Stuck In Reverse

Posted by Javan Poblador | Posted on June 25, 2020

Stuck In Reverse

by Rachelle Charlaine
Cebu City

I had an average Distinction grade in Bachelor of Visual Arts at Monash University, I was invited by the Dean to dinner for top students, but I could not finish the remaining two years because of family issues regarding having a relationship with a Muslim student there. I was forced to go back home and felt like everything was a total waste, all my wasted efforts made me really depressed.

So I used that energy to go back to work in Cebu at a call center to earn money to get into culinary school, for a chance to get to work in New Zealand as a chef. I was a top performer at work.

After realizing all those things, I learned that what I really doing was running away from the past instead of towards something. So after a time in NZ, I felt it was time to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a fashion designer as I chanced upon the first fashion school in Cebu on a Facebook ad.

I learned to not regret anything as I’ve acquired skills that would always be useful in my new endeavors anyway.

So after years of soul searching, I packed my things and traveled back to the place I used to hate the most, Cebu, because of all the associations attached to it.

I did a lot of immature, entitled, crazy stuff because I held on to a lot of resentment over not finishing my education in Monash and my ex marrying someone else shortly after, I felt like everyone abandoned me and I lost while everyone else gained, that was a hard pill to swallow, it was pathetic. I felt everyone, including my own family, under-appreciated me.

I overcompensated during my fashion schooling in an attempt to try to make everything perfect, which of course ended up in me having really low grades because I took so much time obsessing and repeating things that I ended up not finishing a lot of projects; I was overcompensating for losing my education in Monash. I went through depression again, but I realized that I have to keep the ball rolling despite the disappointments. Starting from square one was the main theme of my life for 10 years, and I also repeated one subject. Really a far cry from being the Distinction student that I used to be. It’s like Coldplay’s song about trying your best but don’t succeed, stuck in reverse.

There was also a time where I broke down and experimented with drugs and smoked cigarettes and drank a lot because I thought I was never enough to anyone and that if I was so evil for getting into an interfaith relationship that led to losing my education and starting over, then I might as well do bad things.

Things looked brighter when I finally graduated from Fashion Design and I took on a job that styled sets for photoshoots, and then expanded to events. Now I’m in the process of filing for a business permit, albeit delayed because of COVID-19.

I did have a second breakdown that led to attempting something more serious, and it was due to unresolved family dynamics, burn out from work, again, from over-compensating in an attempt to seek validation and approval from my own parents and the fact that my bipolar disorder exacerbated everything. I knew I had to make more effort in resolving issues so that we didn’t have to fight about the same things over and over again. My family is, in my opinion, in the best place now, not out of luck at all, but by sheer effort and counseling. It took a lot of swallowed pride and accountability too on my part.

I don’t need a scholarship, I just want others to consider simply not giving up, to empower oneself, be your own best friend, practice self-care, and that if you want out of certain situations only you can control it and make the necessary steps.

And also learn to give, so that you become grateful, humbled, and gain perspective.

Oh, also, be HAPI! Life’s really too short to wallow! I wish everyone healthy, emotional well being and resolution in whatever they’re going through.

Other good reads...

HAPI General Assembly : Award for Excellence

The HAPI General Assembly was tremendously successful in Bacolod, Philippines,  with fantastic and fabulous presentations of  Masskara fest and HAPI kids  dancing from Bacolod and topics galore that inspired the attendees from all over the globe. But the highlight of the general assembly,  is the appreciation and  presentation of “Awards for Excellence” to the  three  […]

HAPI carries on with Kids NutriCamp

HAPI Kids NutriCamp by Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) continues to nourish children beneficiaries as another feeding program was held by the parent and teen volunteers of Ilaya Street in Muntinlupa City on February 25, 2018. The dinner program was organized by no other than Jamie Del Rosario-Martinez, HAPI Executive Secretary and Kids NutriCamp Project Manager. […]

A Look Back, Pt. III: HAPI’s 3rd Quarter

Six months into the reign of COVID-19, the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) continues to go from strength to strength, finding ways to empower Filipinos through secular humanism despite the still(!) increasing threat of the pandemic. You don’t see us giving up though, as this quarterly highlight reel will demonstrate in a bit. But before […]

The FOUNDATION BEYOND BELIEF awards INNOVATOR of the Year 2015

By Christopher Michael Barredo and Jennifer C. Gutierrez The FOUNDATION BEYOND BELIEF- Beyond Belief Network, an international organization of non-believers has awarded our very own Executive Director Jennifer C. Gutierrez as the HUMANIST INNOVATOR of the Year 2015 from their Heart of Humanism contest that welcomed humanist innovators from all over the world.  On May 26, 2016, the award […]

In the Eye of a Child

In the Eye of a Child by Eldemar R. Sabete Bacolod City When we were a child we only thought of playing and our only number one problem is where we can get our sense of belongingness and acceptance in our society. Do you still remember those days where you draw your dream house?  Do […]

HAPI November Meet Up

HAPI Bacolod team has been dubbed as the most active and most balanced chapter. Bacolod team has new projects that would involved individuals in middle school to help with the organization’s advocacy. Having fun is part of the process, taking things to the heart is still what the group has agreed upon. Recently, HAPI Bacolod Chapter […]

An Atheistic God

bible, church, wedding

By Rado Gatchalian The FILOsopher For centuries, this mind-boggling question, “Does God exist?” has catapulted our civilizations to secondary, yet also primal, questions of peace and violence, of good and evil, of liberty and authority. It is 2021 and we still battle with this one fundamental question that ultimately defines our existence: who we are […]

About The Author

Rachelle Charlaine

The author was initially a Visual Arts student, and then a culinary student by day while working night shifts at a call center. She then worked as a chef abroad before pursuing fashion design and events styling in Cebu City. She loves traveling but her longest and the most intense journey was soul searching.

Scroll to Top