The results of the 2008 bar exam is due for release days from now. I am anxious.
I stayed in manila for months, out of anyone’s sight. I fossilized in my QC-HQ.
I preoccupied myself with reading, movies, weight management, and spiritual devotion.
I consciously developed good habits, revelled in my new rituals, and communed with God on a daily basis.
I planned on staying here until after the results are out. I was doing just fine.
But as the countdown begins, the pressure is mounting – I’m beginning to doubt my courage.
Every time the breaking news are flashed on tv, I would stop breathing.
Some days, I can think of nothing but the bar result. They follow me even in my sleep.
I’ve seen the two sides of the coin, so to speak. I’ve dreamed of flunking and I’ve dreamed of passing the bar.
The flunking bit was far more realistic, the uneasy feeling stayed with me long after I rose from my bed.
Now I’m really shaken. The courage I had before is being replaced by fear. Fear of what’s about to happen.
Fear that my heart might not withstand the impact. I need a cushion of protection. I need my family. I’m going home.
Right then and there, I booked a flight to Catarman.
Besides, I rationalized, if it’s a ‘no’ I’ll have to go get my books anyway. I can’t avoid them forever.
It’s not their fault if I fail. They’re not the enemy.
Since they’re not my enemy, they should be my ally. So I’ll fight this out with them at my side.
That’s what families are for. Win or lose, pass or fail, they’re involved in this.
Fact is, they’ll be associated with my victory or defeat.
Sink or swim, we’ll be in the same water – the least I can do is let them in on the boat ride.
And a hell of a ride this one’s going to be. The results are due for release sometime next week.
I’m just hoping that I would be in Catarman before the result is out. The anticipation is killing me.
But supposing it’s a no? What if my name’s not in http://www.sc.judiary.gov.ph official list of 2008 Bar Exam passers?
Or if that site is busy, what if I Google my name in the internet and it yields ‘0 result’? What then?
Oh I’d be really crashed. I’d be disappointed. I’d cry. I’d go to my room and stay there for 40 hours.
I’d talk to no one. I’d sleep on it and dream about it, and when I wake up I’ll be extremely thankful that it was just a dream.
But then I’d realize it was not a dream. A new wave of pain would rush through me. I’d try to sleep back, but I couldn’t lull myself into sleep.
I’d look at the sky. I’d search for God in the clouds. I’d seek enlightenment from the stars.
The cold night’s wind would breeze through my face. I’d be reminded of the cold reality like a slap in the face.
Now that’s the truth I’d try to forget every night, the same truth I’d have to wake up to everyday.
Unfortunately, this is also the kind of truth that people (outside my family) will find hard to forget.
I may ascend in the social ladder by some notable deeds or good fortune,
but a mere mention of this truth (a major screw-up in the past, each of us has one, this happens to be mine)
and I’d plummet to the bottom of the feud chain.
Time heals all wounds, true, but time can’t do anything about the stigma that’s been indelibly printed in my hands and feet.
But I can do something about my growling stomach. I haven’t eaten since the news came out.
I’d go downstairs to grab some food. Starving myself was not how I imagined my death.
I’d eat ice cream – double dutch, extra creamy, on the container, without spoon – the kind reserved only for the major major heartaches and low times. Flunking the bar exam is so in that category, I deserve a gallon.
So there I eat with gusto the cold treat. I think of nothing but the explosions of taste in my mouth.
I sting my tongue and shock my teeth with each bite of coldness, hoping to numb the deeper pain I feel inside.
What did I miss out? Where did I fall short?
Those who did make it were good students, but I had more potential than them.
Intellectually speaking, I was a far cry from them. Don’t you dare remind me about modesty.
That’s the last thing that could make me feel good at moments like this. Never had I felt this low.
Sure there was one time, when my heart was seared in open flame. That was my first broken heart, but that was different.
My heart’s been fed to the dogs alright, but I survived it with barely noticeable a scar.
This one, though, would definitely leave an ugly scar right on my face.
I’be branded for life – a bar flunker, a social outcast, a failure, a loser.
Thankfully I’ve had some practice on how to lose once or twice, on a smaller scale of course.
It taught me that everything shall pass. To keep holding on, never give up, for the best part is yet to come.
If anything, this bar experience (from pre-bar review, to the actual bar, and to my post-bar retreat) drew me closer to God.
I had to fail so He could catch me – so I could feel His power, and so I could learn to trust Him.
The Bar is so great a voyage that one cannot embark half-heartedly, I know that now.
If you’re half prepared, full faith – you’ll capsize midway (there are exceptions of course).
If you’re fully prepared, but lack faith – you’ll run aground before you even get past through the shallow waters
(full effort is not full victory, unfortunately).
If you’re half prepared, and of lukewarm faith – expect to hit the iceberg and soon declare mayday.
Lucky for me I grew up in a coastal town, I don’t have a problem swimming to the shore if it ever gets to that.
What I worry about are the sharks deep under that will come charging at the slightest hint of blood, of injury, of defeat.
A feeding frenzy they will be, and I – in the middle of it all as the humbled prey.
Spare me dear Lord…if I have to die, let it be quick and painless.
If it’s a no, it’s up to You.