Back in 1998, my sister Rebecca studied computer secretarial in one of the colleges in Olongapo City. One of her subjects is stenography and typing. She bought an old typewriter and a bunch of lessons on typing. Then she would start working through her lesson, pressing through the rugged keys on the typewriter. It clacked and cracked on afternoons and evenings while I look on her and see her just have her eyes on the copy while her fingers find their way to the different keys on the keyboard. I would watch over her back and peek through her copy. It was just the ASDF JKL: ASDF JKL:. Nothing made sense about those letters but I got curious how it feels and how it is to type without looking at the keys on the typewriter.

When she stops her typing practice, I would borrow (or sometimes sneak) and do my own practice. I will work on her used practice sheets and start on training my fingers to home in on those keys on the typewriter. I remember how difficult it was. The challenge has been the letters W and Q where I sometimes interchange my small and ring fingers. I continued on. I didn’t intend to become a secretary but I did it just to play around and have something worthwhile to do on my free time.

The next thing I know, I’m already racing against my sister and competing with her on typing tests. It was fun. I was doing a 30WPM, then 40WPM, then 45WPM. And that was even the days when computer isn’t so readily available (at least for us). But what turned out to be a simple past time became very useful for me in college and all the way to this time.

When I had my first work at DENR, I worked as data encoder and my practice served me well. The training from the old and hard typewriter even worked to my advantage because the computer keys are now much smoother and easier to press on.

When I started my call center journeys, I passed my typing tests with flying colors. And now that I’m working as a freelancer, it’s still serving me well with my work.

Just a few months in 2013, I started offering transcription service. I never realized how my simple interest in the skill became another area where I could earn.

When I look back on those days with my sister, it just amazes me. I guess I benefited more from that single subject I have learned simply out of interest. No tuition fees. Just interest and consistent practice. I’m not saying that I’m good. I believe God just put me in a place and situation where I can choose to waste my time on TV or get myself a skill that he can use to bless me in the future.

So if you’re not doing anything right now, remember this, God is giving you a choice. You can waste your time or you can use it to educate yourself. One day you’ll be glad you made the right choice.

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