When In Doubt, Don’t!

Photo by Mwabonje: https://www.pexels.com/photo/stop-sign-1806900/

As I have mentioned in one of my articles here, I am suffering from a major financial setback. I am currently jobless and drowning in a lot of debt. Loan sharks are harassing me and my contacts, which is highly illegal, but it is what it is.

I think what started this agony is my stubbornness and big pride. I helped a friend in establishing an art and culture magazine, hoping that this will make some easy bucks since there are lots of artists out there who are willing to pay just for publicity. Yes, you read it right. It’s a PR stunt.

In the beginning, it seems that the business seems to be running smoothly until my “partner” began to show some signs that he was losing interest in the magazine allegedly because a direct competitor contacted him. This was a red flag but I just ignored it and still pushed for the magazine to get published because clients are eagerly waiting to get their copies.

My supposed partner did not help financially and out of pride, my wife and I have decided to borrow money from an online lending app to pay for the down payment. This move seems to be a curse, and now, I am cash trapped, and full of debt.

But this tragedy appears to be a lesson — a very painful lesson that I won’t forget in my entire life. The Universe sometimes is a cruel teacher and life is a stable master with a whip, ready to whack you anytime.

The first lesson that I have learned is to learn to read people like a book. You need to examine their motives and look beyond their façade. This time, I will always remember what the famous Tagalog poet during the Spanish colonial period, Francisco Balagtas has to say in his book, Florante at Laura:

Kung ang isalubong sa iyong pagdating
ay masayang mukha’t may pakitang giliw,
lalong pakaingata’t kaaway na lihim
siyang isaisip na kakabakahin.

The second lesson that I have learned about this situation is to learn how to lower your pride. There’s nothing wrong to change your mind and not continuing the project especially if you saw a lot of red flags. Pridefulness will not bring you anywhere. And this, my friend, is the most bitter pill to swallow.

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Noel Sales Barcelona

A former freelance journalist, art and cultural critic, and an intuitive from the Philippines. I am the new species of weirdness.