Sometimes wishes do come true … but not in the ways you expect.
In the Noughties, I had three three wishes: I wanted to go back to full-time education, I wanted to experience working and living abroad, and I wanted to get more involved with the Church.
Wish No. 1
I’m not quite sure why I wanted to be a student again. Perhaps I had missed attending lectures and campus life in general. Or perhaps I thought I was getting old and being a student represented being young. Whatever the reasons, going back to full-time education was not an option. Financially, it was not possible. The only way I could have afforded the tuition fees was to have had a job, and I couldn’t have a job if I wanted to go back to education full time. I had to content myself with part-time courses. I lost count of the many evening and weekend courses I enrolled on (many of which I did not finish because I lost interest after a while). I did complete a master’s degree in digital media, however, which I did part time over two years with the support of my employer at the time.
Wish No. 2
Working abroad attracted me because I liked the challenge. I fantasised about moving somewhere unusual: somewhere I had never been before and where I did not have any friends or relatives. I saw it as a grand adventure. At one point, I came close to getting an interview for a web editor job in Qatar. I got very excited about the prospect of working in the Middle East but it never happened.
Wish No. 3
Wanting to get involved with the Church was nothing new but in the Noughties I wanted greater involvement. I think it was because I had fond memories of when I worked for Caritas Manila in the mid-90s. Those years were among the happiest in my life and I guess I wanted to bring them back. I remember applying for jobs with Church-related organisations such as CAFOD but my efforts did not bear fruit.
Good things come to those who wait, so they say. In 2009, I had the big idea of applying for priestly formation and when I was accepted in 2011, all three dreams came true all at once. Being a seminarian meant being a full-time Philosophy and Theology student, living in Rome for seven years, and – most importantly – offering my whole life to the Church.
So pray, wish and dream. To do so costs nothing but the rewards could be great.