Transforming a Dream into Reality
A short auto-biography on how I came to purchase my first Porsche.
Coming from a humble immigrant family from the Philippines, moving to the United States at age four, it felt like a far off dream to ever own a Porsche. I do not come from a privileged background and it was difficult enough for my parents to provide food on the table while growing up. While in college, my father unexpectedly passed away when I was 19 years old. No life insurance, no inheritance, and a mortgage my mom could not afford on her own. My family lost our home. The only inheritance I received was a minivan, a 1998 Nissan Quest my father proudly purchased new when I was 11 years old. For 14 months, the Nissan Quest served as my home, serving as my closet, clothes in the back seat, all the while I was completing my undergraduate degree. Inadvertently, my father's passing taught me the invaluable life lesson of self reliance.
After graduating college and the Great Recession coinciding with one another, the dream felt even farther away. Job prospects were limited and I had a consistent shadow over my head with college debt. Yet I reminded myself that I was even worse off just 4 years ago. I was homeless at one point, living out of the Nissan Quest that I inherited from my father. I had to overcome and constantly remind myself that this recession was just another obstacle, another lesson in life.
I lived at my sister's apartment for nearly 6 years, jumping from one contracting job to another and feeling underutilized. Living paycheck to paycheck, having 50 US dollars left in my checking account after all expenses accounted. I had to keep a steady focus on what I can bring to the table and that was a LOT of instant ramen and cereal. It took 3 years of transient temporary office jobs before I landed my real big break. I found an opportunity in 2009 to work at a fledgling Biotech Company which served as the pivotal moment in my professional development. I then put a timeline for 2020; I would have my first home and finally buy the car I always wanted.
Of course 2020 did not happen with full clarity. As of September, it has only been filled with uncertainty for making it the worse year for the gross majority of the world. Political turmoil, a looming recession, and loved ones passing away unnecessarily from COVID; it felt like the wrong time to be spending money on a depreciating item.
Dreams should never depreciate......
Yet, my girlfriend of 5 years gently reminded me of what I have been working diligently, day after day, for the majority of my professional life. Not to let anything stop me from pursuing my dreams. She pushed me to work even harder and if I didn't push myself, she would leave me and go back to her tranquil home of Canada. Because to her, Canada looks like paradise compared to the current United States. So I pushed on, powered through, and demonstrated everything I could in my professional life to earn my current position in my career. After putting in relentless effort into work, how fitting it is that on Labor Day Monday (United States Holiday), I was finally able to collect the vehicle of my dreams. On this truly momentous day, my older brother drove me to the dealership, shared this milestone with me, and we both drove off the dealer's lot.
After unlocking the dream car achievement, I came to better appreciate the small individual steps, professional relationships, and friendships that brought me to this point in my life. It created a realization within myself that I want to be able to pay it forward, and provide guidance to anyone who seeks it from me.
Ultimately, delayed gratification pays a multitude of dividends.