Jessa Mae Dela Cruz
BREAKING THE NORM
Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start., – Nido Qubein
Born different. That’s what they always see when they first meet Jessa. But what really is normal and what is different? How do you make the difference from it?
At a young age, Jessa has faced a traumatic childhood due to her physical disability. Her right leg is shorter than of her left thus making her body unproportioned. She experienced being laughed at or seen people whispering to one another when she passed by, looked at her with indifference, and many other things. As a child, she can’t even comprehend why she was different from all other kids of her age. She had dreamed of riding a bicycle or even a motorcycle on her own, she wanted to take long walks, even wear high heels or pencil skirts. Little things that she dreamt of doing but can’t because her disabilities hinders it.
But as she grew, and as she entered her adolescence years, those traumatic experiences made her a better and stronger person. She knows how different she is but now, that doesn’t make her feel any less of a person. She knows how blessed she is with her family on her side. She taught herself to just brush off what other people think about her, what matters to her is what she thinks of herself. A lot of people believed in her, primarily her family. They are the ones who pushed her to keep going through life. Though there are days that she also feels down and empty inside but a bit of a rest and bonding with family and friends make up for those days. She knows that those challenges will be worth it in the end.
When she entered her professional journey with E-Guardian Philippines, she felt at ease. Her Supervisors and Colleagues treated her no different nor any less from other employees of the Company. They were good to her, especially her team. She never felt bullied or has been looked down upon. They gave her credit whenever she does something good, her opinions are being heard, if she has questions her colleagues and leaders listen to her, she is trusted. According to her, working with the Company has been a great platform for her to experience and learn new things. She is very excited to work with different people, with different stories, different cultures and different personas. Everyday, she always looked forward to coming to work with these.
With what’s happening in the world, she is just thankful to have stability in her job. This keeps food on her family’s table and is able to help them on some of their expenses.
When asked what makes “Jessa”?, she only has this to say;
“What makes “me” me are my dreams. Dreams for myself and for my family . Since the first day that I set my goals and dreams and thought about what I want to become in life, that was also the start of making myself. All the things that I’ve experienced, decisions that I’ve made, paths that I’ve taken and etc. are the reasons for who I am today. All of these are part of achieving my dreams and that’s something I should be proud of. I’m proud of my journey and I’m proud that I didn’t give up despite all that I’ve been through. Do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, there’s more opportunities and you’ll learn a lot and grow. Keep going, don’t let yourself be stuck in an unfortunate situation, even small steps can make a big difference. Don’t neglect yourself, it’s okay to take some rest and give time to pull yourself together. Always look at the bright side, have faith and believe that everything happens for a reason. Life is full of uncertainties, but remember when everything is uncertain, anything is possible. It is really important to love yourself and accept yourself the way you are. Life will not be easy, there are challenges and trials along the way but please choose to get up instead of give up, all of that will make you stronger. There are some that will just see your disability, but be the first one who sees your own ability and that you are capable. Have a good mindset, don’t let anything limit or hold you back from reaching your goals. Most importantly, in everything that comes to you seek God for his guidance. Pray and have faith, he has better plans for us.”
As of the moment, she is thinking about going back to school to take a Master’s Degree or take a second course which is BS in Agriculture. She dreamt of studying, having her own business someday and building her own foundation and scholarship program to give back to those who helped her and to help other people too who are in need of assistance.
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