. So I prayed to God. I asked Him to give me some leads so I could get a stable job and stop being a financial burden to my family. I wanted to help them.
My breakthrough happened when, in one of our gigs, a friend asked me about what was going on in my life. This question led me tell him that I was looking for a job. The next day, he informed me of a job he knew about. In less than two months, I got the job.
I started out in that company as a business analyst. After 4 years, I was promoted to the position of Project Manager. I thought that what I learned in college was enough for me, but this job showed me that I could learn so much more . It was tough, but it was worth it–especially when I saw people benefiting from the IT system I helped develop.
Last year, this same company started having workshops to help educate people. We taught people how to start Digital Transformation using their documents and applying automation. One of the workshop dates coincided with the date our boss had to be in Singapore. They had to find someone who could replace him. I was tapped as one of the resource speakers. This started my public speaking journey.
THE DREAM BEGINS
The seminars began as once-a-month events. They then turned into once-a-week events. From then on, I became more confident–from putting on makeup, to dressing up, and to being on stage.
After a year of doing this, we started getting requests to hold the seminar in companies and events. One of these events happened last July 27, when I was again tapped as one of the resource speakers. Hearing my name called up on stage and sharing what I had learned was so fulfilling and overwhelming.
I am still a shy person, but public speaking has changed my perspective. The things that I can share on stage can empower and influence my listeners. I can inspire them, educate them, and influence their future.
When I was in college, I had a taste of being a backstage assistant at events. Now, I am onstage. I am still amazed at know how it came to this, and I am just proud of myself and the journey I went through to get here. Jesus has definitely been guiding me and giving me the strength to turn my weakness and fear into something He could use to let me shine.
YOU CAN DREAM TOO
To all of you reading this: It is true–never stop reaching for your dreams. You may think that what you’re doing is a small thing, but decide to take that small step every day in attempting to reach your dreams—even if you do this little by little. The process may be long, but it’s all worth it.
I thank Jesus for guiding me. I also thank my family who have always been there, supporting me and loving me—even though I l currently live apart from them. To my mentors, and to my colleagues, you all influenced me one way or another. Thank you also to Pierre, my boyfriend, who never stops pushing me to climb the ladder and to be better.
Success is defined not by how high one has gone up the ladder, but in how one perseveres in every stage. I smile and thank the Lord for my journey.
To the person reading this, I hope you’re inspired to dream, too.
So what’s my real name? You can find it below. 🙂